As winter approaches, you may wonder how using a sauna provides joint pain relief. This is understandable since so many of us feel the impact of colder weather on our knees, hips, ankles, and other areas we rely on for our mobility.
Not to worry. Your sauna offers you a sanctuary through which you can reap a number of physical benefits including temporary joint pain relief. This comes as good news to all of us who have to deal with the New England snowfall throughout the winter.
How Joint Pain Affects You
Joint pain is extremely common among Americans, especially in older adults who are at higher risk of arthritis and osteoporosis. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 24 percent of adults in the United States (approximately 58.5 million people) have arthritis. Even without a chronic condition like arthritis, it’s certain that we’ll all experience some level of joint pain at one time or another — whether through repetitive physical activity, bodily trauma, or seasonal changes.
While it remains unclear why so many people report joint pain in the winter, there are a couple of persistent theories. One claims that when temperatures and barometric pressure fall, the tendons and muscles around your joints expand. The problem is that they can only expand so much within your body before feeling constricted. This is what happens when you experience stiffness, swelling, and pain in your joints.
How Using a Sauna Provides Joint Pain Relief
So, what do you do when work and weather put your joints under stress? Reports show that sauna use can help alleviate joint pain temporarily. Note that you should consult your doctor before using a sauna to see if it’s right for you. Also, it’s important to approach your sauna use in a way that works well with any other treatments you may undergo (e.g., medication, topical treatments, physical therapy, etc.).
Here are some of the main ways in which saunas may provide joint pain relief.
Stimulating Tension Release
When the infrared wavelengths penetrate your body, they stimulate a relaxing response. In turn, your tendons and muscles release built-up tension.
Increasing Blood Flow
Infrared saunas work by raising your core temperature. When this happens, blood vessels dilate. This allows more oxygen-rich blood to travel throughout your body (including your joints) where it promotes nourishment and healing.
Triggering White Blood Cell Production
By raising your body’s core temperature, you simulate a fever-like state that kickstarts your immune system. This cues your body to increase its white blood cell production. With the help of more white blood cells moving throughout your bloodstream, the inflammation and swelling around your joints decreases, thus relieving the pain temporarily.
Reports on Infrared Saunas and Joint Pain Relief
A growing body of research suggests that regular sauna sessions are to thank, in part, for the joint pain relief that contributes to a better quality of life. A study published in Clinical Rheumatology states that participants, after completing four weeks of 30-minute infrared sauna sessions held twice-weekly, reported a 40 percent improvement in pain and stiffness.
A study included in Internal Medicine states that participants with chronic pain reported a nearly 70 percent decrease in their pain after one session in an infrared sauna. Furthermore, they continued to report low pain scores throughout the study’s observation stage.
Where to Find Infrared Saunas for Your Health Needs
Whether you’re dealing with joint pain, sleep issues, or a host of other health challenges, an infrared sauna can bring you one critical step closer to relief. Contact Wellis New England today and one of our knowledgeable staff will answer any wellness or maintenance-related questions about the Clearlight® Infrared Saunas we carry. You deserve to feel your best all year long.