advantages of infrared sauna for pain relief

Advantages of Infrared Sauna For Attaining Effective Pain Relief

Infrared (IR) saunas have been gaining popularity among athletes and wellness experts due to their benefits-to-risk ratio. Key health benefits of an IR sauna include muscle recovery, improved detoxification, and better heart health.

However, how do the advantages of infrared sauna usage fare when it comes to pain relief?

In this article, we’ll talk about how infrared saunas contribute to alleviating pain, how they work, and their benefits – namely increasing pain thresholds, contributing to chronic pain relief, and alleviating muscle spasms.


IR Saunas For Pain Relief

According to a 2012 study, infrared saunas increase pain thresholds by directly heating free-nerve endings or nerve trunks.

Locally heating these affected areas has been shown to relieve pain and improve their flexibility. Their mechanism of action works by increasing blood flow to the area while also encouraging histamine and prostaglandin release.

These two substances cause your blood vessels to vasodilate, which leads to increased blood flow volume and increases your pain threshold. Meaning, it takes a stronger stimulus to cause pain, and you may feel less discomfort from the same stimuli that would have caused more pain before.

Additionally, this increased uptake in oxygenated blood provides the affected cells with the necessary nutrients to repair themselves and help alleviate pain, muscle fatigue, and soreness.

Infrared saunas can improve white blood cell production. This can boost your immune system, contributing to pain relief and facilitating cell repair.


IR Saunas for Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain is characterised by mild to significant pain in an injured site that lasts more than three to six months, even when the injury has healed.

Thanks to IR saunas improving blood flow and endorphin production while lowering inflammation, we can pair them as a supplementary treatment to existing pain relief therapies.

Several studies support this statement as it’s been proven to help treat chronic pain-related ailments such as Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – every study reported positive effects.


IR Saunas for Muscle Spasms

Commonly referred to as muscle cramps, muscle spasms are involuntary and spontaneous contractions of a localised muscle. They can be annoying to painful depending on the individual and may be caused by several factors such as dehydration, fatigue, or underlying medical conditions.

It has been largely theorised that an IR sauna’s vasodilatory effects can help address muscle spasms as pain is linked to ischemia, a condition where a specific area of the body has little to no blood flow. For example, chest pain (angina) is a common symptom of myocardial ischemia, which is caused by a lack of circulation to the heart muscle.


Do Infrared Saunas Have Side Effects?

Yes, but only to certain individuals. While IR saunas do alleviate pain, they aren’t for everyone as they can also exacerbate symptoms in people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Side effects such as dehydration, lightheadedness, and irritated airways may make it worse for individuals with heart-related issues or respiratory conditions, which we would want to generally avoid.

The best workaround to this problem is to consult with your primary healthcare provider first before using IR saunas. Additionally, listening to your body while undergoing a sauna session for signs of feeling unwell can help to avoid any unwanted physiological responses, before they develop into something less benign.

Sun Stream Saunas is committed to each and every one of our client’s health and well-being, and we make it an onus to uphold our values– whether online or physical.

With that said, if you’re looking for ways to optimise your wellness journey, we invite you to take a look at our resources to better see the advantages of infrared sauna usage. If you’re looking for a sauna to take home today, we also invite you to take a look at our range of low-EMF and ELF IR sauna models.

For questions, concerns, or inquiries, contact us today.