Have you or someone close been suffering from chronic pain? Well, you are not alone. Approximately 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from it, and about 100 million of those cases are in the United States. This condition represents a huge burden for sufferers and their families, affecting their quality of life and causing long-term disability . It does not help that chronic pain can be extremely difficult to treat. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about chronic pain management and what new treatments are available, including the latest trend in wellness: infrared saunas.
What Is Chronic Pain?
The World Health Organization included a chronic pain definition and classification in the current International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It defines chronic pain as persistent or recurrent pain which lasts longer than 3 months. It also gives an extensive classification of chronic pain, where many other conditions are included. The most common cause of chronic pain is injuries such as a back sprain or a pulled muscle. However, there are certain chronic diseases whose primary symptom is pain. These include rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and cancer .
Living With Chronic Pain
People who suffer from chronic pain are fighting a battle every day of their lives. Pain can completely change your mood and vision of the world. It can give you a pessimistic perception of the future and even affect how you communicate with others. It is very common for people who suffer from chronic pain to develop mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, as well as sleep disorders. All these variables must be taken into consideration when thinking about how to help someone with chronic pain .
Managing Chronic Pain
The therapeutic approach to a person with chronic pain syndrome depends on what is causing the pain. For example, in those with rheumatoid arthritis, the main goal is to slow the progression of the disease and treat the symptoms. On the other hand, for those whose pain started with an initial injury, physical therapy can be a really good option. Although there are many ways to treat it, the results are not always satisfactory and the pain persists. In some cases, when patients are developing other problems because of their pain, doctors may prescribe a type of painkiller called opioids. These are highly effective but can cause addiction, making them a current public health issue in the United States .
A Promising Option: Infrared Saunas
Given how challenging it can be to treat chronic pain syndrome, it does not come as a surprise that researchers are constantly looking for new ways to treat the different conditions that cause this syndrome. A new trend that started a couple of years ago is infrared therapy. It has caused quite a stir in the wellness community and many celebrities like Lady Gaga (who suffers from fibromyalgia) are using it to combat their chronic pain .
Infrared Sauna Benefits In Rheumatoid Arthritis
The effects of infrared therapy on patients with rheumatoid arthritis have been studied for many decades. Patients can suffer from joint pain as well as stiffness. These symptoms are utterly incapacitating and tend to be worse in the morning or after long periods of rest. Over a decade ago, a study reported that infrared saunas offered immediate temporary relief to rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, with a significant decrease in pain and stiffness after just one session. Patients who were exposed to this type of treatment also stated they felt more relieved after the sessions than during the treatment. After using infrared saunas for 4 weeks, clinical improvement in pain, stiffness, and fatigue was achieved. .
Infrared Therapy Benefits In Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition in which patients suffer from pain in the muscles and bones, and fatigue. These symptoms do not seem to have an explanation. This disease is associated with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Some researchers in Japan studied 13 patients with fibromyalgia, who underwent infrared sauna sessions once per day several days a week. This study reported a significant decrease in the subjective perception of pain after just one session, and this effect persisted after 10 sessions .
Infrared saunas are an excellent and natural way to control chronic pain. However, it is not meant to substitute any treatment prescribed by your doctor. Before implementing an independent treatment, like infrared therapy, always consult with a medical physician first. If you have any questions regarding infrared saunas and their ability to provide you with infrared therapy, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our infrared sauna specialists via our online chat or at (800) 528-3110. We are also available on all major social media platforms!
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