“Oh! My aching joints!”
That’s a common refrain among patients today – and it’s not a condition reserved for senior citizens. Although it’s often related to rheumatoid arthritis or bursitis, the pain you feel in knees, hips, ankles, shoulders and elbows could have other causes. Overdoing it on the golf course, tending your garden, sitting in the wrong position for too long or even a bad bout of the flu can all play a part in joint aches and pain.
Contributing to the pain could be a low body temperature, which can be a factor in many health problems, such as muscle and joint aches in addition to a wealth of other physiological and even psychological problems.
The Role of Immersive Infrared Therapy
Far infrared is often used by medical professionals to treat arthritis, joint pain, stiff muscles, and injuries to tendons and ligaments because of its deep heating effect.
Infrared therapy as delivered by the FIT Bodywrap® has demonstrated success in resolving or safely managing a broad range of disorders as well as promoting processes that lead to well-being including dramatic relief for the pain of rheumatoid, gouty and degenerative arthritis. It has also been shown to be effective in accelerating recovery from acute and chronic soft tissue injuries in ligaments, tendons, fascia and muscles.
How IR Therapy Works
Recent clinical research has shown that far infrared heat promotes the rebuilding of injured tissue by having a positive effect on the fibroblasts (connective tissue cells producing collagen fibers for repair). It also increases the growth of cells and the rate of DNA and protein synthesis necessary during tissue repair and regeneration.
Tissues heated to 45 degrees C and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5 to 0.9% that persists after the stretch is removed. Stretching of tissue in the presence of heat would be especially valuable in working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fasciae, and synovium that have become scarred, thickened, or contracted.
This is especially positive in treating joint pain due to arthritis. Prior experimentation has documented a 20% decrease in rheumatoid finger joint stiffness at 45 degrees C. Speculation has it that any stiffened joint and thickened connective tissues may respond in a similar fashion.
Simply put, the deep heating effect of FIR therapy increases blood flow (circulation), reduces inflammation and helps promote healing.
If you have a recent (acute) joint injury the old school admonition is that it should not be heated for the first 48 hours after the insult or until the hot and swollen symptoms subside. While this may apply, the more modern concept is move, exercise, attenuate the pain and treat the injured tissues, the first two of which far infrared does do.
If you have a joint or joints that are chronically hot and swollen, these joints may respond poorly to vigorous heating of any kind. Always check with your doctor before using infrared therapy such as the FIT Bodywrap®.
Could immersive infrared therapy such as that provided by FIT Bodywrap® attenuate your joint pain and aches? It is certainly worth discussing with your physician or physical therapist – ask him or her today!