Far Infrared (FIR) therapy for Fibromyalgia
 

1.     Efficacy of Waon (Far Infrared) therapy for fibromyalgia.

Internal Medicine Vol. 47 (2008) No. 16 P 1473-1476

Matsushita K1, Masuda A, Tei C

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain with tenderness in specific areas. We examined the applicability of Waon (Far Infrared)therapy (soothing warmth therapy) as a new method of pain treatment in patients with FMS.

METHODS: Thirteen female FMS patients (mean age, 45.2+/-15.5 years old; range, 25-75) who fulfilled the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology participated in this study. Patients received Waon(Far Infrared) therapy once per day for 2 or 5 days/week. The patients were placed in the supine or sitting position in a far infrared-ray dry sauna maintained at an even temperature of 60 degrees C for 15 minutes, and then transferred to a room maintained at 26-27 degrees C where they were covered with a blanket from the neck down to keep them warm for 30 minutes. Reductions in subjective pain and symptoms were determined using the pain visual analog scale (VAS) and fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ).

RESULTS: All patients experienced a significant reduction in pain by about half after the first session of Waon therapy (11-70%), and the effect of Waon(Far Infrared) therapy became stable (20-78%) after 10 treatments. Pain VAS and FIQ symptom scores were significantly (p<0.01) decreased after Waon (Far Infrared)therapy and remained low throughout the observation period.

CONCLUSION: Waon (Far Infrared) therapy is effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome.

 

2.     Effects of (Far Infrared) thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise in patients with fibromyalgia.

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Aug;17(3):162-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.08.004. Epub 2010 Sep 25.

Matsumoto S, Shimodozono M, Etoh S, Miyata R, Kawahira K.

Source: Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Graduate school of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan. shushu@m.kufm.kagoshima-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic disorder that is characterized by widespread pain with localized tenderness. We aimed to investigate whether thermal therapy combining (Far Infrared) sauna therapy and underwater exercise improved pain, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in FMS patients. Forty-four female FMS patients who fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria received 12-week thermal therapy program comprising sauna therapy once daily for 3 days/week and underwater exercise once daily for 2 days/week. Pain, symptoms, and QOL were assessed using a pain visual analog scale (VAS), a fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ), and a short form 36-item questionnaire (SF-36), respectively. All of the patients reported significant reductions in pain and symptoms of 31-77% after the 12-week thermal therapy program, which remained relatively stable (28-68%) during the 6-month follow-up period (that is, the thermal therapy program improved both the short-term and the long-term VAS and FIQ scores). Improvements were also observed in the SF-36 score.

(Far Infrared) Thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise improved the and quality of life as well as the pain and symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome patients.