1. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showing good tolerance, short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects.
Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Jan;28(1):29-34. Epub 2008 Aug 7.
Oosterveld FG, Rasker JJ, Floors M, Landkroon R, van Rennes B, Zwijnenberg J, van de Laar MA, Koel GJ.
To study the effects of Far infrared (FIR) Sauna, a form of total-body hyperthermia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients were treated for a 4-week period with a series of eight Far infrared (FIR) Sauna treatments. Seventeen rheumatoid arthritis patients and 17 ankylosing spondylitis patients were studied.
Infrared Sauna was well tolerated, and no adverse effects were reported, no exacerbation of disease. Pain and stiffness decreased clinically, and improvements were statistically significant (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001 in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients, respectively) during a Far Infrared session. Fatigue also decreased. Both rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients felt comfortable on average during and especially after treatment. In the rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients, pain, stiffness, and fatigue also showed clinical improvements during the 4-week treatment period, but these did not reach statistical significance. No relevant changes in disease activity scores were found, indicating no exacerbation of disease activity.
In conclusion, infrared treatment has statistically significant short-term beneficial effects and clinically relevant period effects during treatment in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients without enhancing disease activity. Far infrared (FIR) Sauna has good tolerability and no adverse effects.