Warming With Infrared Radiation: Infrared Saunas Especially Far Infrared Saunas
Red & infrared radiation on a hand in an infrared scanner. Photo by Yu Chieh Ho.
Infrared radiation is almost light — so close that it is often called infrared “light,” even though it is actually beyond the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can normally see. It has a longer wavelength than any visible light. And infrared is radiation is warming — it jostles our molecules — which is why it is also often called heat radiation.
Infrared saunas sound fancy, like they are emitting some kind of special radiation, not just heating rays but healing rays. In fact, an infrared heater is just a … heater. All heaters are infrared heaters, because all radiative heating is infrared. Calling it an “infrared radiation” heater is kind of like calling a lamp a “visible radiation” lamp. If you were to put a space heater in a small cedar panelled room, you would have yourself an infrared sauna.
If any infrared radiation is a healing ray, it’s “far” infrared radiation . More expensive saunas use far infrared, and it is a bit different. The main advantage of using far infrared is entirely practical: they require minimal shielding, because the heating elements themselves stay almost magically cool while still heating up whatever they paint with their radiation . So they can be built into the walls of the sauna without scorching them . And that’s quite useful.
You want microwaves with that?
Healing rays: is far infrared radiation special?
Bonus Tip: Stretch After Using Heat Therapy To Strengthen Your Lower Back
While heat therapy may help you find quick relief from your sciatica symptoms, it is best used as part of a broader treatment plan that typically includes stretching and other targeted exercises.
Read more about Sciatica Treatment
When you experience pain relief after using heat therapy, try to perform simple lower back stretches. Stretches and targeted exercises can help prevent sciatica from recurring, by relieving the sciatic nerve compression, strengthening your tissues, and improving the flexibility in your lower back.
Use these tips today to see if the benefits of heat treatment help improve your sciatica symptoms. For long-term pain relief, add an exercise program or regular walking to your everyday routine.
Even More Localized Heating + The Relevance Of Climate And Context
A reader question:
Is there a product that heats a very small area, like the size of a trigger point ? I could imagine something, kind of ball shaped at the end … Would heating just that small an area be of some value? I ask because roughly one third of the year , I don’t want to heat a big part of my body, except in the shower. It’s too hot! But I’d heat a very small area.
A home remedy version of this could be heating up a stone, which is easy enough.
Other than hot stone therapy , there is no such product that I am aware of.
If your environment is too hot for heat to be comforting and reassuring, then it’s unlikely to be helpful, and could even backfire to the extent that it’s actually perceived as a significant threat . But it’s a highly idiosyncratic thing. There are people who love to bake themselves in direct sunshine, which I find intolerable. My wife will put a heating pad on under the blankets even in summer, which I cannot imagine tolerating, and her craving for heat surges even higher for treating aches and pains. But I too have suddenly found myself craving the heating pad in warm weather when trying to ease an unusually savage aching.
The threshold between pleasing and annoying definitely moves around!
I am confident that a tiny heater wouldn’t be very “comforting” or “reassuring,” though I find myself hard-pressed to say exactly why. It’s just not big enough to have much of a sensory impact, I suspect.
Responding To Weather Changes When Caring For Neuropathy Patients
Patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy may find that changes in seasons increase discomfort. Colder temperatures require layers of clothing that may bother someone with peripheral neuropathy symptoms. A change to hotter temperatures may cause increased discomfort to someone already experiencing burning sensations due to nerve damage.
Caregivers can take steps to help manage the impact of weather changes on neuropathy patients.
Pure Speculation About Why Heat Might Be Good For Trigger Points
Trigger points are probably aggravated by stress, and being warm is a pleasant and comforting sensation, as long as we aren’t overheated to begin with. But it probably goes beyond that …
Relaxation reduces resting muscle tone. You can have “tight” muscles without actually being in frank spasm. There are many degrees of muscle tone between deep relaxation and a charlie horse. Many otherwise healthy people live in a state of uncomfortably high muscle tone, their muscles always a little clenched and exhausted, probably with some specific areas even worse from awkward working postures. This state is inherently uncomfortable, like being tired from exercise — but without the endorphins — and it may be fertile ground for trigger points. If so, any reduction in muscle tone may be quite helpful.
Electric heating pads have been around for as long as we’ve have any kind of electric appliances.
What Can Make Your Sciatica Pain Even Worse Doing This #1 Thing
Let’s face it; back pain is a very bothersome and painful problem. It can interrupt your sleep, your work, and even day to day functions suddenly become pain-filled excursions.
While the pain of sciatica is quite common, with approximately 4 out of every 10 Americans experiencing this dreadful pain at least once in their lifetime, there is nothing commonplace about this pain when it happens to you or someone you care about.
You will find a great many self-help articles about how to find relief from the pain of sciatica, but you might be making your pain worse by doing this 1 everyday thing.
Let’s talk about what makes sciatica worse and what you can do to prevent sciatica from returning.
The Link Between Temperature And Pain Is Widely Reported
There are a number of pain disorders reportedly influenced by temperature, and while experts cannot always explain the “why” behind this influence, the fact that it’s so commonly noted cannot be ignored.
With that, you may be surprised to learn that while many people associate bad weather with “bad pain,” a hot, sticky summer day can aggravate a pain disorder, as well. In fact, for some people, heat is actually worse than cold for their pain.
Are You Accidentally Making Your Chronic Back Pain Worse
Living with chronic back pain leaves a person constantly searching for ways to lessen the pain. Unfortunately, the Internet is often the tool most used in searching for ways to decrease back pain, but it is not always the most reliable. Employing certain tactics to make your back pain disappear may inadvertently be making the pain more severe. Common symptoms of back pain include:
- Mild to severe back pain that does not stop
- Shooting, burning, aching, or electrical pain
The physical signs of literal back pain are often not the only symptoms of chronic back pain. Many people experiencing the debilitating effects of this type of pain might also be enduring one or all of the following:
- Low energy or fatigue
Why Pain Gets Worse: The Mechanism Of Heat Hyperalgesia
Pain differs from other senses in many ways; one of the most striking is that the intensity of pain increases with time in the presence of a painful stimulus, a process that is referred to as sensitization or hyperalgesia. With all the other senses, the perceived intensity decreases with continuous exposure to a constant stimulus. For instance, when you emerge from a cinema onto a sunny street you are at first dazzled, but soon adapt to the new and higher ambient light level. If vision behaved like pain the opposite would happen—the dazzling light of the street would become ever brighter. The reason for the difference is clear enough. Light adaptation allows us to operate over a wide range of ambient light intensities, a necessary property for any species that may at one moment be in bright sunlight and the next in a dark cave . Pain, on the other hand, cannot be ignored as it often signals tissue damage, and it is essential for the integrity of the organism that a painful stimulus should become ever more pressing until the subject takes some action to remove its cause.
Phosphorylation by PKC?.
Bradykinin, ATP, and many other inflammatory mediators activate PKC, which in turn sensitizes the heat-activated current in neurons, which we now recognize as being carried by TRPV1 . The main isoform involved is PKC? , and serines 502 and 800 are the critical sites for the sensitizing effect .
Removal of Inhibition by Phosphatidyl Inositol 4,5-Bisphosphate .
Ice Vs Heat For Injuries: How Do I Know Which Is Best
Everyone experiences pain. Whether it’s a headache, a torn ligament, a sprained ankle or sore muscles, pain is just a fact of life for many people. Pain is our body’s way of telling us when something is wrong, whether it’s a new injury, a medical condition or the result of a long day on our feet. However, pain is not something anyone needs to tolerate.
Whatever the reason for pain, one undeniable fact remains: No one wants to be in pain. And, while modern medicine has produced a lot of reliable medications that are designed to help with various levels of pain, it’s not always necessary, or appropriate, to rely solely on medication to correct the problem.
That’s where ice and heat therapies come in. Depending on the source of your pain — arthritis, a new injury or a grueling workout — ice, heat or both can go a long way toward relieving your pain and improving the overall quality of your life.
Whats The Best Kind Of Heat For Peripheral Neuropathy
A lot of peripheral neuropathy suffers use foot massaging machines as a at home treatment. This is great because it combines heat with the benefits of massage. As you may already know, massage also increases blood circulation around the affected areas. So by combining heat with massage, its a match made in heaven.
There are certainly models that are better than others when it comes to neuropathy. This is also true when it comes to heat treatment. I would say the majority of massagers available on the market provide traditional heat. The heat you feel which makes you warm. This is great and all, but there is a better option available which is growing in popularity.
How To Apply Heat Therapy For Your Sciatica Symptoms
While it may seem logical to apply heat to the area where your sciatica feels worst—like the back of your thigh or your calf, these areas are not the source of your pain. Sciatic nerve pain originates from your rear pelvis and the lower back, and heat therapy works best when applied to this region.
Heat therapy is easily available, simple to use, and can provide immediate relief from the shooting sciatic nerve pain in your leg—read on to learn how.
Heat Or Ice For Pinched Nerve & 7 More Ways To Help
A pinched nerve can cause irritating pain and discomfort. It is usually evident by a tingling or numbing feeling that comes and goes, getting worse over time. The condition is caused by nerve damage brought on by pressure for an extended period or trauma to the area. However, it can also occur if you have a herniated disc, arthritis and other various conditions. Luckily, there’re ways to help manage the pain and bring some relief.
Mistake #5 Relying On Your Primary Doctor Too Long
General practitioners typically don’t have in-depth training in the mechanical issues of the spine. This can make it more difficult to get a correct diagnosis or treatment plan.
If you’ve been experiencing neck pain symptoms for more than a few weeks, the best way your primary doctor can help is to refer you to a spine specialist
Chiropractors specialize in treating the source of spine and joint pain through chiropractic adjustments and physiotherapy.
Our Kansas City chiropractors work closely with hundreds of Kansas City primary care physicians to diagnose and then treat back pain, headaches and neck pain symptoms using a non-surgical, effective form of treatment.
Work With An Experienced Back Pain Specialist Today
Sciatica can produce symptoms like intense pain and numbness in the legs and lower back, which directly affect your ability to move freely. Patients that experience these signs understand the importance of finding treatments that help them control the pain in a safe and effective way.
If you want to find out more about the different sciatica treatment options available in North Seattle and surrounding areas, contact us today and our team will be glad to help.
Tips For Chronic Pain Sufferers During Hot Weather
Summer activities often mean being outside in the hot weather, and this may be very difficult for you to imagine if you experience chronic pain. But there are ways you can enjoy the outdoors with a few adaptations and preparation.
Is Heat Good For Neuropathy Among Other Treatments
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Peripheral neuropathy can be a potentially deadly condition. It can lead to numbness in the feet which can lead to unexpected falls. Anyone that suffers from this condition should be seeking out as much home treatments as possible to reduce the symptoms. One of the most common at home treatments is heat. But is heat good for neuropathy, or is it just a myth to keep you buying more and more products?.
Heat treatments are use widely for a number of conditions. It’s a proven treatment in many cases. Infrared heat therapy devices have been clinically tested on patients with Neuropathy returning positive results. So with that in mind, it’s important to understand both how heat works on making the body naturally recover and excalty what neuropathy is so that we can potentially treat the condition from home.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
Warnings And Precautions While Using Heat Therapy
When using heat therapy, the heat source should be warm, as tolerated, and not hot. As a general rule, heat therapy can be used for 15 to 20 minutes, with breaks in between to avoid skin damage. Overuse of heat therapy may cause burns, scalding, or ulcers. It is a smart idea to place a cloth barrier between your skin and the heat source . It is also advisable to avoid laying directly on the heat source to prevent trapping of additional heat and potentially causing skin damage or permanent changes in skin color.
If you have specific medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, poor circulation, spinal cord injuries, diabetes mellitus, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, it is advised to avoid heat therapy. Heat in these conditions may cause excessive burns, skin ulceration, and/or increased inflammation.3
How Does Barometric Pressure Affect Chronic Pain
Barometric pressure, also called air pressure, is the weight of the air in the atmosphere. It changes depending on the weather: low pressure means a storm is eminent and high pressure indicates a clear day. Medical theories suggest that a drop in pressure means there is an increased amount of pressure on the joints. However, heat and humidity affects inflamed tissue and affects the way joints expand and contract.
Is It Really The Temperature Or Is It Your Mood
Some experts believe that hot or cold weather can influence a person’s mood, and then this can influence how that person perceives pain—a reasonable argument.
On the contrary, though, in the above study on osteoarthritis, even after controlling for factors like anxiety and depression, people who described themselves as weather-sensitive still experienced more joint pain than people who were not weather-sensitive. This hints that mood problems do not fully explain the link between joint pain and weather sensitivity.??
Still, it makes sense that a temperature change can impact a person’s emotional health, which can then impact how they perceive or interpret pain.
The big picture here is that it seems too commonly reported to dismiss a temperature change’s influence on pain. So, while your worsening pain is real and not in your head, your emotional well-being likely plays a role, albeit it may be small.
Quitting Bad Habits Could Help Relieve Symptoms
Changing a few simple aspects of your lifestyle can put you in better control of your chronic pain, and may actually decrease the pain you experience. In fact, you’ll likely be surprised if you take a good look at these nine things that can make your pain worse, and find any in your own life that can be improved.
If you want to have less pain tomorrow than today, and next week than this week, it’s worth taking a close look at what you can do to change your life and get rid of your pain.
Heat Is Reassuring And Reassurance Is Analgesic
Our comfort zone is a warm place. And so, almost no matter what kind of pain you have …
To reduce pain, we need to reduce credible evidence of danger & increase credible evidence of safety.
Lorimer Moseley. Explainer: what is pain and what is happening when we feel it? TheConversation.com.
The brain probably interprets a safe source of warmth as good “credible evidence of safety,” for basic psychological reasons related to the environmental and social conditions we evolved in. Cold kills! Hypothermia has been at or near the top of the list of threats to our safety throughout all of prehistory and most of history.8 And we also associate warmth with contact and intimacy — another powerful goodness.
So a nice controlled source of warmth is probably just about the most basic reassuring thing there is. And that’s always good for pain.9 You might mistake this for a psychological effect, and it is in a sense, but it’s more useful to look at it as “applied neurology”: leveraging what we know about how pain neurology works. It’s more akin to triggering a reflex than a mind game.
Some like it hot
How hot is too hot? It depends on your tolerance. Some like it a lot hotter than others. Comic by Jake Likes Onions
Is Ice Better Than Heat Is Heat Better Than Ice
Ideal uses of ice and heat are roughly equal in potency — which isn’t very potent. Neither is strong medicine. Some experiments have shown that both have only mild benefits, and those benefits are roughly equal in treating back pain.7 The reason to use them is not that they are highly effective treatments — they rarely are — but because they are so cheap, easy, and mostly safe, especially compared to many other popular treatments.8
Pain Management: Tips For Dealing With The Heat
Regardless of how chronic pain is related to hot weather or humidity, the condition can cause significant problems that need to be addressed. When it comes to pain management or pain treatment and hot weather, these simple strategies can keep you feeling your best:
Stay indoors. Perhaps the easiest way to avoid weather-related pain is to avoid being outdoors when the conditions are inhospitable, said Ioonna Felix, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “Make sure you do not spend long periods of time outdoors,” she added. “If you do have to be outside, take frequent breaks to cool off indoors, and don’t overexert yourself.”
Adjust the air conditioning. Keep the air inside your home cool and keep the humidity low to treat pain. “Invest in an air conditioner or fan, as well as a dehumidifier,” Pappas said.
Eat and drink adequately. Stay hydrated with plenty of water , and eat a healthy diet to feel your best and keep chronic pain at bay.
Choose the right clothes. Dress for the weather. “Wear white or light colors, especially natural fabrics like cotton or silk, that are loosely woven and loose-fitting,” Dr. Lewis said.
Try cooling products. “For a natural approach, remember that mint refreshes the skin and leaves a nice, cooling sensation,” Lewis said. “Try mint soap, lotion, or powder.”
Consider These Home Remedies To Provide Relief:
*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your own health and dietary needs, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.
Heat Or Ice For Pinched Nerve Which Is Better
There is no such a thing as which one is better. One of the most recommended treatment options for a pinched nerve is hot and cold therapy, which actually requires you alternate between heat and cold so that both the swelling and muscle tension is addressed. Cold treatment can reduce inflammation, while heat can relax your muscles. Both can provide comfort for a pinched nerve.
Cold can be applied with an ice pack, while heat can be administered by taking a hot bath or by using a heating pad. You may have to experiment until you find the treatment best for you, but keep in mind you may need to seek medical treatment. Also, discontinue one or both if they cause you discomfort or pain.
How to Apply
When the area around a pinched nerve gets inflamed, it can cause your pain to get worse by compressing it even more. To promote circulation and relieve swelling, consider hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is a method that utilizes both heat and ice. First ice is applied up to four times daily to reduce swelling. At night, heat is applied for about an hour for up to five nights. Try the following: