A case study was reported in Sweden of a 70 year old man with Rheumatoid Arthritis secondary to acute rheumatic fever. He had reached his toxic limit on Gold injections and his Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate was still at 125. Within 5 months of undergoing an infrared treatment, his ESR was down to only 11. In the case of rheumatic arthritis of a 14-year old Swedish girl who couldn’t walk comfortably downstairs due to knee pain since she had been eight years old, her rheumatologist told her mother that her child would be in a wheelchair within 2 years if she refused gold corticosteroid therapy. However, after 3 infrared sauna treatments, she began to become more agile and subsequently took up folk dancing, without the aid of the conventional approach in her recovery. A clinical trial in Japan reported the successful solution in seven out of seven cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis treated with whole-body infrared therapy. These case studies and clinical trials indicate that further study is warranted on the usage of whole-body infrared therapy in the care of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The following is a summary from Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th edition, ED. Just us F. Lehmann MD, William’s and Wilkins, Chapter 9 or concluded from the data there in.
Generally it is accepted that heat produces the following desirable therapeutic effects:
1. An inner-light spa increases the extensibility of collagen tissues.
Tissues heated to 45�C and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5 ~0.9% that persists after the stretch is removed. It does not occur in these same tissues when stretched at normal tissue temperatures. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce around 10 ~ 18% increase in length in tissues heated and stretched.
This effect would be especially valuable in working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fasciae, and synovium that have become scarred, thickened or contracted.
Such stretching at 45�C caused much less weakening in stretched tissues for a given elongation than a similar elongation produced at normal tissue temperatures.
The cited experiments clearly show that low-impact stretching can produce a significant residual elongation when heat is applied together with stretching or range-of-motion exercises, which is also safer than stretching tissues at normal tissue temperatures.
This safer stretching effect is crucial in properly training competitive athletes so as to minimize their “down” time from injuries.