- Amy Satterfield
HELP FOR ARTHRITIS PAIN
Updated: Feb 12, 2022
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a word that is used to describe an inflammation of the joints and a breakdown of the different linings (cartilage, joint capsule, synovial fluid) between and surrounding the bones. Symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion. Arthritis can be caused by excessive wear and tear at the joint resulting in a breaking down of the cartilage that lines the bones and provides cushioning. Some autoimmune disorders also result in a breakdown of the joint causing similar and even exacerbated symptoms. This can happen over a long period of time as we age, or as the result of an acute injury or even an infection. Luckily, in addition to working with your doctor, there are other ways you can take care of yourself and help ease some of the pain.
Did you know that in addition to movement through the practice of yoga to help with Arthritis, we have two additional POWERFUL tools at Explore to help combat Arthritis Pain. We’re talking about Infrared Sauna Therapy & Myofascial Release, both of which are offered at Explore. Combine one or both of these with your gentle movement practice to help combat some of the pain associated with Arthritis. Read a little more about both therapies below.
Our infrared saunas offer a full spectrum of wavelengths: near, mid and far infrared. A full spectrum sauna is important because each spectrum of infrared penetrates the tissue at a different level. Unlike traditional saunas where you step into intense heat (usually around 200 degrees) and can only stay for a brief period of time, the experience in an infrared sauna is similar to lying in the sun on a warm day and feeling the heat radiate to the core of your body.
A 2008 study* from the journal Clinical Rheumatology found “short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects” utilizing infrared sauna therapy. The study, conducted over an 4 week period (2 sessions per week), followed patients with rheumatoid arthritis as well as those with ankylosing spondylitis (inflammation of the joints of the spine). Study participants reported a decrease in pain, stiffness and fatigue both during and after an infrared sauna session. The study showed no adverse effects in either condition using infrared therapy.
Myofascial Release is a type of physical therapy and massage technique that you can do all on your own with the right tools. Using different MFR tools (we use high quality tools made by RAD Roller) we teach you the tools and techniques to encourage better slide and glide in the tissue, therefore optimizing circulation, mobility, and less tension leading up to the joints affected by arthritis.
A study* published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork observed a 54-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis who received six sessions of myofascial release therapy and showed improvements in pain, fatigue, and overall quality of life.
Click on the links below to read the research cited:
Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
Sustained Release Myofascial Release as Treatment for a Patient with Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Collagenous Colitis: A Case Report