For sufferers of muscle issues, cramp and myalgia the pain can be debilitating. The sudden onset of cramp or discomfort, with no obvious treatment is both physically mentally stressful. The thought of suffering frequent bouts of discomfort can affect both the physical and mental health of the patient.
These conditions aren't uncommon either, so in this article we're going to look at passive treatment options using infrared technology that can help to improve the symptoms of the conditions, but also reduce the frequency of issues.
Time to read: 7 minutes
- Using infrared technology as a general medical garment
- Infrared and cramps
- Cramps and Fibromyalgia
- Muscle aches and infrared as a treatment option
In this article we're going to look at passive treatment options for muscular aches, pains, cramp and myalgia using infrared technology. It'll help sufferers without the need for medication...
Using infrared technology as a general medical garment
The power of infrared clothing in the context of health and wellbeing isn't anything new. The early work was done around the turn of the century, and the medical uses have been discussed for around a decade. An example of a paper on the potential medical applications for infrared can be found here .
It has already proven to be an effective ally in sports performance and recovery, where athletes experience a disproportionate number of injuries and painful episodes.
Infrared and cramps
Some of the pioneering work on infrared and muscle cramping was done in the field of menstrual cramps. In the 2011 study, 104 women were split into two groups, one group of women wore a belt containing infrared technology and the other group wore a placebo belt.
The effects of the belt were statistically significant, with women who wore the infrared belt reporting a reduction in menstrual cramps and pain. What is interesting is that the longer the study continued (three menstrual cycles), the more effective the infrared was . There is nothing to suggest that this wouldn't be replicated in sufferers of general muscle cramp.
These results align with results found from a study on lower back pain from 2006 . Researchers in that study found that infrared not only helped to reduce the severity and frequency of lower back pain, but the improvements increased the longer the infrared was used.
This suggests that long term use of infrared clothing can have a major impact on musculoskeletal conditions.
Cramps and Fibromyalgia
One of the 10 known symptoms of Fibromyalgia is an onset of frequent and severe cramps. These can affect the quality of life of the sufferer and are usually associated with the severity of the disease . The prevailing thinking is that the cramps are the result of an over-excitation of the nervous system, resulting in unexpected and severe muscle contractions.
There is evidence from the menstrual cramping study that infrared helps to control these. Researchers in the study believe that the infrared has a beneficial impact on the nervous system, suggesting "it seems possible that FIRB may help relieve pain by regulating the autonomic nervous system".
This regulation of the nervous system could have potentially far-reaching benefits across the entire musculoskeletal system, resulting in a reduction in cramps across the body regardless of their location.
Muscle aches and infrared as a treatment option
There are numerous reasons why muscles ache, with theories such as impaired nerve function, reduced blood flow, mineral deficiencies etc being used to explain the issue. Fibromyalgia is the blanket diagnosis for a lot of them, but unfortunately merely diagnosing a condition doesn't do much in the way of treatment .
Instead we need to look at what we know to be effective mechanisms of treatment, which include warming the tissues, stimulating blood flow, managing inflammation and regulating the autonomic nervous system.
All of the above treatment options are offered by infrared, as we have proven in this article. We can point to strong evidence that shows the infrared improves blood flow , which in turn helps to improve movement, keep the tissues warm and reduce general inflammation.
Too often we turn towards medication to solve issues that we can help with far less invasive approaches. By wearing infrared clothing we're partaking in a passive treatment option in the sense that you all do is wear it. However, it has proven itself to be both effective and free from any known side effect.
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