Chronic pain study supported by the University of British Columbia’s Clinical Investigator R3 program.
Dr S. Douglas, Dr J. Pawlovich, and Dr S. Pawlovich
In a chronic pain study to review the potential health benefits of far infrared therapy, through far infrared sauna (FIRS) use, the researchers published a journal with the Canadian Family Physicians of Canada stating that:
There is fair preliminary support for [Far Infrared Therapy’s] role in reducing chronic pain.The researchers at Clinical Investigator Program conducted a 4 week multidisciplinary study on 46 different patients with various chronic pains. Out of the 46 patients, a group of 22 patients received 15-minute Far Infrared Ray therapy sessions daily. The infrared therapy was administered with an infrared sauna throughout the 4 weeks.
After 2 years, the researchers found that the patients in the group that received infrared therapy were significantly more likely to have returned to work (77% vs 50%). The patients had improved sleep scores (mean [SD] = 5.4 [3.0] vs 3.5 [2.4]), improved anger scores (mean [SD] = 2.3 [1.6] vs 1.1 [2.0]) and had a greater improvement in pain behaviour scores (mean [SD] = 9.9 [1.8] vs 8.7 [1.9]).
The authors of this published study suggested that far infrared therapy might be promising for the treatment of chronic pain. The researchers used validated tools to measure pain, depression, and anger, and subject groups were well matched. Pain behaviour and sleep quality, however, were measured with unvalidated tools.
Source: The official journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada
Canadian Family Physician, July 2009 vol. 55 no. 7