RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Could Sauna Help or Be Good For It?

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Could Sauna Help or Be Good For It?

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Could Sauna Help or Be Good For It?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that primarily affects joints. It can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. The disease is also systemic in that it often also affects many extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles. The search for effective, natural remedies to manage RA symptoms is ongoing, and one potential therapy that has gained attention is sauna use.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues. Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities.

What is Sauna Therapy?

Sauna therapy, or sauna bathing, is a form of thermotherapy that involves exposure to high temperatures for a brief period. Saunas have been used for centuries in various cultures, primarily for relaxation and detoxification purposes. However, recent research suggests that sauna therapy may have several health benefits, including improved cardiovascular function, reduced stress levels, and relief from chronic pain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

There are different types of saunas, including traditional dry saunas, steam saunas, and infrared saunas. Each type offers a unique set of benefits, and the choice of sauna often depends on personal preference and specific health goals.

The Potential Benefits of Sauna for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reduced Inflammation and Pain

Research has shown that heat therapy, such as that provided by a sauna, can help reduce inflammation and pain in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that use of a sauna led to significant improvements in pain, stiffness, and fatigue in patients with RA.

Another study published in the Clinical Rheumatology journal found similar results, with patients reporting reduced pain and improved quality of life after sauna therapy. The heat from the sauna is thought to increase blood flow and promote relaxation, which can help alleviate pain and inflammation.

Improved Joint Mobility

Heat therapy from sauna use can also help improve joint mobility in individuals with RA. The heat helps to relax muscles and increase circulation, which can reduce joint stiffness and improve range of motion.

A study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases found that patients with RA who used a sauna regularly had improved joint mobility and function compared to those who did not use a sauna. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of sauna use on joint health in RA patients.

Things to Consider When Using a Sauna for Rheumatoid Arthritis

While sauna therapy can offer potential benefits for individuals with RA, it's important to keep in mind that everyone's body responds differently to heat therapy. Some people may find that a sauna helps to alleviate their symptoms, while others may not notice any difference.

It's also important to note that while sauna therapy can help manage symptoms of RA, it is not a cure for the disease. Sauna use should be seen as a complementary therapy to be used in conjunction with other treatments recommended by your healthcare provider.

Consult Your Doctor

Before starting any new treatment, including sauna therapy, it's crucial to consult with your doctor or rheumatologist. They can provide guidance based on your specific condition and overall health. Some individuals, such as those with cardiovascular conditions or those who are pregnant, may be advised to avoid sauna use.

Start Slowly

If you're new to sauna use, it's important to start slowly. Begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body adjusts to the heat. Always listen to your body and exit the sauna if you start to feel dizzy or uncomfortable.

Stay Hydrated

Sauna use can lead to significant sweating, which can result in dehydration if not properly managed. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to stay hydrated.


While more research is needed, existing studies suggest that sauna use could potentially help manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including pain, stiffness, and reduced joint mobility. However, it's important to remember that everyone's body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, including sauna therapy. With their guidance, you can determine if sauna use is a safe and effective complementary therapy for your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Enhance Your Journey to Health and Vitality with SISU

Embrace the potential of sauna therapy to not just live longer, but to thrive with enhanced vitality and independence. SISU understands the challenges you face, from the risk of chronic diseases to the fear of losing your zest for life. Our saunas are designed for longevity enthusiasts like you, aiming to improve your quality of life and extend your healthiest years. Take control of your well-being and combat the aging process with a simple step towards a healthier future. Shop saunas now and discover how SISU can support your journey towards a life of reduced chronic illness risk, invigorated vitality, and increased longevity.

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