The infrared sauna blanket is one of the latest health craze products to repair muscles and speed recovery
Oftentimes, practitioners are especially cautious when recommending new products because they want to make sure that they do what they say they do. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, a NYC-area spinal and orthopedic surgeon with The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care , took time to answer our questions about benefits of the infrared sauna blanket. What follows is our interview, edited for length and clarity.
How does an infrared sauna blanket work?
The infrared sauna blanket uses infrared rays to heat the body similarly to how an infrared sauna does. You are supposed to wrap the blanket around your body and use it for around 15 minutes to an hour.
The infrared lights have been said to increase blood flow and help repair muscles and torn tissues.
The blanket can do the same things that an infrared sauna does as it uses the same technology. The infrared lights within the blanket are able to penetrate the body up to 6 centimeters and heat it from within. It is essentially the same as a sauna but from the comfort of your own home — and portable as well.
Can it help with issues bothering chiropractic patients?
The infrared blanket can help chiropractic patients suffering from torn muscles or aches and pains.
Infrared light aids the mitochondria in the body to repair muscle cells while growing new ones simultaneously. As mentioned before, this type of light is able to penetrate the skin much deeper than just a heat-based sauna. So, it actually reaches the muscles and tissues within the body.
The use of the infrared blanket after a rigorous workout or when you are feeling achy can help alleviate pain.
Is there any research that backs its benefits?
Infrared light has been studied in various fields of medicine as a way to treat pain. It is different than ultraviolet light as it does not damage the skin and cause skin cancer. Several studies show its benefits including this one for lower back pain: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2539004/
What kind of information can chiropractors pass on to patients about using an infrared sauna blanket?
While the infrared sauna blanket can be beneficial to the body, it needs to be used correctly.
Do not stay wrapped in the blanket if you begin to overheat or feel light-headed as this can lead to injury. The first time you use the blanket make sure to put the heat setting on low and only use for 12-20 minutes. If you feel comfortable, you can begin to increase your time in small increments.
Overall, the infrared sauna blanket is safe and can be a beneficial addition to your routine.
The infrared sauna blanket should not be a substitute for seeing a medical professional for serious muscle pain. If you are suffering from chronic muscle pain it is advised to make an appointment with a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.