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kathryn+2 03-24-2007 11:14 AM

HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
I'm not talking about the weather. I'm talking about things like hot tubs ,saunas, steam rooms ,heating pads etc. Our problem is inflamation right? I know mine is. So it wouldn't make sense to apply heat to our bodies. Granted it does feel good while you are doing it. I love to sit in a jaccuzi. But it seems to me that it would only aggravate our condition in the long run. The reason I am bringing this up is because yesterday I went to our local spa and used their infrared sauna for the first time. It's pretty neat actually. You lay on a table and pull a cylander shaped device over you. Your head stays out. Then it heats up ,and you lay there and relax and sweat. I love to sweat. I think it's pretty beneficial,and because I don't get to work out like I used to where I would work up a good sweat,this sounded like a good thing. It felt great. Then I went into their eucalyptus steam room. Fabulous!!!! BUT..about an hour after I got home I was in worst pain i've been in yet . And today I'm still not feeling so hot. So what I'm wondering all this heat actually doing us more harm than good ? Seems to me it would be better to drug us and wrap us in an ice blanket for awhile..LOL! I'm seeing the rheumatologist on Tues ,and i'm going to run this by her.

Last'sGal 03-24-2007 08:04 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
Hi, Kat. I thought FMS is like arthritis, but without the inflammation?

Heat helps my pain tremendously... in fact, my heating pad has become by best friend. A hot bath or a visit to my Mom's hot tub do wonders too, although I can't put my chest under hot water or it feels like I'm trying to breathe with someone sitting on me. For me, cold is the enemy, except for a cold washcloth on my forehead when the headache gets too much to bear.

If heat bothers you, I wonder if you have some arthritis along with it?

elmhar 03-25-2007 12:56 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
Hi K+2,

IME, part of the longer-term issue with pools, jacuzzis & hot tubs is related to the sanitizing chemicals (chlorine & bromine) added to the water. The fluoride in water in most communities also enters the body through the skin, esp. when the water is warm or hot. The chemicals chlorine, bromine, and fluoride bind to iodine receptors throughout the body, and can cause thyroid hormone resistance at the cellular level. People vary in how adept their bodies are at getting rid of such toxins, but research is showing pretty clearly that at least one subgroup of fibro sufferers has significant deficits of the enzymes that deal with such toxins.

Saunas, esp. infrared saunas, have been known to flare up collagen vascular diseases like lupus. FIR (far infra red) has been known to fire up certain cytokines that promote inflam, in those who are genetically predisposed ...

The FIR saunas I've explored have been shown to mobilize toxins like heavy metals, mercury. If one is able to sweat them out directly, great. But if the toxins are mobilized & incompletely excreted, a flare may result. Most people undergoing serious chelation/metal detox are quite familiar with the sick, flu-y feelings associated with the process. Again, if one is in the subgroup of fibro sufferers with poor enzyme & glutathione function, mobilized metals will be a problem.

There's a relationship between metals in our bodies & viruses, but I'm not familiar with research about how a sauna experience with metal detox relates to viral loads. Many people with fibro & CFS have chronic, undocumented viral infections contributing to their pain & fatigue.

Most experts on FIR sauna recommend building time & temp up slowly ... start at 120 degrees for about 10 min. Do not increase time & temp until reactions are held to a minimum.

I have a neighbor who is a retired physical therapist. He told me that although heat is soothing in the short term, it is nowhere near as effective at pain reduction as ice. The cold reduces and in some cases, halts the firing of pain-nerve impulses. The downside of cold is that much of the muscle pain of fibro is due to hypoperfusion of muscle tissue. Warmth aids circulation to the tissue, while ice/cold increases hypoperfusion effects.

So my conclusion is that both heat & cold have their pros & cons for fibromites. I have a ceramic bead infrared heating pad that I fire up in my microwave & use on occasion (haven't for quite a while due to progress). I've tried a FIR sauna but like you had major regrets, mine for about 2 weeks post-sauna. I understand the principle behind the ice, but rarely use it as the short-term relief isn't worth the longer-term muscle aching, IME.

Best wishes.

GodsGirl4ever06 03-25-2007 03:56 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
I cannot stand the cold on my muscles half the time. It just makes me tense up and makes the pain worse. Heat seems to do me good. But, I have no idea about any long term issues with heat . . .

kathryn+2 03-25-2007 06:06 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
I don't like the cold either ..that's why they would have to drug me first!:)
My chiropracter kept telling me to apply ice packs to certain areas after she was done working on me ,but I just couldn't do it.
I guess I ;m just confused. The literature said that this infrared sauna was beneficial for chronic fatigue and FMS . So when I actually felt worse afterwards it got me thinking about heat vs. cold ...and how cold should be used for inflamation. I have lots of muscle pain. Tendinitis in both arms ,back muscles always tight and sore to the touch, shoulder pain, pain in my hands, hip pain, etc. But actually I'm not too bad in the fatigue area. I don't sleep well because I can't get comfortable...but I can make it through my day okay.I can still do normal household chores and gardening etc. I just have the chronic muscle/tendon inflamation thing going on. The thing is ...I haven't been formally diagnosed with FMS. Maybe that's NOT what I have. A few Dr's have suggested it ,and also I have tested negative in the past for lupus and RA, but I know that sometimes those negative results can be wrong. I will be seeing the rheumatologist for the first time on Tues hopefully she will help me get some answers.
Elmhar are always very knowledgable ,and I appreciate all your input.
thanks, Kat

elmhar 03-25-2007 06:51 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???

Anyone with multiple tendonitis should double check where their [B]free T3[/B] level falls in the reference range. T3 is active thyroid hormone, and it is [U]rarely[/U] checked by allopathic docs, most of whom are caught in the TSH-level-tells-all groupthink.

Even with a normal range TSH and free T4, I still had a very low free free T3. Surprise, doc! It's technically not supposed to happen -- but it does -- and not uncommonly in fibro. It's amazing what a few [B]micrograms[/B] of T3 hormone replacement can do for tendonitis in that situation.

If you aren't positive that your free T3 is in the upper half of the ref range, perhaps your rheumy will obligingly order the test. If not, there are labs that allow consumers to self-order certain blood tests.

Best wishes.

shelovescliche 03-25-2007 07:25 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
I haven't been able to take a hot bath/shower in a really long time, and I don't even want to THINK about going into a hot tub or a sauna.

It's not so much the pain as it is the exhaustion. If my shower water is too hot, I feel like I'll collapse right in the shower, and I start getting spots in my vision.

So I typically avoid the heat. I'm not really sure why it affects me like this--it helps the pain, for the most part, loosening the muscles and everything so they're not so tight. But I'd rather have tight muscles than severe exhaustion.

GodsGirl4ever06 03-25-2007 07:43 PM

Re: HEAT...short term relief..long term pain???
[QUOTE=shelovescliche;2882071]I haven't been able to take a hot bath/shower in a really long time, and I don't even want to THINK about going into a hot tub or a sauna.

It's not so much the pain as it is the exhaustion. If my shower water is too hot, I feel like I'll collapse right in the shower, and I start getting spots in my vision.QUOTE]

That happens to me all the time with the shower! I start getting nauseous, feeling weak, getting spots in my vision, and feel like I am going to pass out! I can't stay in the shower more than 10 minutes and it can't be too hot! I totally know what you're talking about here!

Anyone else? And what's going on with it?

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