Is Sauna Good for Back Pain? (With Practical Advice & Tips for Relief)

The sauna seems to be good for practically everything. If you have aches and pains in your back, you’re probably wondering if the sauna can help you out. You’re in luck!

The sauna is good for back pain. Studies have proven that saunas reduce low back pain, both acute and nonspecific. The steam room is your best option because wet heat penetrates muscles more quickly than dry heat. For best results when using a steam room for back pain, work your way up to three sessions a week of 15 minutes each.

Read on to learn about how the sauna helps alleviate back pain!

Can the sauna help with back pain?

Back pain is incredibly common and can range from being a minor inconvenience to fully debilitating. Saunas are often looked upon as a one-stop-shop for all things health. So can the sauna help with your back pain?

The sauna can help with back pain. 70% of participants in a study reported reduced low back pain after using a sauna. The steam room is the best kind of sauna for back pain because wet heat penetrates muscles more quickly than dry heat.

Back pain can have many causes, including:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured disks
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

Some back pain is mechanical, while other back pain is inflammatory. Inflammatory back pain usually starts under the age of 35. It tends to be the worst in the morning or after you’ve been inactive, but it eases up with activity. 

If you have inflammatory back pain, you should seek out a rheumatologist. They can prescribe medication for you, which can help prevent permanent joint damage.

Other treatment options include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication (typically anti-inflammatory)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Narcotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical intervention

If you’re looking for a more holistic approach – or some supplementary help – it’s been found that dry sauna therapy can help low back pain! Seventy percent of participants who rated their pain scores reported reduced pain after dry sauna therapy. 

This is huge news. Low back pain is one of the most common symptoms reported by people who visit hospitals. If doctors can start suggesting sauna therapy for patients with low back pain, it may be able to greatly improve their quality of life!

Is heat good for back pain?

When you have an injury, you can either ice it or apply heat. It’s sometimes unclear which is your best option. Is heat good for back pain?

Heat is good for back pain. Low levels of thermotherapy greatly reduce both acute and nonspecific low back pain. It’s common for people who suffer from back pain to use heating pads on their back for relief.

Applying low levels of thermotherapy significantly reduces acute and nonspecific low back pain

Thermotherapy increases the flexibility of soft tissue, muscle resistance, contraction of smooth muscles, and muscle motor function. It also inhibits pain signals.

Does sweating help with back pain?

Saunas make you sweat a lot. Does this have anything to do with back pain?

Sweating does not appear to help back pain, although back pain may result in night sweats.

However, sweating can help you detox:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury

Is steam good for back pain?

There’s something special about a hot, steamy shower. It’s good for our respiratory tracts and boosts skin health. How does it hold up against back pain?

Warm steam is good for back pain because moist heat penetrates muscles more quickly than dry heat.

Steam can penetrate muscles faster than dry heat, providing better pain relief.

Which type of sauna is best for back pain?

Let’s see what your best option is, considering all of the information we’ve accumulated so far.

The steam room is the best type of sauna for back pain because moist heat penetrates muscles more quickly than dry heat.

The steam of the sauna will feel incredibly soothing on your aching back!

Traditional dry sauna for back pain

Let’s go over best practices while using the traditional dry sauna for back pain.

To use the traditional dry sauna for back pain, stay in for 10 minutes at 150°F three times a week to reap the most benefits. Beginners should start with five minutes and work their way up from there. Don’t exceed 20 minutes. 

Benefits of the traditional dry sauna include reduced blood pressure, better relaxation, the loss of toxic fluid via sweat, and reduced arterial stiffness (among others).

As always, stay hydrated while using the sauna.

Infrared sauna for back pain

Maybe you’re all about the infrared craze!

To use an infrared sauna for back pain, go three times a week for 30 minutes each session. If you’re a newcomer, start with five-minute sessions. Never stay in the infrared sauna longer than 45 minutes.

Besides less back pain, infrared saunas can help with stress reduction, boost your metabolism, and regulate blood circulation.

To reap the most benefits, stay in for at least 20 minutes at 120°F. Keeping this regimen consistent can result in lower blood pressure and relief from chronic bronchitis and asthma. 

Never use the sauna unless you’re properly hydrated.

Steam rooms for back pain

Steam rooms are your best option for back pain. 

To use a steam room for back pain, go three times a week and stay in for 15 minutes. Steam rooms are the best kind of sauna for back pain. Beginners should start with five minutes and slowly increase the time spent. Never exceed 20 minutes. 

Steam rooms are the best type of sauna for back pain because of steam’s ability to penetrate muscles with wet heat.

Some other benefits of steam rooms are reduced stress and enhanced skin health.

Be sure to always stay hydrated while you’re using the sauna.