Examination: Radon helps against rheumatoid arthriris

Examination: Radon helps against rheumatoid arthriris

New study confirms treatment success in 90 percent of patients

Those who speak colloquially of rheumatism usually mean the disease rheumatoid arthritis. Around 800,000 people suffer from it - among them women three times as often as men. Typical symptoms include swollen joints that are stiff and warm, especially in the morning, and cause excruciating pain. It often affects the finger joints on both hands, but mostly almost all joints cause complaints. A new observational study by the Gastein research institute of the Paracelsus Medical University is giving hope for those affected. It confirms an alternative healing method, radon heat therapy, significant success in pain and morning stiffness.

Typical of the course of rheumatoid arthritis is persistent inflammation, which over time leads to deformation and stiffening of the joints. In addition, patients often complain of decreased strength and difficulty in performing movements that require dexterity. In addition, flu-like symptoms, fatigue and exhaustion often occur. However, many sufferers not only suffer from the symptoms, but also from the fact that there is no cure. Therefore, they often have to take a variety of pain relieving medications, which often cause serious side effects. "A radon cure, in which patients enter a tunnel several times and allow radon, heat and high air humidity to work on them, cannot cure the rheumatism, but it has a positive effect on the pain, so that patients need significantly less medication," explains Univ.-Doz. Dr. Bertram HölzI, scientific director of the Austrian Gastein healing gallery. The new study confirms that radon heat therapy has had good results: up to one year after the end of the course, an average of 9 out of 10 patients reported an overall positive treatment success. Regarding the pain intensity and taking the pain medication, a significant reduction was found both immediately after the cure and up to one year after the end of the cure. The morning stiffness was also significantly lower. "Lowering the dose of painkillers plays an important role, especially for those suffering from arthritis, since taking so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs often results in serious side effects such as changes in the stomach lining and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract," explains Dr. Hölzl. "Less pain and fewer side effects mean an improvement in the quality of life for those affected in two ways."

The therapy is carried out as part of a cure in former mine tunnels. Radon naturally emerges from the rock many hundreds of meters inside the mountain. In order to use it therapeutically, sufferers take a train to the therapy stations. In several one-hour therapy units, patients ingest the noble gas in small amounts through the skin and lungs. Radon has been shown to reduce the activity of inflammatory cells in the body and inhibit the production of pain messengers. In combination with heat and high humidity, these effects are intensified. Health insurance companies often cover about 90 percent of the therapy costs. Otherwise, for example, an application in the Gastein healing tunnel costs around 60 euros. (pm)

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