Effects of Single Low-Temperature Sauna Bathing in Patients With Severe Motor and Intellectual Disabilities

Int J Biometeorol. 2008 Jul;52(6):431-7. doi: 10.1007/s00484-007-0137-0. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

Abstract

We have previously reported that thermal vasodilation following warm-water bathing and low-temperature sauna bathing (LTSB) at 60 degrees C for 15 min improves the cardiac function in patients with congestive heart failure. Through a comparative before-and-after study, we studied the hemodynamic and clinical effects of single exposure to LTSB in cerebral palsy (CP) patients who usually suffer from chilled extremities and low cardiac output. The study population comprised 16 patients ranging between 19 and 53 years with severe motor and intellectual disabilities. Noninvasive methods were used to estimate the systemic and peripheral circulatory changes before and after LTSB. Using blood flow velocity analysis, the pulsatile and resistive indexes of the peripheral arteries of the patients' lower limbs were calculated. Following LTSB, the patients' deep body temperature increased significantly by 1 degrees C. Their heart rates increased and blood pressure decreased slightly. The total peripheral resistance decreased by 11%, and the cardiac output increased by 14%. There was significant improvement in the parameters that are indicative of the peripheral circulatory status, including the skin blood flow, blood flow velocity, pulsatile index, and resistive index. Numbness and chronic myalgia of the extremities decreased. There were no adverse side effects. Thus, it can be concluded that LTSB improves the peripheral circulation in CP patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Cyanosis / therapy
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychomotor Disorders / physiopathology
  • Psychomotor Disorders / therapy
  • Steam Bath*
  • Temperature