Unlocking the Truth about Infrared Saunas and Metal Implants

Hey guys, Erin here. I’m one half of Sauna Squad with my husband, Paul. Some (most) would say I’m the better half. That’s us from our recent trip to Italy!

Our trip to Cinque Terre, Italy

Anyways, two things you need to know about me:

  1. I have scoliosis with a spinal fusion.
  2. I love to sauna. I especially love the heat and we routinely get our sauna up to 65°C (149°F).

I’m here to share my first-hand experience in using our infrared sauna with a metal rod attached to my spine. We’ll also explore whether the heat from an infrared sauna impacts people who have things like artificial hips or knees, or any other body part being held together by metal.

Our brother-in-law also has a cyborg upper arm from a broken humerus he suffered while playing football.  And he saunas with us regularly with no pain!

A gnarly x-ray of our brother-in-law’s metal plate + screws holding his arm together

Can you use infrared sauna with a metal implant?

Yes, you can use an infrared sauna with a metal implant. My personal experience with a spinal fusion is a testament to this.

I do understand the concerns and myths around this, though. The fear of the metal heating up to unbearable temperatures is real and pretty scary. But my implant hasn’t been adversely affected by infrared sauna use, nor has it resulted in discomfort during or after sessions.

I get that this is an anecdotal statement, but expert opinion and scientific findings appear to support it.

According to one study published by PubMed, the human body acts as a buffer, regulating the heat around the implant and maintaining a stable internal environment. This finding is further confirmed by many other infrared sauna users with metal implants.

Sauna and scoliosis with a spinal fusion

Lumbar spinal fusion x-ray for Sauna Squad
An x-ray similar to my spinal fusion

Living with scoliosis for most of my life has been a challenge. When I was 13, I received a lumbar spinal fusion of my L4 and L5 vertabrae and I had to re-learn how to walk again.

Since then, I’ve been extremely cautious with my back, always trying to take care of myself. We have two kids, and let me tell you, pregnancy and scoliosis do not mesh well together.

I’m so glad I found yoga because it makes a world of difference in strengthening the muscles around my spine. When we discovered our love of sauna, I discovered it really helped muscle recovery and general pain in my back as well.

So whether you’ve had your knee or hip replaced, or you’ve had a gruesome injury like my brother-in-law, you can rest assured your infrared sauna sessions won’t be impacted.

Understanding the science behind it

Woman and man sitting with eyes closed in sauna practicing mindfulness meditation

Understanding how infrared light interacts with metal helped to alleviate my fears. While metal can indeed absorb infrared radiation, the heat generated in the body from an infrared sauna doesn’t reach a level high enough to heat the implant significantly (or at all, really).

The localized heat from the sauna is dissipated throughout the body, preventing any hotspots around the implant.

Safety guidelines for infrared sauna use with a metal implant

If you’re still unsure of whether you should sauna with your metal implant, trust me I get it.  Even after researching into it, I was a little hesitant at first.

I did find it reassuring to know that I wasn’t in imminent danger.  However, I still read as much as I could about it before our inaugural sauna session.

I strongly recommend following certain safety guidelines for an enjoyable and risk-free sauna session. Moderation is key – keep the sauna sessions to an appropriate duration, and the temperature within a comfortable range. Always listen to your body.

And I can’t stress this enough, if you ever feel any discomfort, especially in the implant area, stop the session immediately and consult a medical professional.

Article wrap-up

To wrap up this article, infrared sauna use with a metal implant need not be a cause for concern. Scientific research and personal experiences like mine stand as a testament to the safety and benefits of infrared saunas, even for individuals with metal implants.

If you’re a little hesitant to jump in the sauna, I certainly understand. But for most people there should be nothing to worry about. You got this!

However, I should add that it’s important to note that everybody is unique, so always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new wellness regimen.

Stay warm, and enjoy your wellness journey!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that individual experiences with infrared saunas may vary, and it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new wellness regimen. We are not healthcare professionals and we are not giving medical advice.

A message from Sauna Squad

We hope we’ve provided some value in your research. But if you have any questions or concerns, hit us up on Instagram @thesaunasquad or feel free to fire us a message on our contact page.

Recommended reading: