For doctors and interested parties

Therapeutic indications for radon balneotherapy

Therapeutic indications for radon balneotherapy

by Dr. med. Christoph von Ascheraden

- General practitioner and thermalist at St. Blasien

- Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Radon Revital Bad

- Member of the board of directors of the association European Radon Spas EURADON e.V.

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Radon222, a naturally occurring radioactive noble gas, is regularly associated with long-term negative effects, for example from living in polluted dwellings, especially in poorly ventilated basements. It has been proven that long-term exposure to high doses can be harmful to health.

In St. Blasien-Menzenschwand, as in the other spas, radon222 is monitored, used only for a defined period of time and with a defined dose as directed by the spa doctor. The permissible annual dose is determined by legislation. The additional radiation exposure caused by the radon therapy does not lead to the legally prescribed exposure to natural radiation (terrestrial and cosmic) being exceeded. After decades of measurement results in European spas, it is clear that exceeding the legal limits can be easily avoided. Not only the population, but also people working in radon spas are not exposed to radiation exceeding the limit values. The radiation exposure of patients is also within the range of exposure to natural radiation. It has a clear advantage over the risks of drug therapies. 

When radon decays, high-energy alpha rays are produced, triggering certain processes in the cells. Other effects are studied and discussed in basic research:

- To increase the repair capacity of cells with regard to genetic damage.

- Stimulation of the release of endorphins with their complex spectrum of activity

- Pain relief may continue for several months after therapy.

- In addition, the immune system can be positively influenced and the production of anti-radicals can be increased.

Various studies (including randomized, double-blind studies) have shown that the therapeutic effect of radon occurs with some delay, but then continues for several months after treatment. These are not placebo effects. Radon treatment has been shown to result in a significant reduction in pain medication, which can last for weeks and months. The long-term success of pain therapy is therefore one of the scientifically proven effects of the dosed use of radon.

The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect benefits patients with a variety of clinical conditions

The following indications are treated in the Radon Revital Bad :

  • Chronic inflammatory diseases of the locomotive system, in particular chronic rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing ondylitis
  • Degenerative, chronic and active joint diseases (osteoarthritis)
  • Degenerative diseases of the spine (spondylosis, spondylarthrosis, osteochondrosis)
  •  Pain after intervertebral disc surgery
  • Painful Osteoporosis
  • Soft Tissue Rheumatism, Fibromyalgia Syndrome
  • Pain after an accident or sports injury
  • Health status after orthopaedic surgery
  • Neuralgia, neuritis, polyneuropathy
  • Pain after shingles (chronic post-herpes zoster pain)

After incorporation through the skin, alpha particles first enter the subcutaneous capillary network. There, inflammatory skin diseases can be effectively treated. In particular, the following diseases are treated:

  • Psoriasis
  • Scleroderma
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Low-intensity peripheral circulatory disorders
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Convalescence after an infectious disease
  • Chronic inflammatory and allergic diseases of the airways, especially bronchial asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract
  • Chronic sinusitis

Of course, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving healing processes are also possible without any diseases already present. Therefore, patients can also benefit preventively from the positive effects of radon, for example

  • Menopausal pain 
  • Prevention of age-related pain (gerophylaxis)