Alleviating pain: inhalation sessions in the radon tunnel
With the AcuRadon radon therapy in the Sanitätsrat Dr. Jöckel-Stollen tunnel, Bad Kreuznach is able to offer a local remedy which is not available anywhere else in Europe. It is used above all to treat pain caused by rheumatic diseases.
Over 100 years of radon therapy
In a disused mercury mine, Bad Kreuznach boasts the first tunnel in the world to be used for radon therapy. It helps above all to treat pain caused by rheumatic diseases. There are similar facilities in Austria, Russia and South America, but no other site provides better conditions for the elderly and those with poor blood circulation. The air in the radon tunnel contains a low concentration of the radioactive gas radon, which is harmless when medically prescribed. Radon gas is produced by the radium contained in the porphyry rock of the massif. Bad Kreuznach chemist Dr Karl Aschoff discovered radioactivity from radon in 1904, and it has been used for inhalation therapy since 1912. Today, ACURADON, a division of AccuMeda Holding, is responsible for the management of the radon tunnel.
Indications for radon therapy
By stimulating the immune system, radon can help successfully treat diseases such as:
- ankylosing spondylitis and other spondyloarthropathies
- chronic polyarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis)
- chronic arthritis urica (gout)
- chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases
- psoriasis arthropathy / psoriasis
- polymyalgia rheumatica
- degenerative spinal diseases (spondylosis, spondylarthrosis, osteochondrosis) including symptoms after intervertebral disc surgery
- degenerative joint diseases (arthroses)
- non-inflammatory soft tissue rheumatism, e.g. fibromyalgia syndrome
- chronic effects of injuries from accidents and sports
- post operation symptoms
- neuralgia, neuritis, polyneuropathies
- multiple sclerosis
Radon therapy may be possible for other indications after individual assessment (based on the consensus list of the EURADON-European Association radon spas eV).
In a pleasant and almost dust-free atmosphere, patients inhale the dry, warm air in the radon tunnel in eight to ten one-hour sessions. The physical half-life of radon is 3.8 days; its biological half-life is just 20 to 30 minutes. This means that half the radon is discharged from the body in this time. The success of the therapy is based on the radon stimulating the metabolism. A long-term study proved radon therapy to be particularly successful in alleviating pain for sufferers of ankylosing spondylitis. Many patients are able to do without painkillers and their damaging side effects for some time after therapy. Radon therapy is available only on prescription.
Contact a balneologist or the Crucenia Health Centre.
How can I get radon tunnel treatment?
Treatment in the radon tunnel has to be prescribed by a local balneologist. Dr med. Andreas E. Zöller, consultant in nuclear medicine and medical radiation protection officer, is the medical director of the radon tunnel. The doctor sets the total number and length of the inhalation sessions. Inhalation is done at a pleasant room temperature. Patients remain fully clothed during treatment. Appointments for treatment sessions are made and paid for at the Crucenia Health Centre, where any other questions can also be answered.