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RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR JOINTS

Find out why red light therapy is good for joints

Arthritis and joint problems affect more than 40 million Americans and so many more around the world. Many turn to pills and surgery for these ailments. 

A great overview of how red light therapy for arthritis can be found here

Does red light therapy for pain work?

The idea behind red light therapy for pain is that infrared light penetrates the skin without cutting it. There is evidence that infrared light stimulates mitochondrial functioning. The mitochondria is the part of the cell that stimulates healing and produces protein and collagen.

Recent research has shown that this type of therapy can work to help reduce inflammation. A triple-blind study of mice has shown that neuropathic pain from inflammation was significantly decreased with the use of red light therapy.

Does red light therapy for pain work?

The idea behind red light therapy for pain is that infrared light penetrates the skin without cutting it. There is evidence that infrared light stimulates mitochondrial functioning. The mitochondria is the part of the cell that stimulates healing and produces protein and collagen.

Recent research has shown that this type of therapy can work to help reduce inflammation. A triple-blind study of mice has shown that neuropathic pain due to inflammation was significantly decreased with the use of red light therapy.

Red light therapy for osteoarthritis

This help with inflammation can be especially powerful for patients suffering from pain due to inflammatory conditions like knee osteoarthritis (OA). A recent study comparing the effects of low intensity light therapy and high intensity light therapy (HILT) found that both were effective at decreasing pain and increasing function when combined with exercise (with HILT being slightly more effective).

Red light therapy for neck pain

High intensity laser therapy has also been proven effective at relieving chronic neck pain. A double-blind, randomized controlled study of 60 chronic neck pain patients found that high intensity light therapy increased range of motion, decreased pain, and improved functionality over six weeks when compared to placebo laser therapy. Both groups also used exercise in their treatments.

Red light therapy for back pain

Yet another study demonstrated that portable infrared therapy packs strapped to the back of the waist were effective at reducing chronic lower back pain. These results surpassed the pain reduction felt by the placebo group. This study utilized high intensity light therapy at wavelengths between 800 and 1200 nm over seven weeks.

Low intensity light therapy also seems to increase blood flow to the skin, an action that can decrease healing times for cutaneous injuries or wounds.

It is important to distinguish between simply shining a red light on the skin and utilizing red light therapy. Red light therapy for pain uses a laser to actually penetrate the skin without cutting it. Sitting under a red light bulb (like the kind you can buy at the hardware store) isn’t likely to do anything except warm your skin. For very superficial cuts or wounds, a simple red light bulb may help speed clean-up and removal of dead cells, but for deeper pain, a laser is the only option.

 

 

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