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Red light therapy has many health benefits, and it is growing every day. Thousands of peer-reviewed clinical studies are witnessing tons of health benefits. Though, red light therapy is now only used for skin conditions. The benefits include wrinkles, scars, tissue damage, acne, and other persistent wounds.
Keep reading to find some of the red light therapy benefits, which are worth knowing. Also, knowing this benefit and side effects will surely come in handy if you wish to take red light therapy.
What Is Red Light Therapy
Working Of Red Light Therapy
Different Types Of Red Light Therapy
You might have heard red light therapy by different names. The names include
low-level light therapy
low power laser therapy
cold laser therapy
How Is Red Light Therapy Used
There have been thousands of experiments after the experiment with plants in space to find the actual power of red light therapy. Even some studies have also succeeded and proven that red light therapy has medical benefits. However, some medical centers have also determined that there is not much evidence to prove the health benefits of red light therapy.
Although, there is some evidence available that tells that RLT has some benefits. It can
improve hair growth in those people who are diagnosed with androgenic alopecia
increases healing rate for slow-healing wounds, especially in diabetes foot ulcer
helps in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
helps in tissue repair
aids with the short-term pain relief and stiffness in people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
it also helps in reducing some of the side effects, which include oral mucositis
help in healing sun damage
diminish wrinkles and also helps in improving the skin complexion and reducing skin roughness
reduce chances of recurrent cold sores caused by herpes, simplex virus infections
improve joint health, especially in people with osteoarthritis of the knee
diminish the scar
relieve pain and inflammation
However, after so many health benefits, the RLT is not covered by any insurance companies due to the lack of sufficient evidence. But, there are a few companies that cover the use of RLT for preventing oral mucositis that is caused during cancer treatments.
Red Light Therapy Benefits
1. Red Light Therapy For Pain And Inflammation
When you get released to red and infrared light waves, it releases nitric oxide. When nitric oxide is released, it enhances blood circulation. The increased blood circulation delivers some of the vital nutrients. And also transport oxygen to most of the damaged tissues. This helps in repairing and regenerating the injured tissues. Thus it helps in reducing pain and inflammation. The RLT also provides less invasive and safe pain relief methods, which are much better when compared to traditional methods.
More than 50 million people in the USA suffer from chronic pain and are only subjected to opioids for pain relief. Opioids can be very dangerous, and it is highly addictive. Due to the frequent opioid prescription, most people across the country are now going through opioid disorders.
Painkillers are taken simply to cut the signal from the pain receptors to the brain. Thus you don’t feel pain after you take pain medications. But once the effect of the pain medication wears off, the signal rebuilds, and the pain returns. It does not goes to the root of the pain and fix it. But, red light therapy act on pain and inflammation.
Rouge Red Light Therapy emits red light and near-infrared light, penetrating into the body tissues and then optimizes the functioning of the cell. Thus it reduces pain and inflammation in the body.
2. Wound Healing And Repairs Tissue
Some studies proved that RLT could help wound healing and tissue repair. Red light therapy ignites healing by reducing the inflammatory cells. Due to this, blood cells are stimulated, which then forms angiogenesis. Later it helps in increasing collagen production and also the fibroblast production. This helps in faster tissue recovery.
3. Helps In Muscle Recovery
There is also some other therapy that shows that red light therapy benefits are much better than cryotherapy. Even if someone takes both red light therapy and cryotherapy, it can’t match the benefits given by red light alone. In addition, these red light treatments are more effective than cold water immersion therapy, improving the short-term post-recovery.
There are not many significant health risks from red light therapy, and it is very useful for post-workout. Moreover, some studies have shown that red light therapy decreases the return to play time after a sports injury. If this is proved, sports players will not have to wait much longer to get fit and return to the field.
4. It Helps In Increasing Muscle Mass
Taking red light therapy as a pre-workout and post-workout therapy will help you increase your muscle mass effectively. Red light therapy works best for decreasing muscle fatigue, and thus it improves muscle performance during a workout. Many pieces of evidence tell that low-level laser therapy helps oxygen intake, which further helps in the increased sprint time and reduces the perceived fatigue. Moreover, low-level laser light therapy can increase your muscle power and help you get greater force during muscle contraction.
Some studies state that red and near-infrared light proves to be more efficient in increasing your muscle and the strength you gain from weight training. So, the red light and near-infrared light treatment after your training can be very effective for increasing your muscle mass. If you take light therapy before a workout, it will give you strength and let you do more reps in muscle training.
Since red light therapy works with the mitochondria, it enhances the functioning of your organs and produces more ATP. This ATP transfer more energy throughout your body, which helps you in giving more strength in your training time. Even this enhancer boosts your muscle recovery.
Most athletes now use red light therapy since it has such extraordinary benefits, and it gives the user a competitive edge which can improve the athlete’s performance.
5. Helps In Joint Pain
Low-level laser therapy improves muscle health. If an athlete has healthy joints, then it can give him great mobility and independence. Red light therapy has shown better joint health, thus reducing pain and extending the period between retreatment.
Especially for people suffering from morning stiffness, the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be treated quickly with the help of red light therapy devices. Moreover, a study in 2019 found that red light therapy greatly reduces the pain and disabilities caused by knee osteoarthritis.
You can get rid of your neck pain with the help of low-level laser therapy. It has shown improvements in neck pain and proper functioning of cervical osteoarthritis. Moreover, it has also shown great effects in acute neck pain, and even research suggests that low-level laser therapy can be beneficial for treating chronic myofascial neck pain.
There are also studies in which the participants suffering from nonspecific chronic low back pain were given low-level light therapy and showed greater pain levels when compared with the other group with different kinds of treatment for more than five years. To date, enough evidence proves that red light therapy significantly benefits joint pain.
6. Red Light Therapy For Skin
Even when exposed to the sun for a long time, you will face patchy sun spots, melasma, and actinic keratosis, which can cause skin cancer. Most of them are treated with skin peels and some chemical creams. But, this skin rejuvenation procedure can be painful and, at times, harsh on your skin. Instead, you can use a red light therapy device. The light emitting diode device emits red light, which is naturally produced by the sun and has a warming effect like the UV rays. The best part of this light-emitting diode device is that they are not harmful and gives patient satisfaction.
LED red light therapy also gives acne treatment. It has a positive effect on acne with no other harmful side effects. It is better when combined with blue light. When you get treated with red and near-infrared light, your skin conditions will improve and help you diminish your scars.
7. Red Light Helps In Sleep
More than 40% of the population suffers from insomnia, and around 15% of the people have to deal with chronic insomnia. These people develop some chronic illness that later affects their mental health. The blue light emits from the screen is mainly responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm. Blue light also inhibits the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that makes us sleepy.
On the other hand, red light helps you get better sleep. A blue light on the display conveys that blue light means morning, and a red light means sunset or sleeping time. Red light therapy is not only relaxing but there is some evidence that proves that red and near-infrared light can boost serum melatonin levels. It also increases the energy throughout the day
8. Helps In Hormone Health
Side Effects Of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is considered a safe and painless therapy. But some reports state that red light therapy has caused burns and blisters in some cases. Only a handful of people have developed burns on their skin after falling asleep in the active unit. On the other hand, a few people have experienced burns from broken wires or device corrosion, which was totally due to technical failure.
However, there is a chance that the eyes can be damaged due to RLT. But, these devices are much better than traditional ones, which pose a greater threat to the eyes. Proper eye protection is necessary when going under low wavelength red light therapy to ensure total safety.
There are also other kinds of light therapies available. But you should always consult your health care provider before undergoing any therapies.
Blue or green light therapy
Ultraviolet Light B (UVB)
Sauna light therapy
Psoralen and Ultraviolet light A (PUVA)