Red Light Therapy Pros And Cons
Red light therapy offers an excellent source of pain relief and better health. These pros and cons provide an insight into this treatment to make your decision better:
How Does Light Therapy Work For Arthritis And Joint Pain
Light Therapy or LLLT as its commonly known, works by targeting the cellular origins of arthritis. The cells absorb the wavelengths in the red and near infrared range , and convert that light energy into biochemical energy in the form of nitric oxide, through a process known as Photobiomodulation. This enables the cellular functions to work at a higher capacity, in-turn fastening the healing process. Researchers have proven that red and near infrared light increases energy production, or boosts the production of ATP.
After a short period of exposure to the specific wavelengths, blood flow is increased to nerves and other tissues. This boost in circulation is one of the reasons for pain relief from Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.Clinical studies show that light therapy can reduce pain on all parts of the body including knees, fingers, wrists, hands, elbows, back, shoulders, legs and the jaw.
Red and near infrared light reduces local stress, which helps your cells to function optimally again.
Inflammation Drugs Health Risks & Side Effects
Inflammation is usually treated with NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include lower-risk, over-the-counter varieties like aspirin and ibuprofen that can treat acute pain. To treat more serious chronic inflammation, people often take prescription NSAIDs. Prescription NSAIDs are also known as Cox-2 Inhibitors. Unfortunately, prescription NSAIDs have a troubling history and a long list of associated side effects and health risks.
The risks of NSAIDs are usually greater for people over age 60. Given all of this, its no surprise many doctors and patients are looking for more natural inflammation and pain treatments that dont rely on potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals.
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Mainstream Treatments For Arthritis
Currently there are hundreds of differentmedical drugs and surgeries used to treat arthritis. Here are a few common types.
- Steroid medications orinjections
The administration of the stress hormonecortisol switches off the immune system, which reduces inflammation the shortterm but accelerates the disease process in the long term. For osteoarthritis corticosteroid is injecteddirectly into the joint, and for rheumatoid arthritis corticosteroidmedications are administered orally.
These drugs also work by directly inhibitingthe immune system and include the chemotherapy drug methotrexate. Side effects can include heart disease,stroke, depression, infertility and cancer.
NSAIDs work by inhibiting the enzyme COX-2,which prevents the conversion of polyunsaturated fatty acids into the highlytoxic prostaglandins. This is a actuallyvery effective evidence-based strategy for treating this issue, however, NSAIDsare highly toxic, which suppress the immune system and increase the risk ofheart disease and cancer. .
To conclude this section, all treatments forarthritis offered by mainstream medicine are designed to suppress the immunesystem, increasing your chances of death from cancer and other diseases. Decide for yourself if this is the route youwant to take. Its your body and yourdecision.
Everyone Is Different: Start Slow
The severity of your skin condition, age, overall health, and sensitivity to light influence how long and how often to bathe your skin in red light.
Red light therapy is very safe, and rarely has any side effects. Still, we recommend a slow introduction to determine what will work best for you.
For the first week, begin with a 10-minute session every other day. During and after treatment you may feel a gentle warmth in your skin. Sensitive individuals may experience temporary redness and tightness. In this case, decrease your therapy time or move further from the device. If you dont experience redness or tightness, you can extend your daily therapy time to 15-20 minutes.
As with everything, more isnt necessarily better. You wont notice big changes in your skin immediately because healing is occurring at the cellular level and cells require time to heal and regenerate. Noticeable improvement usually comes after 8-12 weeks of consistent use.
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Regrow Hair On A Balding Scalp
Hair loss is a very common disorder, affecting more than 50% of the worldwide population.27 In the United States, an estimated 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from some form of hair loss, and around 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by the age 35.28
To date there are only two FDA-approved synthetic drugs that doctors can prescribe for hair loss: Propecia and Rogaine. Both of these drugs have a less than 50% success rate, and their side effects can be severe.29 Hair transplants are another option, but comes with a list of unwanted side effects including itching, pain, bleeding, swelling, infections, etc. and like the drug treatments, its efficacy is questionable.
I only have to venture to a major street in San Francisco to find that if there were an effective treatment for baldness, a majority of men are either not aware of it, or are choosing to be bald, writes hair loss researcher Danny Roddy.30
Red light therapy appears to be a safe and remarkably effective way to reverse hair loss and regrow hair on the balding scalps of men and women.
Red Light Therapy For Thyroid Disorders
One of the clinically demonstrated benefits associated with red light therapy is on autoimmune hypothyroidism . A 2013 randomized, placebo-controlled trial enrolled 43 adults with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, all of who had a history of taking levothyroxine . Those volunteers were then randomly assigned to either a placebo group or an infrared light therapy group . Thirty days after the treatment sessions were over, the volunteers were taken off levothyroxine and followed for nine months, during which the researchers reintroduced as much levothyroxine as needed in order for the participants to achieve normal levels of T3, T4, free-T4, and thyrotropin.
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How Much Does Red Light Therapy Cost
There is a wide variety of red LED light therapy products for at home use. Be prepared to spend at least $50, and even over $1000 for the more expensive, top-quality models. Depending on your needs there are small portable units that are convenient and easy to use, or deluxe home models at take up more space and must be plugged in. Whichever product you choose for at-home use, it is sure to be much more cost effective than visiting a doctor for the same treatment. To help you decide which is best for you, well discuss a variety of models in this guide below.
Safe For All Skin Types
Red light therapy is generally a secure method of treatment. There are no reports of red light therapy being harmful to any skin type in all of the research conducted. However, it should be noted that extensive exposure to any light type can be damaging to the skin. It’s vital to practice moderation.
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Treating Inflammation With Led Light Therapy
Natural red and near infrared light therapy is showing immense potential to be just that: a natural inflammation treatment without the pharma risks of traditional NSAIDs. If youre not familiar with red light therapy, the short version is this: light therapy delivers safe, concentrated wavelengths of natural light to your skin and cells. These red and near infrared wavelengths of light stimulate those cells and reduce oxidative stress, so your body is able to make more usable energy to power itself. This increases function, speeds healing, and lowers inflammation & pain, as demonstrated in numerous peer-reviewed studies. Natural light therapy & inflammation treatment: Red light therapy alleviates chronic inflammation by increasing blood flow to the damaged tissues, and its been found in numerous clinical trials to increase the bodys antioxidant defenses.
Clinical research from around the world has found light therapy to be an effective treatment for reducing inflammation in specific surgical contexts as well:
Using Red Light For Specific Conditions
Some conditions require more intensive treatment than others. This may involve using red light and near-infrared light alone or in combination. Red light penetrates the uppermost layers of skin to increase collagen production, ATP production, and increase circulation. NIR penetrates deeper into the body to reduce inflammation and support muscle and connective tissue healing.
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Saudi Arabian Study In 2016 On Red Light For Osteoarthritis
Researchers from the University of Dammam inSaudi Arabia experimented with two different doses of red laser light added toan exercise training program in older Osteoarthritic patients. Patients were assessed for joint pain, jointstiffness, physical function, isometric muscle strength, range of motion of theknee and quality of life.
The protocol included 2 sessions of exercise+ red light per week for 8 weeks, for a total of16 sessions.
- Group 1: 6J/cm² dose
- Group 2: 3J/cm² dose
- Group 3: Placebo
All three groups experienced significantreductions in pain intensity, increased muscular strength and range of motionof the knee, as well as increased physical functional ability. The greatest improvements were found in Group1 who received a red light dose of 6J/cm².
Is It Worth It
Do you suffer from any skin condition such as sun damage, acne, irritated rosacea-plagued skin, psoriasis, age spots and wrinkles? Are you tired of spending money on expensive promise-in-a-bottle creams, or cant afford expensive trips to the dermatologists office? If so, then yes, at-home red LED light therapy is worth the cost. Buying and using a device at home is much more cost effective and easier on time than expensive skin serums and dermatology appointments, and it can even enhance the results you can achieve with topical products.
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The History Of Red Light Therapy
In the 1990s red lights were used by NASA as grow lights for plants in space. The LED light used in these devices were ten times brighter than the sun. Therefore, they sped up plant cell production and the photosynthesis process.
Red LED lights were tested on human skin in the late 1990s, and it was discovered that red light helps human skin cells grow faster too. This discovery has led to red LED light usage in treatment for skin damage and conditions such as acne, irritated rosacea-plagued skin, psoriasis, age spots and wrinkles.
Red Light Therapy For Arthritis
There are many clinical studies showing the effectiveness of red light therapy in treating arthritis. A double-blind study conducted by the National Institute of Health stated:
Our measurement results provide evidence that treatment with the active LLLT probe resulted in significant improvement for all evaluated parameters. In the placebo LLLT group, we found nonsignificant changes in joint flexion and pain. In the active LLLT group, we found significant improvement with regard to joint flexion, pain, and pressure sensitivity in the active group in comparison with the placebo group at the times examined. The positive effects obtained from active LLLT still persisted 2 mo after treatment. The lack of effect on knee circumference was expected and has not been demonstrated with other therapies. In the placebo LLLT group, three patients gave an account of an explicit reduction in their complaints, which is in line with placebo improvement in studies of other KOA therapies.1
In a different study, Alves & colleagues used a rat model of osteoarthritis produced by intra-articular injection of the cartilage-degrading enzyme papain to test 810-nm LLLT. A single application of LLLT produced significant reductions in inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory cytokines 24 hours later. These results provide additional justification for the use of LLLT as a treatment for osteoarthritis.2
Increased Range of Motion
General Knee Pain
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Light Therapy For Psoriatic Arthritis
Get more information about phototherapy from the sun or a light box and how it may be a safe, effective treatment for your plaque psoriasis.
Most people are candidates for phototherapy. Exceptions include patients who have any of the following:
- Another condition that increases light sensitivity, such aslupus, porphyria or polymorphous light eruption .
- A history of melanoma.
- Very thick, inflamed plaques or untreated active disease.
- Excellent control of skin symptoms with a biologic drug.
Just Say No to Indoor Tanning
Do-it-yourselfers sometimes try to treat psoriasis with indoor tanning, but thats not a good idea. Many tanning beds and booths deliver an overdose of UVA light, which prematurely ages skin. Many studies also suggest it significantly raises the risk of both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. If you want to DIY, 15 to 20 minutes of natural sunlight while wearing sunblock is safer and more effective, according to Dr. Lewis. The goal of PsA treatment is to find what improves both joint and skin problems with the fewest side effects. Some of the newerbiologicsare so much more effective for skin symptoms, says Dr. Lewis. Yet phototherapy is less costly. The average annual price of phototherapy is about $3,000, whereas biologics run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Talk with your doctor and insurance provider to determine the best treatment plan for you.
What Types Of Pain Does Red Light Therapy Treat
Red light therapy has proven to be versatile for treating many pain types, including chronic, joint, neck, osteoarthritis, and more. Because it provides targeted pain relief, it’s incredibly versatile for various conditions. We’ve provided a list of the many pain types red light therapy helps along with studies.
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What Is Red Light Therapy Good For
Lets list some of the amazing red light therapy benefits:
- Boosts your immunity
- Promotes healing of muscles, bones, tendons, and even wounds
- Enhances hair growth and health
- Rejuvenates skin
- Helps alleviate different types of pain
In simple words, red light therapy helps our bodies maintain optimal levels of energy, necessary for all healing processes.
Our body works like a battery, and as such, it is positively and negatively charged on all levels. The level thats the most important for the healing processes is the mitochondria in the cells.
These cell organelles generate amazing quantities of energy. Thats why they are often called the powerhouse of the cell. For them to generate so much energy, they have to get it from somewhere.
One of the best ways to charge your mitochondria is to deliver red light to them which they, consequently turn into energy your body uses for many different processes.
Mitochondria have proteins in their membranes and are excellent light receptors. Therefore, when the red light from your device reaches those proteins, you are charging the mitochondria and they are distributing that energy where its needed.
Red Light Therapy Improves Mental Health
Red light therapy is known to enhance mental wellbeing, in both daily life and during stressful times. Its been proven to boost serotonin and dopamine levels.
Psychiatry studies have shown that the release of melanopsin, the colour sensitive receptor for red light, has been shown to help lift mood, thus increasing self-esteem. This is interesting because melanopsin is naturally produced in our brain cells, which is the reason why it has an antidepressant effect.
Other studies have shown that bright red light has been shown to decrease anxiety, pain and heart rate, and boost cognition.
As mentioned earlier, our body produces melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep and circadian rhythms, when exposed to the night time sky. The upshot of this is improved sleep which yet again helps with mental wellbeing.
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Norlanya Red Light Therapy Machine
The Norlanya Red Light Photon Therapy Machine aims to rejuvenate and firm your skin and tone your face, and you give you visible improvement in as few as 4 to 8 weeks.
So how will this device help you? It emits 660nm wavelengths of red light, to boost collagen and elastin production, improving skin problems. It has 2 modes, continuous and pulsed, and it is battery-powered, so it has cordless operation. It cannot be used while it is plugged in, but while this is annoying it is also a good safety feature. It charges from a USB, so you can even charge it up from your laptop!
The pack includes goggles, which you will need to wear during treatments, but the red light only turns on when the treatment head is in contact with your skin, to protect your eyes.
Harvard Study On Osteoarthritis In Rats
Dr. Michael R. Hamblin, Harvard professorfrom the Department of Dermatology, published a study in 2013 titled CanOsteoarthritis Be Treated with Light?
The study experimented with the applicationof near-infrared laser light on arthritis in rats. A singleapplication of LLLT produced significant reductions in inflammatory cell infiltrationand inflammatory cytokines 24 hours later. Put simply, a single treatment with near-infrared light significantlyreduced inflammation in the rats.
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About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
How Can Red Light Therapy Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Recent advancement in medical technology, the use of red light therapy, has brought relief to many of the patients suffering from different forms of arthritis, more specifically those ailing from the rheumatoid kind of arthritis. The use of Red light therapy has brought multiple benefits including reduction of inflammation and healing of chronic pains . Many patients have reported significant changes within the first 3 therapy sessions. Several explanations have been put forth to explain how this technology achieve such tremendous results within a very short period.
According to recent studies, red light or near infrared light of 740-850nm has been found to have the ability to penetrate the skin and cause a modulation of the immune cells thus reducing the impact of immune cells mistakenly attacking healthy body cells. Scientific evidence shows a correlation between the ability of the body to convert glucose to energy and arthritis . Boosting mitochondrion activity which produces among other products ATP, the energy-carrying molecule to the cells and tissues of our bodies, often speeds up healing from arthritis.
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