If you suffer from persistent pain, you’ve probably tried everything possible to help reduce it. Medications might be useful, but they often are pricey and can have some super negative side effects, including addiction and worse. And there’s always invasive treatments, but there’s a lot involved with surgery!
One option to try for pain relief is light therapy. There are many FDA-approved systems out on the market now that provide powerful relief for a variety of ailments.
This method is not only a natural choice, but is very easy to use and comes with plenty of great benefits. No invasive surgery, no drugs, or medications. Just light. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the possibilities of using Light Therapy for Pain. We’ll also look at a few devices that may be a good starting point for those suffering from pain.
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, uses light in specific wavelengths to provide both physical and mental comfort to your body. Light therapy emits heat through your skin, usually in the form of red and blue light, which can significantly help to reduce pain and improve circulation.
This is because the light sends signals to the brain which encourages it to release “feel-good” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
There are a vareity of benefits of light therapy, and not just for pain. Many use light therapy for beauty purposes, including light therapy for acne, light therapy for rosacea, and light therapy for hair growth.
Light Therapy Wavelengths: Red and Blue Light
Light therapy will emit two main types of wavelengths: red and blue, though others are used in certain circumstances.
Red light is the main wavelength used to help treat pain. This is because it works to stop inflammation, promote healing, and encourage stronger muscles and joints. Red light is able to do this because it produces heat that soothes sore muscles and reduces inflammation that causes pain.
Red light is also frequently used for beauty purposes.
Red light therapy is commonly encountered by those who use Planet Fitness as their gym. Many Planet Fitness branches have a Beauty Angel Total Body Enhancement Machine, which uses Red Light Therapy for a variety of beauty and performance uses.
Blue light helps to decrease pain while also improving your circulation. In addition to this, it’s often used to help kill harmful cells in your body that might cause pain, such as cancer cells.
Blue light can directly hit areas of pain that are located right beneath the surface of your skin which can help it to quickly heal areas of concern. While using blue light to stop pain, you’ll also find it can improve your skin’s health and reduce redness and wrinkles.
What Can Light Therapy Help Heal
You’ll find that light therapy can help heal and reduce the symptoms of numerous conditions. This includes:
- Neck and back pain
- A weak immune system
- Torn muscles
The Benefits of Using Light Therapy for Pain
There are many benefits that come with using light therapy for pain. Below are some you’ll find if you decide to use it.
It Stops Muscle Spasms and Stiffness
Muscle spasms can be very irritating. Light therapy can help to calm your muscles by keeping the surrounding nerves relaxed. It also reduces inflammation around your muscles that could cause stiffness. This can help you to more easily move painful joints or muscles, bringing relief.
It Improves Blood Circulation
Light therapy heats up your skin which encourages more blood circulation in the area where the therapy is being used. Because of this, you’ll find that your improved blood circulation can help you to move around easier, improve your immune system, and even benefit your skin.
It Can Prevent Depression
Many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the wintertime. Light therapy from lightboxes and light therapy glasses can help to regulate your circadian system and combat SAD symptoms. These products can help give you more energy, help you get better sleep, and help you get through the winter doldrums.
How Light Therapy is Done
Regardless of the type of light therapy you use, most devices work in a similar fashion. After turning on the device, you typically hold it over the area you are targeting for a few minutes.
This could involve you either wrapping the area with a cloth or running a scanner-like item over the painful area, depending on the device. Once turned on, the device will emit red and blue light. Your body will soon absorb these wavelengths so they can get to work reducing any pain you might have.
Side Effects of Light Therapy for Pain
While light therapy for pain is safe, there are a few side effects you’ll need to keep an eye out for. This includes eyestrain, headaches, insomnia, and sometimes nausea. This most commonly occurs when using light therapy masks or devices that give light exposure to the eyes. Most products that do this suggest you wear protective goggles.
You also need to use caution when using light therapy if your skin is extremely sensitive to light, such as if you have a condition like systemic lupus erythematosus. If you are on medications, you should also ask your doctor beforehand to make sure they won’t interact negatively with the therapy.
Types of Light Therapy for Pain
There are two main ways you can get light therapy. These are home devices and professional devices.
Professional Light Therapy Devices
You can visit a local dermatologist, doctor, spa, or esthetician who will have powerful light therapy devices that they will run over the areas of pain.
These sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour and usually require you to have a few visits before you start to see full results.
Home Light Therapy Device
The other method is to use a home light therapy device. You’ll find a few different home devices you can choose from, which include large lamps, body wraps, and even small lights you need to hold over an area of concern. The right option to use will depend on your preferences and needs.
Home devices may not be as powerful as the types of devices found in professional doctors’ offices. But many home light therapy devices work quite well and are effective pain relievers and body treatments.
Two very popular home light therapy devices designed to treat pain are the TENDLite and the Laser Touch One light therapy device. Let’s take a brief look at both of these devices here.
The TENDLite is a fascinating pain relief device. This FDA-approved red light therapy device uses 660 nm wavelength red light to treat minor joint pain and promotes healing.
We’ve put together a complete review of the TENDLite if you’d like to learn all about this powerful handheld pain relief device.
Like the TENDLite, the Laser Touch One also uses red light to treat minor joint and muscle pain. The LTO uses Low-Level Laser Technology (LLLT) of 1mw power to treat pain. It uses 670 nm wavelength red light to provide soothing pain relief without the need for drugs or invasive surgery.
We’ve written a great deal more about the LTO in our Laser Touch One Review.
Light therapy is an excellent method to use if you’d like to treat pain without drugs or invasive methods. In addition to helping with removing pain, light therapy also comes with plenty of other benefits, like improving your immune system.
Because of this, it’s an option you should definitely consider if you want something non-invasive and affordable that helps to heal your pain.