Many athletes are discovering the benefits of red light therapy and infrared light therapy. This non-invasive modality can soothe aching muscles, aid recovery from sports injuries, and improve general wellness. Light therapy involves directing specific wavelengths of light from an LED light source to a body part. The light penetrates the skin under red light devices; users can address not only pain but other conditions, all from the comfort of their own homes.
Common Sports Injuries to Tackle with Red Light Therapy
Sports injuries typically fall into two categories: acute injuries or overuse injuries. Either type can cause intense pain and require athletes to restrict their activity. Lost training time means reduced performance. The Laser Therapy study above covered injuries in both categories, including sprains, strains, ligament damage, tendonitis, and contusions. Light therapy has also been shown to reduce cervical neck pain, which is common not only for athletes but also for "desk jockeys."
Best Red Light Therapy Devices for Athletes
How often you should use light therapy depends on your device, body, and your physician's recommendations. The best light therapy products for athletes have a high-powered LED light source that uses red or infrared wavelengths or, ideally, a combination of the two. Each wavelength penetrates to a different depth within the body. Look for FDA-cleared devices and always use them according to the directions. Athletes who use light therapy typically experience few, if any, side effects. However, the risks of overuse are low.
Uses a specific natural wavelength of light for therapeutic benefits, both medical and cosmetic - see results in as little as 10 minutes per day.
- IR and NIR (610, 630,660,670,730,850nm)
The Problem & Solution
When cells age and become stressed, the mitochondria produce their own Nitric Oxide (NO), which competes with Oxygen and often wins. This molecule blocks the receptor site that Oxygen binds to during the respiratory process — the process of turning sugar in the blood into cellular energy. With a diet rich in antioxidants and rest, our body manages excess Nitric Oxide. If the body is too stressed, it cannot correctly remove enough Nitric Oxide fast enough. This causes ROS (reactive oxygen species) and is known as Oxidative Stress. Reactive oxygen species are toxic and begin inflammation, cell death, and the expression of genes responsible for cancer, Alzheimer's, osteoarthritis, and other diseases.
When a protein absorbs red & near IR (infrared) light in the mitochondria called Cytochrome c Oxidase (CcO), mitochondrial NO is dissociated from CcO, and oxygen transport returns to normal. CcO is the last enzyme in the respiratory electron transport chain. This downstream effect increases ATP production among many other beneficial intracellular responses. In other words, the cell functions again at optimal levels. Cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs, and organs make up humans. All aspects of the 11 major organ systems benefit, from faster recovery to improved energy and strength.