Infrared light therapy has been one of the prominent therapies nowadays for its versatile health effects. Several companies are now manufacturing NIR devices to give general people access to this amazing infrared physical therapy. Specific near-infrared wavelengths penetrate deeper into the skin and reach bone and muscle cells. Upon reaching there, these wavelengths energize those body cells to elevate health benefits.
Let’s discuss them in detail.
Near-Infrared Light Therapy:
Light therapy was invented to help people get healed from injuries faster. However, the widespread benefits of light have made more and more industries include this therapy for several wellness routines.
In the beginning, visible lights were mostly used to deliver these health benefits. However, soon researchers found out the excellent qualities of near-infrared light therapy. Nowadays, near-infrared lights are widely used for physical therapies.
In this therapy, 810 -860 nm infrared wavelengths are used to deliver the benefits. As infrared wavelengths are slightly bigger than visible light, they can penetrate deeper into the skin and influence bones and muscle cells to take part in the healing process.
When users administer this therapy, the following incidents take place immediately:
- Body cells receive light energy,
- Metabolic functions boost,
- Blood flow increases,
- Several hormones and protein production increases.
Due to these benefits, this infrared physical therapy is widely used for the following treatments:
Management of Chronic and Acute Pain:
Several clinical trials have shown that near-infrared therapy can help users treat sports injuries, chronic low back pain, neuropathic pain, overuse injuries, broken bones, osteoarthritis, and much more chronic and acute pain.
As the body cells receive light energy, they can start repairing the injured cells and replicate themselves effectively. Also, due to boosted metabolism, the blood flow rate in the body increases. Therefore, blood can transport oxygen and other necessary nutrients throughout the body.
Thus, the body can actively fight against inflammation and infections. Also, near-infrared wavelengths influence collagen production in the human body. Collagen is a special protein that makes up almost 80% of each human cell. Boosted collagen protein helps near-infrared therapy users heal from injuries effectively.
Moreover, melatonin hormone production is also increased due to near-infrared light. This hormone helps patients to relax and reduce stress effectively.
NIR wavelengths also generate a small amount of heat in the body. This helps people to manage pain and increase connective tissue elasticity effectively. This property has made NIR therapy widely used to treat health conditions in heat-sensitive body areas.
With this therapy, it is possible to manage pain while increasing mobility after suffering from acute or chronic pain.
Near-infrared treatment can accelerate the healing of connective tissue, muscles, the brain, bones, and nerves after injuries. In some cases, this therapy can support wound treatment that is hard to heal.
A 2015 study showed that participants receiving NIR therapy can regain their strengths within a very short time and can return to their usual workout routines. This therapy aids in improving skeletal muscle function and assists in rehabilitation after musculoskeletal injury.
Bone Health Improvement:
Patients with osteoporosis and other degenerative bone loss disorders, even broken bones, can be treated with near-infrared therapy. This therapy has shown significant promise in improving bone density by suppressing sclerostin.
The improved metabolism in the body due to NIR therapy helps reduce cell damage from oxidative stress. It also improves blood health formation and stimulates bone growth by producing collagen and procollagen production.
Many athletes and professional sports teams are now including this therapy in their workout routine. They expressed that this therapy helps them increase muscle density and strength. Therefore, they can perform better on the field.
Moreover, this therapy helps in recovering after intense workout sessions and post-injury. As this therapy increase bone density, they become more resistant to injury. Also, NIR therapy helps bruises and broken bones to heal within a short time.
Osteoarthritis Joint Pain:
Degradation of cartilage is one of the significant causes of joint pain. Previously it was thought that cartilage regrowth is impossible. However, a 2017 study expressed otherwise.
This study shows that when NIR therapy is combined with glucosamine supplements, it can influence synovial cartilage within the joint capsule. A 2019 study also corroborates this result.
One can improve their motion range and flexibility by using NIR therapy properly. Also, arthritis patients can successfully prevent morning stiffness with the help of this therapy.
Light therapy has helped a lot of people in treating their health conditions. However, a light therapy device needs to emit the right light wavelengths to offer these benefits to the users.
This treatment is used on bare skin to allow the light to travel deeper into the patient’s body. The process is non-invasive and has no side effects. So, anyone can safely use it to treat their health condition.
However, some users may have overly light-sensitive skin. Therefore, to be completely sure, one should consider consulting a doctor before getting this therapy.
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”