Does Red Light Therapy Really Work? | Let’s Find Out!
There are a lot of emerging therapies, procedures, and treatments that are being constantly tried by researchers to treat different health issues. While some of these therapies have proven to be significant breakthroughs others are still being developed.
One such treatment that has shown a lot of promise in a wide range of applications is red light therapy treatment. While researchers say more clinical trials are still needed, red light therapy is already available and is being used to treat various ailments with varying degrees of success.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is the use of red light at a low wavelength in the treatment of various medical and cosmetic conditions.
There has been a lot of research and discussion on the effectiveness of red light therapy but so far, a lot more still needs to be done to determine its full effectiveness.
Red light therapy is known by a wide range of names, such as:
- Low-level laser light therapy
- Photo biomodulation and phototherapy
- Low-power laser therapy
- Biostimulation/photonic stimulation
- Non-thermal LED light
- Cold laser therapy
- Soft laser therapy
The following are some of the common applications of red light therapy:
While wrinkles are not necessarily a medical issue, they are a significant cosmetic problem on which billions of dollars have been used to research ways of reducing them.
Research has shown that red light therapy may smooth out wrinkles and improve the appearance of the skin by targeting other signs of aging. Using different applications, red light therapy may be effective in treating acne scars, UV damage, and burns.
Tendinitis can be a very painful condition that is usually caused by strain, repetitive motion, or overuse of particular muscle groups. People with tendinitis often experience sharp pain and extreme sensitivity to pressure in the affected areas.
A study conducted on a small group of people with Achilles tendinitis suggests that red light therapy may reduce inflammation and other symptoms of the condition.
Osteoarthritis is an age-related medical condition that causes a lot of pain and discomfort in older people as well as reduced mobility. A study conducted on various treatment options for this disease showed that red light therapy reduced pain by up to 50%.
- Hair Loss
One of the fastest growing branches in the pharmaceutical industry is that which deals with hair loss problems. In particular, a condition called androgenetic alopecia, which causes hair loss in both men and women, has received a lot of attention.
It has now emerged that using red light therapy for up to 24 weeks may promote the growth of thicker hair in people with this condition.
- Dental Pain
Temporomandibular Dysfunction Syndrome (TMD) is a condition that causes extreme pain and jaw tenderness. Red light therapy has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of TMD.
Common symptoms of dementia, which include poor sleep, memory loss, and anger management issues were reduced after 12 weeks of application of red light therapy to the head and through the nose.
How Does Red Light Therapy Treatment Work?
When using red light therapy, a lamp device that emits a specified amount of red light at a controlled wavelength is applied to the skin on the affected areas.
The light waves penetrate the body on a cellular level and are quickly absorbed by the power sources of the cell, called mitochondria. This results in a surge of energy which the cells use to spur recovery.
Red light uses similar wavelengths to those used in tanning booths that produce very little heat and do not emit any UV radiation.
Side Effects of Red Light Therapy
While red light therapy is generally considered a safe procedure, it does have a few mild side effects that are worth noting, such as:
- increased inflammation
Where Can I Get Red Light Therapy?
Many clinics and medical treatment facilities now offer red light therapy as one of the procedures used to target pain and other ailments.
However, one thing you should note is that red light therapy is not usually covered by health insurance so you will have to pay for it out of pocket.
Is a Red Light Therapy Device Safe for Home Use?
This kind of treatment is a non-evasive procedure which means with the right red light therapy device you can easily treat yourself at home without any problems.
The type of red light therapy device that you use depends on the application (for example wrinkles or pain) and your budget. However, in general, any device you opt for should be safe and easy to use.
Whether red light therapy really works or not is still an ongoing debate but research in the area is showing a lot of promise. The good thing about this treatment is that the risks are very low meaning you can try it for yourself without worrying about the consequences.