Red light therapy has become popular over the past couple decades. The technology behind red light therapy came about during the mid 1900s. It originated from a study that attempted to prove that red laser light can be used to combat cancer cells in rats. From that study, red light found its way into treating human problems like hair loss and chronic pain. Although clinical studies have proven that cold lasers are effective, it’s not uncommon for this research to be met with some skepticism.
In this blog, we’ll be answering whether or not the infrared light that is used in red light therapy is safe to use.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work on The Body?
Red light therapy works when a specific wavelength of light hits your cells, triggering a chemical reaction in your body. The red light first penetrates the skin and reaches down into your cells. More specifically, a membrane within your mitochondria reacts to the light. This membrane restricts the amount of energy your cell can produce. However, when exposed to the red light, that membrane detaches and allows for the cell to produce even more of this energy and travel faster through your bloodstream. This influx of new energy then can flow to where it is needed most. In the case of lower back pain, the energy becomes utilized by the damaged cells to begin the repair process and bring relief to the exposed area.
Red light therapy devices use either lasers or LEDs, and this choice impacts the treatment you’ll receive. Lasers are superior in almost every way to LEDs. Lasers are more powerful and can penetrate deeper into the skin to alleviate pain more effectively. LEDs, on the other hand, are not anywhere near as powerful and only penetrate about half the length of what lasers can do. Not to mention that LED light scatters, meaning that some of the light emitted won’t reach your skin or be strong enough to shine through to your cells to kickstart the healing process. Laser light doesn’t scatter, because lasers focus the light on where it needs to go, so your lower back will feel the full effects of red light therapy. When searching for a device on the market that alleviates back pain using red light therapy, don’t let the deceptively inexpensive price of LEDs influence your purchasing decision. Although lasers tend to be more expensive, they outperform LEDs in almost every regard.
What Are The Side Effects of Red Light Therapy?
With the understanding that lasers are way more powerful than LEDs, does this mean that lasers are more dangerous? Does this mean that there will be unwanted side effects if you use red light therapy? Research observing the effects of red light therapy concluded that the light itself doesn’t cause any harm. As long as you follow manufacturer instructions, you’ll be just fine. The only danger that can come from red light therapy would be if that device generates an excess of heat. Using a device incorrectly, or a damaged device, may cause some discomfort and even damage to the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you do red light therapy everyday?
As long as you follow all manufacturer instructions, yes you can.
Does red light therapy really work?
Yes it does! Especially if you use lasers, you’ll get the most effective method to alleviating pain.