Red Light Therapy for Muscle Recovery
Red light therapy devices have been proven to be very effective in treating jet lag, rigorous physical exertion and sports related muscle fatigue and muscle strains. Near-infrared LED light offers non-invasive, natural treatment for soft tissue injuries, providing muscle recovery support and pain relief. People who suffer injuries to their shoulders, back, legs and other areas benefit from Red Light Therapy.
PBMt has been used for a number of years to improve muscular performance, decrease muscular fatigue signs, and shorten the recovery process after an activity. This enables the athlete to be better prepared for training or competition. This is also beneficial for patients in a rehabilitation process while the potential of more efficient exercises may increase the rehabilitation or recovery process.
Other methods such as massage, warm-up, compression garments, and cryotherapy for decreasing muscle fatigue or help in muscle recovery have shown less scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness.
Red and near infrared waves can penetrate the skin non-invasively, triggering chemical and other physiological actions deep inside the tissues and is specifically beneficial for the repair of damaged tissues. Research shows red and infrared light therapy with no side effects and absolutely chemical-free, is not only effective in preventing muscle fatigue but enhancing skeletal muscle performance as well.
Unlike the light within a laser, an LED’s red light is non-coherent. Coherent laser light has symmetrical waveforms, while the non-coherent light spreads out over a greater surface area than the more focused laser light, allowing to treat a larger injured area.
Red light has a particularly short wavelength, meaning that each individual wave is extremely close to the waves in front of and behind it. The shorter the light’s wavelength, the deeper the light can penetrate into the skin, making the short-wavelength red light ideal for using in therapy.
At the most basic level, red and NIR light therapy improves the mitochondria respiration cycle and help mitochondria produce energy more efficiently, which means muscles are less likely to suffer from fatigue.
Application of red and near infrared light helps in:
- Promoting production of antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress associated with muscle fatigue
- Increasing the production of heat proteins that help protect cells from stress and early cell death
- Reducing inflammation that can lead to cell damage
- Increasing microcirculation where tissues receive more oxygen and other nutrients important for tissue healing
- Growth of healthy muscle tissue, or muscle hypertrophy, naturally increasing muscle size, bulk and strength
Red Light Therapy has been clinically proven in effectively reducing muscle soreness for a wide range of the population, with especially encouraging results for postmenopausal women combining red light therapy with exercise.