Acute inflammation is a normal yet painful process when your body fights against an infection, while chronic inflammation indicates a more frustrating disorder. It is a sign of long-term diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, lupus, cancer, etc. Irrespective of the type of inflammation, you do not need to succumb to it. There are countless suggestions people give to tackle it. Unfortunately, not all these conventional solutions are as effective and safe independently. In this article, we will explore a more promising technique, red light therapy (RLT) in inflammation reduction.
What is Inflammation?
Whenever an unwanted foreign body evades your body or you encounter a traumatic injury, your immune system releases inflammatory cells to counteract or eradicate the danger. This process is termed Inflammation. It is characterized by local or systemic pain, swelling, redness, heat, or fever. Think of inflammation as your firefighter—its job is to tackle threats, promote healing, and restore balance.
Types of Inflammation
There are two main types of inflammation. Acute inflammation is more of a desired reaction to injury, where symptoms last no longer than three months. Chronic Inflammation is a condition where your body persistently releases inflammatory cells even in the absence of danger. For example, in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), inflammatory cells and other substances attack your body’s tissues leading to permanent tissue damage in some cases.
What are the Impacts of Inflammation on Health?
Yes, acute inflammation is a positive sign of healing, but inflammation lasting for several months to years may indicate chronic inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc. Sadly, by its name, chronic inflammatory diseases have no cure and can only be managed to relieve symptoms and prolong life.
Conventional Methods And Their Limitations In Managing Inflammation
Most of us are familiar with conventional inflammatory treatments like rest, medications, acupuncture, surgery, anti-inflammatory diets, regular exercise, and cold compresses. Don’t get me wrong, these methods can work and reduce inflammation. The problem is that these do not work for every inflammatory process; what will work for this type of flare-up will not work for the other.
Additionally, most of these conventional methods provide short-term relief. For example, an ice pack may temporarily minimize the inflammation and pain of a sprain injury but will be useless for a systemic inflammatory condition.
This is where Red light therapy comes in. It is the holy grail in reducing almost every type of inflammation and pain. RLT targets your body cells to provide an effective yet lasting impact compared to other treatments.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy, also known as soft laser therapy or photobiomodulation, is a non-invasive procedure where low-intensity red wavelength and near-infrared light are transmitted into the body’s cells to treat various skin, dental, and inflammatory conditions.
Although this therapy has recently gained popularity, it’s been around for over 50 years. It was discovered by a Hungarian physician, Endre Mester in 1967 while he was studying how cancer cells react to low-power radiation, and he realized that aside from aiding in cancer treatment, it caused the hair of the lab rats to grow faster and their wounds healed faster. This led to more studies, and now, low-intensity red light is used to treat several conditions.
How Does Red Light Therapy Reduces Inflammation?
Red light therapy reduces chronic inflammation, relieves pain, and stimulates healing by activating the mitochondria, or the powerhouse of cells. This activation generates more energy (ATP) needed for cells to produce antioxidants and increase blood circulation in damaged tissues.
Scientific Evidence Of Red Light Therapy For Inflammation
It is not just mere talk; scientists have proven through several research trials that red light therapy is effective against chronic inflammation and pain. This study shows that red light therapy provides local and systemic anti-inflammatory effects like reducing edema and oxidative stress and releasing pro-inflammatory cytokines.
In 2021, a group of scientists investigated if red light therapy impacts COVID-19 management. As expected, they found that infrared exposure interacts with inflammatory cells in COVID-19 patients to reduce inflammation without side effects.
Choosing The Right Red Light Therapy
Generally, there are three main factors to consider when choosing the best red light therapy device for inflammation reduction. These are safety, effectiveness, and convenience, all of which are guaranteed at Bestqool whose devices emit the recommended wavelengths and frequency for inflammation reduction. The safety of our customers is our priority and is backed by the FDA, CE, FCC, and ETL.
How To Use Red Light Therapy For Inflammation?
A red light device is simple and easy to use even in the comfort of your home. Before you begin, protect your eyes with a blind cover, and expose the part of your body you are targeting towards the light. Just like many things, consistency is essential to achieving the desired results. You can practice RLT 1-3 times daily. I recommend you try it first thing in the morning or last thing at night before you go to bed for at least 1-2 hours.
Additional Tips to Reduce Inflammation
Coupling red light therapy with these management strategies provides a more comprehensive approach to chronic inflammation reduction.
1. Anti-inflammatory diets
2. Regular Exercise
3. Adequate Sleep or rest
Red Light Therapy has emerged as a scientifically proven, effective, and safe treatment. Its long-lasting impact on chronic inflammatory conditions like type 2 diabetes, SLE, and arthritis makes it a beacon of hope for those experiencing prolonged pain, redness, swelling/edema, and fever—the telltale signs of chronic inflammation. Don’t wait any longer, invest in a red light device from Bestqool today as a positive step towards a healthier, inflammation-free life.
Aguida, B., Pooam, M., Ahmad, M., & Jourdan, N. (2021). Infrared light therapy relieves TLR-4-dependent hyper-inflammation of the type induced by COVID-19. Communicative & integrative biology, 14(1), 200–211. https://doi.org/10.1080/19420889.2021.1965718
Chen, L., Deng, H., Cui, H., Fang, J., Zuo, Z., Deng, J., Li, Y., Wang, X., & Zhao, L. (2017). Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget, 9(6), 7204–7218. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23208
Hamblin M. R. (2017). Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS biophysics, 4(3), 337–361. https://doi.org/10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337
Mester, A., & Mester, A. (2017). The History of Photobiomodulation: Endre Mester (1903-1984). Photomedicine and laser surgery, 35(8), 393–394. https://doi.org/10.1089/pho.2017.4332
Wunsch, A., & Matuschka, K. (2014). A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red and near-infrared light treatment in patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, and intradermal collagen density increase. Photomedicine and laser surgery, 32(2), 93–100. https://doi.org/10.1089/pho.2013.3616