Red Light Therapy and Sports; Your Guide for Light Therapy and Sporting Injuries
Pain and soreness is art of sports and training, but red light therapy could make this a thing of the past. Pro athletes have been using anti-inflammatory drugs such as Paracetamol to help numb the pain and increase their tolerance, but we both know that these drugs have their side effects.
What if I told you that red light therapy could give you the same benefits with no adverse effects?
Red light therapy is a subset of light therapy(phototherapy) that uses high wavelength light (>600 nm, which is red light all the way to near-infrared light) to irradiate cells in the body and stimulate them. The energy from these waves can bring about faster recovery, improve performance, and help you push harder.
Professional athletes and players have been catching onto this novel treatment for many years. Some of the earliest beneficiaries include Olympic distance runners under Nike's Oregon Project and the Phoenix Suns. Here is why red light therapy is the perfect combo for success in sports and training.
What is Inflammation?
In general terms, inflammation is an immune response by the body caused by cell damage or foreign bodies. In the context of sports, inflammation is a reaction caused by an injury that results in increased blood flow to the affected area (thus the redness), increased temperature, increased lymphatic drainage (thus the accumulation of fluid), and pain.
When you are training and pushing yourself hard, what actually happens is that muscle fibers stretch and tear from all the strenuous activity. These fibers eventually heal to become stronger and better, but the healing process takes time. That's why your whole body feels sore and rigid a day or so after intense training.
Inflammation is a normal and very useful reaction to a potentially harmful stimulus in the body. It starts the immune reaction that cleans up toxins from the muscles and repairs the torn tissue. However, as an athlete, quick recovery and self-preservation are very important. Healing takes time, and pushing yourself too hard could cause the inflammatory response to kick into high gear and cause more damage than good.
While studies on exercise-induced inflammatory response suggest that repeated but moderate exercise sessions are good for building immunity through the inflammatory response, athletes need to recover fast. To do this, they need a reliable and effective means of controlling inflammation and managing pain — red light therapy could be the perfect treatment for this.
Red Light Therapy and Treating Inflammation
Red light therapy helps improve sports performance in two ways: faster recovery and reduced pain or soreness, and enhanced muscle growth.
Red Light Therapy for Pain and Soreness After Exercise
RLT initially imposes a low level of stress on body cells, which elicits a protective mechanism very similar to an inflammatory response. In this case, however, the cells start to produce more energy and anti-inflammatory compounds, which leads to faster and more efficient healing.
By stimulating the body's self-healing mechanisms, RLT helps to reduce pain and soreness after intense exercise and thus helps you to keep going day after day. It also improves blood circulation to the affected areas, which helps to improve the recovery process.
Red Light Therapy and Enhanced Muscle Growth
Part of how red light therapy works is by stimulating mitochondria in cells to function more efficiently and produce more energy. Muscle cells naturally have more mitochondria, so they benefit more from RLT than other cells.
Increased cell functionality is important for enhanced regeneration and healing. Muscle tissue grows faster and encourages more muscle activity. A literature review of existing studies on the effect of RLT on sports performance showed strong evidence for muscle enhancement.
Anecdotal evidence from ultrasound imagery and isokinetic dynamometry points to as much as 50% more muscle thickness and strength in athletes who used RLT regularly compared to those who didn't. In other words, red light therapy could significantly improve your athletic performance by increasing muscle strength and size.
The combined effect of red light therapy in sports and athletic performance is thus very powerful. There is even some evidence to suggest that RLT can help to increase bone density and help heal fractures and open wounds faster.
While we are yet to fully understand how red light therapy helps to relieve pain and enhance recovery, there is more than enough evidence to show that you can benefit greatly from a red light device at home for use before and after training.
Red Light Therapy Users: Current Athletes Using RLT
Red light therapy and its applications in sports and high-perfomance athletics is not new. Some of the first proponents of the novel therapy were NFL players like Patrick Peterson and Keenan Allen. Today, it is popular among fitness enthusiasts and sportspeople alike.
Right here in the my rlt community, you can catch up with elite athletes using red light therapy to up their game. From tennis star Sloane Stephens to the San Francisco 49ers, my rlt has been partnering with professional athletes who have come to appreciate and love the enhancing power of red light therapy.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects When Using Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is naturally safe and painless. Light from the sun is safe, yet it contains the full spectrum of light that includes red light. Similarly, exposure to red light therapy devices is very safe when used appropriately.
The only risks and dangers associated with red light therapy devices have to do with blistering and burns from prolonged exposure. Short, 15-minute sessions daily are sufficient to gain full benefits of irradiation with red light at home, especially after training.
Poor quality red light devices have also been linked to risks of shock and harmful doses of irradiation. That is why at my rlt, we insist on the best quality equipment to ensure that you are safe even after prolonged exposure.
Buy Your Red Light Device and Improve Your Sports Performance
At myrlt, we are the premier manufacturers and suppliers of red light therapy equipment. Our desire to only provide the best has allowed us to work with the most demanding of clients, including professional athletes in the NFL and NBA. Just like them, you can now order your own red light device to use at home and reap the same RLT therapy benefits daily, free of charge.