In research, Light Therapy has been established as a useful tool to:
Increase vascularity (circulation) by increasing the formation of new capillaries that replace damaged ones. New capillaries speed up the healing process by carrying more oxygen as well as more nutrients needed for healing and they can also carry more waste products away.
Stimulate the production of collagen: Collagen is the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is used to repair damaged tissue and to replace old tissue. It is the substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity. By increasing collagen production less scar tissue is formed at a wound or incision.
Stimulate the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP): ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells. Increases in ATP allow cells to accept nutrients faster and get rid of waste products more quickly by increasing the energy level in the cell. All food turns into ATP before the cells utilize it. ATP provides the chemical energy that drives the chemical reaction of the cell.
Increase lymphatic system activity: Edema is the swelling or natural splinting process of the body. Edema has two basic components: the first is a liquid part, which can be evacuated by the blood system, and the second is comprised of the proteins that have to be evacuated by the lymphatic system. Research has shown that the lymph vessel diameter and the flow of the lymph system can be doubled with the use of light therapy. The venous diameter and the arterial diameters can also be increased. This means that both parts of edema (liquid and protein) can be removed at a much faster rate to relieve swelling.
Reduce the excitability of nervous tissue: The photons of light energy enter the body as negative ions. This calls upon the body to send positive ions, like calcium among others, to go to the area being treated. These ions assist in firing the nerves thereby relieving pain. (see LED animation video for more explanation)
Stimulate fibroblastic activity that aids in the repair process: Fibroblasts are present in connective tissue and are capable of forming collagen fibres.
Increase phagocytosis: The process of scavenging for an ingesting dead or degenerated cells by phagocyte cells for the purpose of clean up. This is an important part of the infection fighting process. Destruction of the infection and clean up must occur before the healing process can take place.
Induce a thermal like effect in the tissue: The light raises the temperature of the cells through a photochemical reaction.
Stimulate tissue granulation and connective tissue projections: Part of the healing process of wounds, ulcers or inflamed tissues.
Stimulate acetylcholine release: Acetylcholine causes cardiac inhibition, vasodilation, gastrointestinal peristalsis and other parasympathetic effects.
Typical uses for Light Therapy
Many people with complaints of pain associated with the following issues have reported positive results using LED light therapy:
Acute neck and back pain
Arthritis pain and restricted movement
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Deep muscle problems
Open wounds with negligible formation of scar tissue
Reduction of scar tissue
LED Light Therapy is the newest innovation in light therapy technology. Light energy is transferred to the body by using large and small pads designed for direct skin contact, red, blue and near infrared light emitting diodes pulse at different rates depending on the area receiving therapy.
The net result of light therapy is a cascade of beneficial chemical reactions throughout damaged nerve cells that stimulate healing. This response can be directly attributed to increased blood flow. This enhanced, localized blood flow improves tissue oxygenation.
Click the picture to enlarge this diagram of wavelengths.
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. Light therapy devices are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.