Red light therapy + sports injuries

Participating in a competition, working out or doing any sort of physical training, muscle fibers tear and rebuild stronger. While this is a normal process, it causes inflammation and soreness. Red light therapy reduces inflammation, and subsequently the soreness, by increasing the oxygen and nutrients the muscle cells receive.

Red light therapy also increases lymphatic drainage, which drastically reduces the risk of edema while stimulating the body’s own healing mechanism. The results are not only faster cell regeneration, but new capillaries are also formed which means quicker recovery time.

Red light therapy improves recovery time

  • A 2016 study found that injured university athletes were able to return to play significantly faster when using red light therapy (9.6 days vs 19.23 days)
  • A 2017 review that looked at the potential effect red light therapy has on recovery found such a positive connection, the researchers noted that the “World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will need to discuss the position they will take on whether PBM [red light therapy] will be allowed or not.”
  • Researchers in a 2015 study concluded that near-infrared light therapy “may be a beneficial, noninvasive modality for improving muscle function during rehabilitation after musculoskeletal injury.”
  • A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 2009 found that red-light therapy may be beneficial in accelerating post-exercise recovery.
  • In another study that same year, these researchers also found that red-light therapy was effective at delaying the onset of muscle fatigue after high-intensity exercise.
  • A case-control study published in 2016 concluded that red-light therapy may be beneficial in reducing muscle damage, pain, and recovery time, while also helping to increase muscle mass.
  • A 2013 study suggests that red-light therapy can help protect cells from exercise-induced damage while improving recovery.
  • Another study published in 2013 shows that red-light therapy may be an effective treatment for promoting muscle regeneration after injury.
  • A review published in 2014 and a study in 2012 found that red-light therapy is capable of reducing inflammation, increasing growth factors, and promoting the growth of new blood vessels.

If you’ve tried acupuncture, mobility therapy, physical therapy, or PRP injections and still aren’t finding the relief you’re looking for, it’s time to try red light therapy.