One of the popular misconceptions that seems to be associated with red light therapy is that it’s only useful and functional for the older generation. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The beauty of RLT is that it can come in handy in a multitude of different settings and scenarios, and today, we’re here to discuss how red light therapy for athletes works.
From basketball to track & field and beyond, there are so many sports out there that can lead to injuries being picked up in one way or another. Sometimes, it’s avoidable, but more often than not, the physicality of the game can lead to some uncomfortable situations. As such, there are bound to be a few niggles and general injuries that pop up here and there.
Our job is to showcase a few ways in which red light therapy can help alleviate the pain. Of course, we aren’t here to promise a miracle overnight cure, but we do want to open a few eyes when it comes to the outstanding possibilities that RLT has.
With all of that being said, let’s dive into it.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy is something that’s been spoken about in many different ways over the years, and while it’s largely been positive, there are always going to be negative connotations attached to it, too. In essence, RLT is a type of photomedicine that has been deemed safe to use, with the primary goal being to take away any lingering pain you may have in your body.
It can be used in the comfort of your own or courtesy of a professional, but as we know, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when you’re dealing with something you haven’t experienced before. We understand that exposing your skin to a laser, lamp, or general heat-based device can seem scary, but it’s called low-level laser therapy for a reason.
Red light therapy uses wavelengths that are transmitted to parts of the body that need assistance. Whether it be visual scarring or injuries that can’t be seen by the naked eye, the aim of the game is to make the best of an unpleasant situation and get yourself one step closer to being back at 100%.
How red light therapy for athletes could work
As we’ve alluded to in this piece, our ambition is to highlight a few ways in which red light therapy can work for athletes both in a mental and physical capacity. Whether you’re a youngster starting out on a long career or a veteran attempting to stay in the show, we hope this serves as a helpful push in the right direction for your treatment.
When you’ve got an injury to deal with, no matter how big or small it may be, it’s going to get on your nerves. The thoughts will start racing through your head regarding how long you’ll be on the shelf and whether or not you’ll be able to win back your place at the top of the mountain. It’s good, then, that red light therapy can give you a big boost in the recovery time department.
As per a recent study, a group of university athletes were measured in how long it took them to return to play following an injury. In the study, 65 of them used LED light therapy, with the average recovery time being 9.6 days and the anticipated RTP being 19.23 days. As a result, the conclusion indicated that there were “no adverse events” from what seemed to be a successful venture.
In the majority of sports, endurance is everything. Sure, you may be the best in one or two departments, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to sustain it over a longer period of time. Because of that, plenty of athletes work hard on their cardio in an attempt to get ahead - and with red light therapy, you’ll be able to see some pretty fascinating results.
In a previous study, the impact of red light therapy was evident when testing endurance. It suggested that the endurance of those involved increased three times faster than a control group, which, in itself, is the kind of outcome that should be enough to turn a few heads. If not, there are a couple of other categories we want to run through.
Reduces joint pain
Your joints are working overtime on a day-to-day basis, and if you’re involved in a sport that requires you to use them regularly, then eventually, they’re probably going to get a little bit worn down. This is a gradual, long-term deterioration in comparison to a quick and fast injury, which can actually be even more difficult to get under control sometimes.
In a study conducted many years ago, it was indicated that low-level laser therapy (with the right dose) can significantly reduce pain in chronic joint disorders. This could not only change your performance levels but also quite easily lead to you having a much better quality of life - and without sounding too deep, isn’t that something we’re all searching for?
While inflammation is something that you can see with your own two eyes from time to time, every now and then, it lives deep beneath the surface and works in a way that causes serious harm to the human body. From the first stage of inflammation to the last, it can leave you unable to train in the kind of way that’ll keep you at an optimal point to compete.
A previous study has suggested that red light therapy activates cellular energy and, off the back of that, can relieve inflammation. That’s an absolute game-changer for those who are really struggling, and it can actually be used quite easily as a way to prevent anything from bleeding into a long-term issue. In short, it works like a dream.
When you are grinding away with absolutely everything you’ve got, your muscle tissue isn’t always going to thank you for it. In fact, it can slowly but surely begin to create a significant build-up of problems, which is the last thing that anyone wants. So, then, it’s a good thing the same study that focused on inflammation also pointed out a few helpful points in this department.
It highlighted the fact that low-level light therapy can activate stem cells in a way that increases tissue repair. This can also help with scarring, but if you’re an athlete in the prime of your career, the main thing you’ll want to do is get back on the pitch, court, or whatever surface you use as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Want to learn more about red light therapy for athletes?
Red light therapy, if you haven’t guessed it by now, happens to be our area of expertise - and it’s something we feel very passionate about here at NovaaLab. While there are plenty of companies out there who may be trying to make a quick buck and nothing more, that’s not the way we operate, and we want to be transparent with what we’re setting out to achieve.
It’s simple, really: we want to help people. Whether it takes weeks, months, or years, we want to continue to build up our reputation to the point where it becomes impossible to deny red light therapy’s positives. Yes, it’s going to take patience, and yes, it may be a bit scary at first, but we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
I first discovered Red Light Therapy while desperately seeking relief from my debilitating body pain. Despite spending a fortune on specialists and medical treatments with no success, my scepticism vanished when my doctor mentioned