What Is Infrared Light Therapy?
Infrared Light Therapy also known as photobiomodulation harnesses the healing energy of near-infrared light. Infrared light has longer wavelengths than visible light and extends outside the edge of the visible red spectrum at 700 nanometers, toward the radio wave end of the electromagnetic spectrum (see the Spectrum diagram). Therapy pad devices often select wavelengths in the 800s which penetrate deeply into tissues producing good results for pain relief and boosting circulation through the release of nitric oxide. This invisible infrared light can dramatically increase circulation to injury sites, areas of chronic pain, skin and wherever a cellular boost is desired. The result is accelerated relief of pain and discomfort, improvement in sensation, and the regeneration of damaged tissues.
HealthLight uses one of the most beneficial wavelengths of light in the infrared spectrum at 880nm for the therapy pad LEDs along with red at 650 which has many similar effects but less depth of penetration. Infrared light has the ability to reach deeply into the body to increase circulation where it is needed for healing.
So what is this miracle molecule?
Louise J. Ignarro, one of the 3 Nobel prize winners for the discovery of Nitric Oxide, says, "There may be no disease process where this miracle molecule does not have a protective role."
Infrared Light Releases the Power of Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is the magic behind the dramatic increase in blood flow that results from LED light therapy. Nitric oxide is a short-lived gas that is critical to arterial health. This powerful signaling molecule relaxes the arteries, helps regulate blood pressure, fights free radicals and discourages platelets from clumping together in the blood vessels. NIR light therapy promotes healing and relieves pain by stimulating the substantial production of nitric oxide and resulting in improved circulation.
How Does Infrared Light Therapy Work?
Therapy with our near-infrared LED light systems is easy and non-invasive. Flexible LED pads, containing both infrared and visible red diodes, are placed directly on the skin over the area of pain, injury or skin concern. Photons of light emanate from the diodes penetrating beneath the skin and are absorbed by proteins within cells within the tissues. Nitric oxide, the body’s natural vasodilator, is released from the red blood cells and endothelium. Only 20 minutes of treatment increases blood flow to nerves, muscles joints and other tissues, and this increase in local circulation lasts for several hours after the therapy session is completed.
Chronic Pain Relief
Those who suffer from chronic neck, back, and joint pain will likely find a good friend in infrared light. It's not uncommon to find a longstanding pain absent after a therapy session concludes.
LED near-infrared light therapy has been used by the U.S. military to accelerate healing from soft tissue injuries. Hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities have used NIR to accelerate the healing of bedsores and reduce the potential for falls in elderly patients. This therapy is also used to ease the pain of neuropathy, restore sensation to patients with nerve impairment, speed up the healing of diabetic ulcers and other wounds and relieve many kinds of chronic pain.
Watch Nitric Oxide Work
Endothelial Cells aligned horizontally (lining of the blood vessel) can be seen to produce Nitric Oxide (in green) and we see the dramatic widening of the blood vessel.
Near-Infrared Light is helpful for Diabetic Patients
NIR is especially useful for patients with diabetic complications. People with diabetes have less nitric oxide in their systems and they often suffer from complications related to poor circulation, such as peripheral neuropathy and slow wound healing. When NIR is used to treat a non-healing leg ulcer, nitric oxide is released increasing the blood flow in the local area, increasing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues to help stimulate healing.
Below is a partial list of conditions characterized by pain, inflammation and poor circulation that can benefit from Near-Infrared LED light therapy:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Diabetic, Statin and Chemotherapy Induced
Strains and Sprain