Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
Do you experience joint pain every time you walk or run? Do you hear a creaking sound from your joints when you try to stand up?
As we age, the lubrication in our joints reduces, increasing friction between the bones. This friction can cause pain and discomfort. But this joint pain can worsen if you have arthritis.
How does arthritis occur?
Arthritis is the disease of the joints. It is a collection of diseases that slowly ravage the joints until the joints become damaged beyond repair. As the arthritis progresses, your joints start to swell and become tender, causing pain. Then your joints start to stiffen, making it increasingly difficult for you to move.
Research shows that over 6 million Canadians are diagnosed with arthritis today – which accounts for 20% of the entire population. Adults and children of both genders can get arthritis, although the condition is more common in adult women. Immediate treatment is needed to prevent permanent damage to the joints and manage the connected symptoms.
Depending on the part of the body affected, arthritis occurs in many forms:
Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which occurs when the body attacks itself and damages the joints and cartilage.
Gout – This is an arthritic condition where the affected parts of the body swell-up and become tender. Gout occurs when uric acid crystallizes and deposits on your joints.
Psoriatic arthritis – Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes flaking and scaliness of the skin. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition that occurs in severe cases of psoriasis. The psoriatic parts of the body become stiff and inflamed.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis – The arthritis that occurs in children younger than 16 is called Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Around 24,000 children in Canada have been diagnosed with arthritis till now.
Reactive arthritis - Reactive arthritis occurs when you have a serious infection in the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract or the genital region. The infection shifts to the bones and joints, resulting in arthritis-like symptoms.
Septic arthritis – Septic arthritis occurs when a bacterial, fungal or viral infection affects the joints and cartilage in your body, resulting in pain, tenderness, inflammation and stiffness.
Ankylosing spondylitis – Also called Bechterew disease, this is a rare arthritic condition that affects the spine. It starts in the lower back region and spreads all the way up to the neck.
Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a very serious condition that affects the hands, elbows, knees, neck, back, hips and feet. It can be managed and prevented from worsening with timely care.
Don’t allow osteoarthritis to control your life!
Osteoarthritis can be a life-long condition. If untreated, it can reduce your quality of life. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that connects and protects two adjacent joints starts to disintegrate. The wear-and-tear of the cartilage pushes the joints against each other, causing painful friction.
You know you have osteoarthritis when:
You experience joint pain and discomfort any time you move.
You have swelling in your limbs or lower back, associated with joint pain.
You notice bone spurs – that feel like hard masses near the affected joints.
You no longer have the same flexibility as you did and your limbs & back feel stiff all the time.
You hear your joints pop and crack every time you walk, sit or stand.
You have lost the ability to run, jump and engage in any intense physical activity because of joint pain and discomfort.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting Canadians, with 37% of all arthritic patients over the age of 20 having been diagnosed with the condition. Of this percentage:
29% of patients experience extremely debilitating knee pain.
12% of patients experience pain in the hip and lower back.
The rest experience full-body osteoarthritic pain and discomfort.
The sad reality is that, just like other forms of arthritis, the effects of osteoarthritis can’t be reversed. But it can be stopped in its track if you take proactive care.
Typically, doctors recommend medication or surgery, depending on how serious your condition is. But the fact is, neither of these two treatments is completely safe. Medications can be harmful to the body in the long run since they introduce new chemicals into the body. Surgery can be very extensive and invasive, have a very long recovery time and it can weaken you considerably.
Thankfully, there is an alternative treatment option for arthritis, osteoarthritis and joint pain. It is completely non-invasive, very safe and supremely effective. This treatment is called the Red Light Therapy.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) is a new age treatment that leverages the healing power of red light to reduce the debilitating symptoms of a variety of skin & joint conditions. Red light is one of the non-UV, longer wavelengths on the light spectrum, measuring around 620 to 750 nm. It has the ability to enter deep inside your tissues, muscles and joints, stimulating regenerative repair.
Red light therapy for osteoarthritis and joint pain
Red light therapy is particularly beneficial for arthritis and osteoarthritis. Here are some reasons why:
1) Red Light Therapy makes your joints and cartilage stronger
Red light promotes the production of a key chemical called adenosine triphosphate in the mitochondria of the cells. This adenosine triphosphate increases the overall energy in each cell, making your joints and cartilage inherently more powerful. Over the course of multiple treatments, you will notice that your joints are no longer weak, but strong and flexible.
2) Red Light Therapy promotes tissue regeneration
One of the main ways in which red light therapy works is that it promotes cellular healing and regeneration. The way it does this is by mimicking the same type of effect that is caused by exercise on the body.
When you work out, your muscles and joints experience micro-injuries and tears. In order to heal these injuries, your body automatically releases a variety of compounds & keratin peptides, removes dangerous free radicals and increases mitochondrial activity in the cell. Together, these cause the damaged cells to heal and new cells to develop. Over the period of a few days, the micro-injuries will be gone.
But exercising with osteoarthritis can be very challenging, not to mention painful. Red light has the ability to enable the same type of wound healing and tissue/cartilage regeneration activity as exercise, thereby enabling the arthritic joints to start healing.
3) Red Light Therapy improves the mobility of stiff joints
Joint stiffness in arthritic patients occurs when there is a lack of blood flow in the damaged and inflamed cartilage. Red light therapy has a unique bioactive effect, meaning, it has the ability to induce biological and physiological changes in the body.
Just as red light therapy regenerates new cells in the joints, it also treats the surrounding tissues and blood vessels. It activates the nitric oxide present in your body and this is what improves your circulation. The activated nitric oxide relaxes the stiff arteries and capillaries in your body and prevents clumping of platelets, which can cause blood clots. The nitric oxide also reduces oxidative stress in your body by getting rid of free radicals and enables the proper flow of oxygen-rich blood to stiff joints.
Once you undergo red light therapy, you won’t have trouble standing up, sitting down or walking, and you won’t hear those creaking, popping sounds you usually hear coming from your joints.
4) Red Light Therapy reduces pain in the joints and relieves pressure
Many nerve impingement disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome are a side effect of rheumatoid arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis in the spine or lower back, it can pinch the nerves in the vertebral column. Some people with osteoarthritis develop bone spurs – which are hard masses of bone that jut out from the bone. These spurs can trap nerves, compressing them. This type of nerve impingement can cause shooting pains, numbness, stiffness or weakness in the affected area.
Red light therapy can help.
Once your arthritic joints receive improved blood circulation due to red light therapy, the surrounding muscles start to relax, loosening their grip on the trapped nerve. This reduces the pressure that’s built-up in your joints and alleviates pain and discomfort. Not only does red light therapy relax muscles and tissues, but it also relaxes strained or pinched nerves in the body.
5) Red Light Therapy reduces inflammation in tissues and cartilage
Inflammation is a sign that your body is attempting to fight off an invading pathogen or illness. But when inflammation becomes chronic, that is, long-term, it may be a sign of an underlying condition.
Osteoarthritis inflammation can make it very difficult for you to move your limbs comfortably. Red light therapy reduces inflammation and the resulting tenderness by not only promoting cartilage regeneration, but also improving blood flow to the site of arthritis.
A 2016 study showed that red light therapy was particularly helpful in reducing inflammation caused by Bourchard and Heberden osteoarthritis. The study also showed that the reduction in swelling and tenderness increased the range of mobility for the studied patients.
6) It helps aid weight loss, which ensures less strain on arthritic joints
People with osteoarthritis – specifically people who experience pain and stiffness in their knees – can experience more intense symptoms if they are overweight. Traditional weight loss methods like exercise won’t help, because the arthritic joints limit your ability to move. Invasive treatments like liposuction and bariatric surgery may not be right for you. Plus, they create more problems, by adding more mobility restrictions than before.
Red light therapy is a great way to lose unwanted weight and reduce the strain on weak joints. Laser light has the power to destroy fat cells by creating small tears in the walls of fat cells, leading to the formation of “leaks”. As the fat leaks into the body, your lymphatic system will then throw it out later. This not only reduces the amount of fat you have, but also reduces the appearance of cellulite. In fact, research indicates that a mere 4-minute exposure to red light therapy can lead to 80% fat release/leak from the targeted fat cells.
After a few sessions, you will begin to experience lesser strain on your joints, and this will allow your joints to heal faster.
7) Red Light Therapy helps deformed bones by stimulating bone healing
Did you know that red light therapy has the ability to facilitate bone healing? In fact, some dental surgeons recommend red light therapy after dental implant treatment because of the cellular regenerative capacity of the therapy.
Many people with osteoarthritis have bone spurs. In advanced cases of arthritis, people may have misshapen toes or fingers. With red light therapy, you can heal the damage to the bone by stimulating collagen production. This increases bone mass and health, slows down the progress of the disease, and reduces the chances of bone shape-loss. Because of the increased bone mass and strength, you are no longer as vulnerable to fractures as before.
8) Red Light Therapy increases size and flexibility of cartilage
Cartilage gets its connective properties from a special protein called collagen. Usually, our bodies naturally produce the collagen we need to make our muscles, skin, tissues and cartilage flexible and strong. But as we age (and when we are afflicted with conditions like osteoarthritis), collagen production reduces, making the cartilage weaker and smaller.
Laser light – when administered through red light therapy - has the power to stimulate collagen production in the cartilage. Each time you undergo a session, the red light increases the amount of collagen in your cartilage, making it healthier, stronger, and thicker. This in turn helps you move more easily, with less stiffness and discomfort.
Choose Rehab Body Lab for red light therapy for osteoarthritis
At Rehab Body Lab, we are one of Nova Scotia’s most-reputed providers of red light therapy. We have worked with numerous patients with arthritis conditions, helping them alleviate their pain and discomfort and experience symptom relief.
We have a state-of-the-art facility where we use the Beauty Angel to provide the treatment. Red light therapy is a non-UV therapy and is completely safe for absolutely everyone. We follow globally-benchmarked hygiene and safety practices to ensure that you have a safe and comfortable treatment.
Contact us today for more information. You can also schedule a red light therapy for arthritis at our Kingswood Drive, Nova Scotia facility.
We serve clients from Halifax, Bedford, Fall River, Larry Uteck, Kingswood, Hammonds Plains, Timberlea, Tantallon, and Lower Sackville.
Book your complimentary first red light session by calling or texting 902-417-1397