How Red Light Therapy Can Help Improve Your Workouts
More and more athletes are discovering the benefits of red and infrared light therapy devices. These non-invasive tools can help alleviate sore muscles, aid recovery from some sports injuries, and improve general wellness. Light therapy works by targeting body parts with specific wavelengths of light from a light-emitting diode (LED) light source. Red light therapy before or after a workout can help penetrate the skin to boost tissue recovery.
With the help of over-the-counter red LED devices, users can address not only pain, but other conditions, all from the comfort of their own homes. Read on to learn how to use red light therapy for sports injuries, muscle soreness, and other issues that plague athletes.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work for Pain?
Red light therapy works by increasing blood flow and boosting cell regeneration. These devices enable mitochondria in the cells to work more efficiently, improving the respiration cycle to reduce fatigue and better activate and form muscle stem cells. Essentially, athletes who use LED light therapy for muscles help promote healthy, long-lasting muscle tissue.
Red light therapy lessens inflammation that causes cell damage and makes muscles sore. One study found LED light therapy delivered post-exercise pain relief for its participants, making these devices an excellent recovery asset for athletes.
How to Use Light Therapy as an Athlete
To begin with, you’ll need a red or infrared light therapy device. You can use the device as part of routine workouts or sports activity, or on certain injuries that occur on the field, or court or in the gym. Always consult with your physician before starting a new pain management or treatment regimen.
Common Sports Injuries to Tackle with Red Light Therapy
Sports injuries are typically categorized as acute or overuse injuries. Acute injuries are often the result of sudden movement or impact, while overuse injuries occur when taking on too much training or physical activity too quickly.
Either type can cause immense pain and require an athlete to limit their activity. When you lose training time, you risk reducing your performance. That’s where LED therapy comes in. A study about post-exercise relief showed that LED therapy helps with pain, joint range of motion, and muscle strength to alleviate or lower the risk of either type of injury.
In another study, the majority of participants saw a 50% improvement in general pain relief, impact pain, and reliance on pain medications to manage their pain. Overall, all subjects reported continued improvement in daily pain reduction.
Red light therapy has been shown to help nurses with lower back pain, often associated with injury or overuse, by reducing pain and fatigue. By using these devices, athletes can reduce muscle fatigue and gain the mobility needed to enhance performance.
Best Red Light Therapy Devices for Athletes
When you’re ready to try red or infrared light therapy devices, you have quite a few options available from dpl®. Choose your device according to the area of the body you wish to address, whether you want to carry the device with you to the locker room or gym, and how the device fits your budget.
The dpl® Nuve makes an excellent, affordable choice. It is handheld so it’s easy to maneuver and can be used on a large area. Soothe pain caused by anything from a pulled hamstring to a sore rotator cuff.
Flex Pads and Pillows
A convenient option for sore muscles in the arms or legs, and for larger areas like a sore or pulled back, is the dpl® Flex Pad. For neck pain specifically, try the dpl® neck pillow.
Mitts and Slippers
You can even get home light therapy devices specially designed for aches and pains of the hands and feet. Try the dpl® Flex Mitt or the dpl® Wrist Wrap, which is effective for tendinitis.
Runners and others who spend a lot of time on their feet, suffering from issues like plantar fasciitis, may benefit from the dpl® Slipper.
Red Light Therapy for Workouts FAQ
We’ll now answer a few of the most common questions we receive about red light therapy for workouts:
1. Can You Do Red Light Therapy Before a Workout?
In short, yes. Many athletes who use light therapy before or after working out experience faster post-workout recovery, better muscle tone and less muscle soreness. A number of research studies have looked at the use of light therapy before or after working out, showing it beneficial for both.
In high-level sports activities, athletes can experience muscle fatigue caused by strenuous exercise. Muscle fatigue can often lead to declined sports performance or injury, making a speedy recovery between workouts essential. One study looked at the benefits of using light therapy before exercise and found it improved soccer players’ sports performance while speeding up muscle strain recovery.
2. Does Red Light Therapy Help Tight Muscles?
Overall, red light therapy has significantly benefited those with muscle-related health conditions or injuries.
The majority of participants in a 2020 study saw improvements in tight muscles, stiffness, and function when using light therapy devices for osteoarthritis. The condition results in stiff muscles and often chronic pain, though ongoing research supports various ways red light therapy can help.
3. Do Pro Athletes Use Red Light Therapy?
While research is still evolving on red light therapy’s long-term effectiveness, many athletes have used it before and after matches for pain relief. Additionally, light therapy can help relax muscles and reduce stiffness to lower the risk of injury.
Athletes hoping to use red light therapy for muscle recovery can appreciate a simple, non-invasive, and more affordable option using light.
4. Can You Use LED Light Therapy Too Much?
A high-powered LED light device that uses infrared or red wavelengths, or ideally a combination of the two, is ideal for athletes. How often you use light therapy depends on your body, the device, and your physician’s recommendations. However, the risks of overuse are extremely low, making it safe and effective for muscle pain and recovery.
Shop Our Muscle Recovery Devices
Red light and infrared light therapy can provide pain relief benefits to anyone, but especially athletes. Using light therapy in combination with your current workout regimen could help you see better results and less muscle soreness overall.
LED Technologies, Inc. provides FDA-cleared, medical-grade LED light therapy devices to deliver powerful muscle recovery and pain relief in the comfort of your own home. Use infrared or red light therapy before or after workouts for the best results. With our safe and effective at-home devices, you’ll experience better pain relief, improve your performance, and enjoy more time doing the activities you love.
Explore our full selection of pain relief and recovery products to find the right device for your active lifestyle.
Experience the power of light therapy at home
Specific wavelengths of light have different effects, and can be used for a variety of applications — from destroying acne-causing bacteria to killing harmful germs on your phone. Our light therapy devices allow you to harness the power of LEDs in the comfort of your own home.See How It Works