Overview of back and hip pain
When pain in the lower back occurs alongside hip pain, there may be a common cause. Certain health conditions or injuries can affect the nerves in both of these areas.
These pains usually occur as a result of overuse or injury, but they can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. People may notice the pain on the left or right side of the body or both.
Experiencing lower back pain is quite common. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, close to 80 percent of adults have lower back pain at some point in their lives. The pain can range in intensity from a dull ache to sharp sensations that affect your mobility and quality of life.
Back pain can easily be mistaken for hip pain and discomfort. The joint of your hip is located near your spine. For that reason, injuries to your hip can resemble or actually cause back pain. In addition to hip and lower back pain, you may also experience:
groin pain on the affected side
pain while walking or moving
The benefits of red light therapy on back and hip pain
Red light therapy uses LED (light-emitting diode) lights in a certain range of wavelengths to promote cell growth and treat a range of skin conditions. LEDs are light sources that rely on semiconductors, which means they generate far less heat than standard light bulbs. That makes them comfortable to use regularly. The amount of energy an LED releases determines the wavelength of the light which, in turn, produces the color.
The process is simple and non-invasive. You just need to stand near a device for about 10 to 15 minutes. A red light therapy device uses medical-grade LEDs to expose your skin and cells to concentrated wavelengths of natural light without excess heat or UV rays exposure. SO basically, the more skin and cells you expose to the device, the more benefits you can reap with consistent use.
Red LEDs release long wavelengths of light that travel through the body and stimulate cells to aid in healing. They produce red light you can see, as well as infrared that is outside the visible spectrum. The science behind red light therapy speaks to its legitimacy as a consumer beauty product. NASA initially used red light technology for astronauts in space and continues to study its applications for long-term human spaceflight.
Back here on Earth, numerous individuals find red light therapy effective for reducing wrinkles and cellulite and promoting wound healing. You may also hear it called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), or photobiomodulation (PBM).
As we age, our bodies reduce the production of elastin fibers and collagen that are essential in the elasticity of the skin. Elasticity is what keeps the skin smooth, healthy and tight. Without these important cells the body produces less healthy new skin cells causing aged looking skin including visible skin damage. Red Light Therapy works by penetrating down to the deepest level of the dermis (skin) relaxing the blood vessels which increases circulation encouraging the production of new skin cells. By activating the new cells the body can naturally produce collagen and elastin to improve the skins structure with out negative side effects.
For the healing effects of chronic and acute pain, RLT works by activating the production of ATP which is the energy needed for the body tissues to promote rapid healing. ATP helps to increase blood circulation, which reduces swelling and inflammation. Red light activated ATP stimulates white blood cells that work to repair damaged tissues, and increases collagen production that builds elasticity in the skin and can aid in wound healing. ATP also activates endorphins that provide relief from chronic and acute pain. Because Red Light Therapy triggers the body’s own defenses, it actually treats the sources of pain and doesn’t just mask it. Red light therapy provides relief from pain and discomfort without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs or surgery. Red Light Therapy is also now being used by pro-athletes to promote healing and muscle growth.
Red light therapy for the treatment of other pain
Wolverine-esque wound healing is just one of the many benefits touted by proponents of RLT—and there’s no shortage of research to confirm it really does help you heal faster. A 2014 study found red light therapy promoted “increased tissue repair and healing…[plus] beneficial effects on wrinkles, acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and healing of burns
At the core of many of these benefits is RLT’s potential to reduce inflammation and pain. Researchers have found that RLT exposure can help reduce pain for osteoarthritis knee pain, meniscus tears, general knee pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and back pain. The data on red light therapy for pain relief is so convincing the FDA has approved it as a therapy for treating minor pains and arthritis.
One of the most popular uses of RLT is to clear up skin issues like acne. “I wouldn’t traditionally recommend red light therapy for severe acne, but it’s a wonderful additive therapy that’s safe and well-tolerated by all skin types and tones,” says Angela Lamb, M.D., associate professor of the department of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The skin-clearing secret lies in RLT’s anti-inflammatory effects, says Dr. Klein. It also helps naturally decrease oil production and bacterial levels in your skin—no drying effects or harsh chemicals required.
Red light acne treatments are fairly easy to find—most dermatologists offer them in-office or you can buy an at-home device.
While there’s solid evidence that RLT benefits acne, the research is still lacking when it comes to psoriasis. “At this time, psoriasis probably has the least amount of data when it comes to red light therapy alone being an effective treatment,” says Dr. Klein.
OK, so how about that whole fountain-of-youth thing? There are plenty of studies to support RLT’s antiaging prowess, such as a 2014 study which determined that users of RLT experienced significantly improved skin complexion and an increase in collagen. “Science shows that red light therapy protects existing collagen and boosts new production,” says Dr. Lamb. “Plus it helps with texture, tone, pore size, and wrinkles.”
Hair growth A small study in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy explored the effect of low-level light on people with alopecia. The study revealed that people who received RLT had improved hair density, compared with those in a control group. The authors note that the effect was beneficial when people applied light in wavelengths of both 665 nanometres (nm) and 808 nm. However, this was a smaller study, and more extensive clinical studies will help give backing to these claims. Reducing pain RLT may also be an effective treatment for pain in people with certain conditions. A review in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine compiled the results of many studies surrounding RLT and musculoskeletal disorders. The research indicated that RLT could effectively reduce pain in adults with different musculoskeletal disorders. The researchers note that practitioners who stick to the specific dosage recommendations seem to increase the effectiveness of the therapy. Enhancing bone recovery A review in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology examines the potential for RLT in treating facial bone defects. The researchers’ results indicate that RLT may help accelerate healing after treatment for facial bone defects. The review also notes that the therapy helped reduce inflammation and pain during the process. However, the researchers did call for a more standardized approach to determine whether or not the therapy is effective. Anti-inflammatory benefits As research in the journal AIMS Biophysics notes, many of the conditions that RLT treats have their roots in inflammation. Although the exact reason is not yet clear, RLT has significant anti-inflammatory effects in the body. These effects are both local, where practitioners apply the light, and systemic, in other tissues and organs in the body. The researchers explain that the helpful anti-inflammatory effects of RLT, and the potential uses for this therapy, are abundant. Further research may help us understand if it may help with chronic inflammatory issues such as: Alzheimer’s disease obesity type 2 diabetes alopecia areata autoimmune thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid psoriasis arthritis tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendons Again, the research is still preliminary. However, the anti-inflammatory effect of RLT is very promising. Past studies have stressed the importance of the specific wavelengths that people use to target their skin. However, as the review in Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery explains, the collected research found that in many cases, the very specific wavelengths made relatively little difference during treatment. With that said, the frequency for most RLT sessions will typically vary within a range, similar to the wavelengths in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology paper. Potential side effects RLT is a completely natural process. It exposes the skin to levels of light that are not harmful — unlike UV light coming from the sun. Because of this, there is virtually no risk of side effects from undergoing RLT. However, a practitioner with little experience or someone who exposes themselves to too much of the treatment may cause tissue and cell damage. Products for use at home may also lead to misuse, causing damage to the skin, burns, or damage to unprotected eyes.
Wrinkles and other signs of skin aging and skin damage. Research shows RLT may smooth your skin and help with wrinkles. RLT also helps with acne scars, burns, and signs of UV sun damage.
PBM (Photobiomodulation) vs. Infrared Sauna Treatment
Saunas use heat to produce biological effects, while red light therapy devices do not achieve results by heat alone.
Infrared saunas work by heating objects inside the sauna room, as opposed to heating the air itself like traditional saunas. They do this using charcoal, carbon fiber or other types of emitting surfaces to deliver infrared heat.
Heat is a form of stress that can have certain health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, detoxification and physical performance. However, the purpose of PBM is to emit light right into your skin to positively affect cells, rather than using heat. These two therapeutic approaches can be combined since they each have unique effects, so don’t be afraid to try both.
Improved collagen production – Research shows that light therapy enhances the body’s process to produce more collagen.
Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss
Red light therapy is known to help in losing weight and reduce fat in many different ways.
Targets adipocytes -Researchers believe that light therapy also affects the cells that store fat or adipocytes. Because of that, the lipids disperse and fat cells are being washed away.
Affects hunger levels – According to a 2012 study in the International Journal of Endocrinology, red light therapy helps in controlling the levels of leptin (hunger-related hormones).
Cellulite reduction – In a study conducted in 2011, it concluded that exercise and red light therapy was more effective in cellulite reduction than exercise alone.
Smaller waistline – At the end of the Journal of Obesity Surgery study that was conducted in 2011, participants had shown a significant reduction in waistline girth after four weeks of light therapy under 635 to 680 nanometers.