Over 20 million people in the United States currently struggle with neuropathy.
Are you part of this group? If so, you may want to try red light therapy to naturally combat your symptoms.
Never heard of red light therapy? Not sure what it is or how it can benefit you?
If so, keep reading. Everything you need to know about red light therapy for neuropathy is explained below.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that occurs when a person experiences damage to their peripheral nervous system (or PNS). The PNS is the communication network that delivers signals between your central nervous system or CNS (which is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord) and other parts of the body.
Some of the signals transmitted by the peripheral nerves include signals that tell the muscles to contract, as well as signals that control the contractions of the heart, urination, and the immune system.
There are 3 ways that nerve signaling can become interrupted:
- Signals are not sent normally (similar to a broken wire)
- Signals are sent inappropriately (similar to hearing static during a telephone call)
- Errors distort the messages (similar to a wavy television picture)
Anyone can develop neuropathy. However, it is particularly common among those who suffer from diabetes. Some research shows that it affects anywhere from 6 to 51 percent of diabetic adults.
Symptoms of Neuropathy
If you’re struggling with neuropathy, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Burning, tingling, or sharp pain
- Pain in the back, face, feet, hands, or thighs
- Pain that’s more severe at night
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle loss or weakness
- Coordination and balance issues
- A “pins and needles” feeling
- Reduced touch sensation
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Slow reflexes
- Tingling in the feet or fingers
Neuropathy symptoms tend to show up quickly and then get worse rapidly.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Now that you’re better versed in the ins and outs of neuropathy, let’s get into red light therapy and how it can benefit those struggling with neuropathy.
Red light therapy is a treatment that affects the mitochondria of the cells. It uses low-level red light wavelengths, which penetrate the skin and stimulate the mitochondria.
Mitochondrial stimulation increases the production of ATP (short for adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the body’s energy currency, and it allows all of the body’s processes to work more efficiently and effectively.
Benefits of RLT for Neuropathy
One of the primary benefits of red light therapy for neuropathy has to do with nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule naturally produced by the body. It relaxes the nerves, regulates blood vessels, and helps to prevent blood clots.
When you’re exposed to red light, nitric oxide production is triggered. This helps to increase blood flow throughout the body, which stimulates blood flow and delivers oxygen, nutrients, and pain-relieving compounds to the nerves and tissues.
Red light therapy also reduces inflammation, which minimizes pain and helps to repair existing wounds and injuries.
What Does the Research Say?
Red light therapy is quickly becoming a popular treatment option for those struggling with neuropathy.
Dr. Shawn Richey of the Neuropathy Treatment Centers of Pittsburgh reports using RLT on over 5,000 patients.
Richey reveals that up to 90 percent of his patients have experienced some kind of relief from their neuropathy symptoms. Additionally, 70 percent have experienced pain relief and improved motor function, and 50 percent claim that their neuropathy has been cured altogether.
How to Experience Red Light Therapy at Home
A common complaint regarding red light therapy for neuropathy has to do with convenience and price. If a person has to drive to and from a medspa every day (or several times per week) to receive red light therapy treatments, they’re going to be less inclined to be consistent -- this is especially true when the bills for their treatments start adding up.
The good news is that you can combat both of these issues by purchasing an at-home red light therapy device. You can buy red light therapy panels that are installed in a sauna and allow you to experience the benefits of two modalities at once. You can also buy portable devices that can be moved from room to room with ease or used on the go for frequent travelers.
At-Home Red Light Therapy Tips
For those who want to use red light therapy to manage their neuropathy symptoms, buying an at-home device is the first step. Here are some additional tips that will help you to improve your health and quality of life:
Consult Your Doctor
Red light therapy is a safe and effective protocol that causes few -- if any -- side effects. However, it’s still a good idea to consult your doctor before you start RLT treatments. This is especially true if you’re already using other tools or treatments to manage your symptoms.
RLT is not a quick fix for your neuropathy symptoms. It takes time to increase nitric oxide production, reduce inflammation, and see significant improvements.
If you want to see benefits from your RLT treatments as quickly as possible, you need to be consistent. This means engaging in treatments at least a few times per week, if not every day.
Set an alarm on your phone or write your sessions on your calendar so you don’t forget about them.
Monitor Your Symptoms
Before you start undergoing red light therapy treatments, write down your symptoms and rank them on a scale from 1 to 10. Then, check-in every week or so and consider how your symptoms are improving.
Regularly monitoring symptoms helps you to keep track of how you’re doing. It can also motivate you to stick with your treatments long-term.
Try In-Home Red Light Therapy Today
Are you ready to invest in a red light therapy device and experience the benefits of RLT for neuropathy? If so, Sun Home Saunas has lots of options for you to choose from.
Visit our online store today to check out our red light therapy device collection and find the perfect option for your needs.