A man holding hid back due to pain, highlighted in red.

Back Pain and Red Light Therapy

Whether you’re experiencing a feeling of constant strain, painful muscle spasms, a consistent dull ache, or another of the many symptoms, there’s no denying that any form of back pain is incredibly frustrating.

Globally, 540 million people are said to be suffering from back pain at any given time so you’re not alone if this has become your day-to-day.

It’s not just quality of life this impacts either, $635 billion is the annual cost to the American economy in treating this. That’s a staggering amount, but we are talking about one of the world’s biggest health problems which has become increasingly common.

We’re looking at the connection between back pain and red light therapy and have broken this down for ease. For those who want to see more of the science behind the two, jump to the final section to see the correlation.


How Does Red Light Therapy Help Back Pain?

An image of a woman with back pain and on the side are red light therapy devices used to help alleviate back pain.

Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to penetrate deep beneath the skin to stimulate various biological processes within the cells.

The wavelengths are part of the visible light spectrum and range between 620 nm to 750 nm. This area of the spectrum boasts longer wavelengths and lower energy compared to other light therapy variants.

Here are the ways in which red light therapy can help back pain.

Reduces Pain and Can Help People Become Pain-Free

Above all, the actual pain can sometimes be unbearable - especially if it’s constant. With red light therapy, you can take control and use the tool whenever you need relief.

When it’s used consistently and for a longer period, this can result in more prolonged pain relief.

In a study from 2006, where the use of light therapy for chronic low back pain was trialed, there was a significant reduction in pain felt by participants.

The mean numerical rating scale scores in the patients who had the treatment fell from 6.9 out of 10 to 3 out of 10 in overall pain by the end of the study.

Lowers Inflammation and Gets You Back to Doing What You Love

Inflammation is what causes swelling and/or discoloration. It can also contribute to pain and limit mobility.

When back pain strikes, it can make going to work or even going about your normal day-to-day feel far more strenuous than usual. Sometimes, the only thing you feel like doing is lying down to rest.

Did you know: Back pain is listed as one of the top 10 most common causes of employees missing a day of work!

Red light therapy has anti-inflammatory effects due to the modulation of cellular processes and immune responses so this handy form of therapy can improve the quality of life for those suffering from inflammation.

Less Restless Nights

There’s nothing worse than spending all night tossing and turning, unable to sleep because of a nagging issue.

Instead of having difficulty sleeping, use red light therapy to get fast relief before you fall asleep as it can provide quick relief when you need it.

The Science Behind Red Light Therapy and Back Pain

The science of back pain and red light therapy in a picture.

Let’s get into the science of how red light therapy and back pain are a perfect match…

Increases Bone Mineral Density

In a study that looked to investigate the efficacy of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) alone or combined with exercise (HILT+EX) on bone density, lumbar and total hip bone mineral density was found to have significantly increased post-treatment in the HILT+ EX and placebo laser + EX.

While HILT alone didn’t effectively increase lumbar and total hip bone mineral density (BMD), HILT combined with exercise was more effective than exercise alone at increasing lumbar BMD after 24 weeks of treatment, with effects lasting up to one year.

Reduces Inflammation

Red light stimulates collagen production, realigning fibers that have tightened or shortened from chronic inflammation. This restores normal movement to the back and anywhere the therapy is used.

It has anti-inflammatory effects which lower oxidative stress, increase local circulation, inhibit inflammatory cytokines, and block prostaglandin production.

Accelerated Healing

When red light is applied to a troubled area (like a strained back) it can speed up healing as the light energy triggers cellular changes that accelerate the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

This results in enhanced tissue regeneration, collagen remodeling, angiogenesis, and nerve healing. Red light therapy helps to gradually rebuild strength, stability, and function. It helps prevent re-injury or repeated strain and means people can resume their regular exercise routines and daily activities without back pain or limitations.

Pain Relief

Red light therapy helps block pain signal transmission through two actions: it alters nerve cell membrane permeability to sodium ions and it modifies nerve thresholds, making nerves less excitable to pain stimuli.

It also stimulates the release of endogenous opioids and endorphins which have natural analgesic properties. People report less pain at rest, with their first morning steps, and with activity.

Increases Blood Flow

Red light therapy has been shown to increase blood flow, which can help reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair.

The light energy stimulates the relaxation of blood vessels and enhances their function.

By increasing blood flow, red light therapy can deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the affected area, which can help speed up the healing process.

Back Pain and Red Light Therapy: Your Questions Answered

A man experiencing back pain and the red light therapy device used to alleviate back pain all in one frame with a text that says frequently asked questions.

Is red light therapy helpful for back pain?

Yes, red light therapy is very helpful for back pain. It promotes anti-inflammatory effects which is particularly beneficial as this can sometimes be a hidden cause for pain and lack of mobility. It allows your body’s natural healing processes to be sped up too. And above all, it can reduce pain.

Customers of our red light therapy device - the MOVE+ Pro - report an 80% reduction in pain within 1 - 4 weeks.

As another plus, there are no known risks associated with the use of this tool. It’s non-invasive and doesn’t hurt when applied.


How long does it take for red light therapy to work for back pain?

Red light therapy needs consistency for it to work in its most effective form. However, it’s not uncommon for people to feel some pain relief after first use, but you mustn't stop there.

If you use it regularly, you’re more likely to see long-lasting pain relief.

Everyone is different though, so it’ll depend on the severity of your condition for how long it will take to work. It shouldn’t be treated as a catch-all either, consider doing some light exercises or stretches daily as these work well alongside light therapy.

If you have specific orders from the doctor or a physio, these should be followed and not discounted.


How often should you use red light therapy on lower back pain?

A hugely beneficial thing about red light therapy is that it can be used as often as you’d like on lower back pain.

It’s not like a surgical procedure where it’s a one-and-done as consistent use results in the benefits being felt for a more prolonged period of time.

We recommend trying to make the use of red light therapy a habit. Pick a time that works best for you and start to integrate it into your daily routine. We recommend that you use our device for at least 10-15 minutes per day. You could do this whilst watching TV, settling down for bed, or even when walking the dog.


Can you treat back pain at home?

You can treat back pain at home through the use of an at-home red light therapy device. It’s one of the most empowering ways you can treat your pain as you’re in full control.

Red light therapy wavelengths are known for their therapeutic effects on the human body, including muscle recovery, pain reduction, and accelerated healing.

With an at-home device like Kineon’s MOVE+ Pro, there’ll be no more driving 40 minutes to a sterile clinic and paying a pretty penny every week. Instead, it’s just an initial investment in the device and then you can self-treat whenever you wish.

Treatment at home isn’t just more cost-effective, but it’s highly convenient too as you can integrate sessions into your daily routine and be more consistent in your approach.

Did you know: NASA scientists realized the healing powers of light during a space mission when the astronauts were exposed to specific light wavelengths, and they experienced wound healing. This initial finding piqued their interest and led them to launch extensive investigations into the effects of light on the body’s regenerative processes!

We wrote a full article about everything you need to know for using red light therapy at home.


Can you use red light therapy alongside exercise for back pain?

Yes! Using red light therapy alongside exercise for back pain is actually one of the most effective ways to see relief.

A study found that high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) combined with exercise was more effective than exercise alone at increasing lumbar bone mineral density after 24 weeks of treatment. The effects lasted up to a year.

Besides, whilst the healing powers of light are extensive - it can’t do all the work! If you’re able, you should do some light exercises and stretches to complement the treatment. You should hopefully feel all the better for it.


Can red light therapy heal a herniated disc?

A herniated disc can heal on its own, although it may take up to six months to do so. The pain however can be relieved by red light therapy.

This is due to its ability to improve local blood circulation and reduce swelling and nerve irritation. It also blocks pain signal transmission through two actions: it alters nerve cell membrane permeability to sodium ions and it modifies nerve thresholds, making nerves less excitable to pain stimuli.


Does red light therapy help nerve repair?

Red light therapy can contribute to nerve regeneration as it increases blood flow to the target area which then leads to more oxygen and nutrient delivery to the nerves.

In turn, this increased circulation supports the regeneration of nerves.

A study was completed in 2010 which looked at the effect of photobiomodulation (red or near-infrared) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on nerve regeneration. In the LED group of participants, nerve regeneration was promoted.

Antioxidation of the chamber fluid significantly decreased from 3 days to 7 days in the control group. In the LED group, antioxidation levels did not decrease until 7 days.


For More on Back Pain and Red Light Therapy

About Kineon

Bringing the latest advancements in enhanced red light therapy for home use. Our mission is to get you back on your feet and moving pain-free.

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