A woman's silhouette, raising a word that says hope. This signifies there's hope to nerve damage with red light therapy.

A Ray of Hope: Red Light Therapy's Impact on Nerve Damage

This article was written by Sophie Atkinson

When you can’t see something, it’s easy to underestimate its abilities and the true extent of its function.

This is absolutely true for the nerves, as it’s only when nerve damage occurs that its importance is brought to light.

These cable-like conduits in the body carry electric impulses between the brain and everywhere else. This helps you to feel sensations, move muscles, and even maintain autonomic functions like breathing, sweating, or digesting food.

With nerves being essential to all you do, if nerve pain strikes it can be extremely detrimental to your quality of life. To counteract that, we’re looking at red light therapy’s impact on nerve damage.

 

Image of damaged nerves that can be treated using red light therapy device.

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What Exactly Is Nerve Damage?

Known medically as peripheral neuropathy, this is where the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord are damaged.

When a nerve is damaged, this can impact the brain’s ability to communicate with muscles and organs.

It’s important to note that there are three types of nerves in the body, with experiences of damage being slightly different for each.

Autonomic nerves: These nerves focus on controlling the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of the body including the heart rate, blood pressure, temperature regulation, and even digestion.

Motor nerves: Motor nerves manage movements and actions by passing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles.

Sensory nerves: In a similar way to motor nerves, the sensory type serves a communicative function. They relay information from the skin and muscles back to your spinal cord and brain. When these messages come through and are processed, you’ll be able to feel sensations.


Common Causes


There are a few ways you can damage the nerves in your body. The most obvious is from an accident or fall. Intense sports can stretch, compress, crush, or cut nerves which could cause subtle damage too.

Then, there are medical reasons behind nerve damage. If you have diabetes, for example, this could bring on diabetic peripheral neuropathy which commonly affects the feet and legs first, followed by the hands and arms.

There are four types of diabetic neuropathy, with this form of damage being one of the long-term complications of the condition. These include diabetic peripheral neuropathy, diabetic sensory neuropathy, diabetic autonomic neuropathy, and diabetic motor neuropathy.

Diabetic-induced neuropathy occurs due to high blood glucose levels damaging the small blood vessels that supply the nerves which prevents essential nutrients from reaching them.

Other conditions like Guillain-Barre syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome can damage nerves too.

And lastly, some autoimmune diseases can be the reason behind nerve pain and damage including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren syndrome.

If none of these seem to correlate to your situation, it could be due to the narrowing of arteries, changes in hormone balance, or tumors.


Symptoms


Symptoms of nerve damage will depend on which nerve fiber is damaged, but injuries can sometimes affect more than one type.

For those with autonomic nerve damage, you may see the following symptoms:
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Too much sweating or too little
  • Inability to sense chest pain

When motor nerves are damaged, this can bring on several symptoms:
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Paralysis
  • Twitching
  • Weakness

Sensory nerve damage can cause:
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Prickling sensation
  • Burning
  • Lack of positional awareness

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or believe you have nerve damage, you should go to your doctor as soon as possible.

 

Does Red Light Therapy Help With Nerve Damage?

 

How Red Light Therapy Works


Red light therapy works by specific wavelengths of light being penetrated beneath the skin to stimulate numerous biological processes within the cells.

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

It’s a holistic form of therapy that can be used for a range of ailments, injuries, and conditions including nerve damage. Some of red light’s benefits include:

Wound healing: Decades of studies have gone into understanding the connection between light and wound healing. Through NASA’s in-depth research, high-intensity red and near-infrared light was found to accelerate the healing of oxygen-deprived wounds.

Tissue repair: Near-infrared light boosts cellular energy production, resulting in greater tissue repair.

Pain management and relief: This therapy promotes the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers. It improves blood flow to the affected areas. This is particularly advantageous for people with chronic pain, muscle soreness, and discomfort.


Pain Relief


Red light therapy has been found to diminish pain through blocking nerve fiber conduction and its anti-inflammatory properties and blocking of substance P can have a huge impact.

As the wavelengths penetrate the skin and reach the mitochondria within the cells, red light results in the increased production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the release of nitric oxide.

Experimental data has demonstrated that nitric oxide inhibits nociception in the peripheral and the central nervous system. Further data shows that nitric oxide is capable of inducing analgesia.

Another way in which red light therapy can aid pain reduction is through the anti-inflammatory effects it holds. Once the light is absorbed by the cells, inflammation can be reduced. It can speed up the body’s natural process and response too which could reduce the amount of time people are troubled with symptoms of damaged nerves.

Can Red Light Therapy Heal Nerves?


Experimental work has found that direct laser treatment on nerve tissue promotes restoration of the electrophysiological activity of the severely injured peripheral nerve.

In another study, where low-power laser irradiation was applied to a crushed and injured sciatic nerve in the right leg, the results showed a highly significant difference between the laser-treated group and the control non irradiated group.

The bilateral degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord expected after the injury of the peripheral nerve was also greatly reduced in the laser treated group.

This is due to light therapy’s vast benefits when it comes to healing and boosting regeneration. It does so through increasing cellular energy production, with the light stimulating the mitochondria and producing more adenosine triphosphate.

As a result, there’s more fuel for numerous cellular processes, including tissue repair and regeneration.

The enhanced blood circulation which is found with red light therapy provides the damaged area with more oxygen and nutrients too which supports further healing and reduces inflammation in the process.


The Benefits Of Using Red Light Therapy

 


From NASA using light therapy for healing purposes to A-list celebrities using it for skincare, red light therapy brings with it a whole lot of goodness.


Non-Invasive Treatment


This form of therapy is completely non-invasive and drug-free. Unlike surgical procedures or pharmaceutical interventions, this therapy doesn’t require any needles, incisions, or medications.

This minimizes further risks to the nerves or other injuries and means there’ll be no long downtime post-surgery. With a red light therapy device, you can carry on with your day-to-day life without needing to take time out.


At-Home Treatment With A Single Device


Due to modern advancements, light therapy can now be delivered at home - by you. You don’t need any qualifications or training, and it’s much more convenient than visiting a medical clinic every day.

Here at Kineon, we launched our much-loved Move+ Pro to allow anyone and everyone to access the powers of light in the comfort of their own homes.

With our device, you can target specific areas of the body according to the nerve damage and access the treatment whenever you need it.

The ability to control the timing and duration of sessions provides flexibility, which is perfect for those with busy schedules. In fact, 5-15 minutes every day is much better than a longer and non-consistent approach.

The MOVE+ Pro is also available with an extendable strap so you can go about your daily chores while administering red light therapy.


Holistic Healing


Unlike other treatments that may just act as pain relief or attempt to heal the nerves, red light will work on other areas too.

It improves circulation as it delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the cells that need it which promotes holistic healing from within.

It will assist with any inflammation that has arisen due to nerve damage too as it has anti-inflammatory properties. When the device is applied to the skin, and used on a consistent basis, inflammation can be treated which improves movement, stiffness, and pain.

A graphic image that has this text, "Join the Kineon Community." This encourages viewers to join the facebook group with over 3,000 people to know more about reducing joint pain, inflammation, and more with red light therapy.

What Kind Of Light Therapy Is Best For Nerve Pain?

 

The healing powers of light are expansive, with near-infrared and red light found to be the most beneficial when it comes to this major advantage.

Red light has proven its effectiveness in promoting cellular energy production, increasing blood flow, and reducing pain. This is done through wavelengths ranging from 600 to 700 nm.

Near-infrared light wavelengths sit at 770 - 1200nm, making it useful for pain management, reducing oxidative stress, and promoting capillary formation.

While either form is a powerful tool for nerve pain, the combination of the two holds the most power. Unlike many other devices, Kineon’s MOVE+ Pro combines deep red LEDs and infrared lasers - creating the best of both worlds in one handy device.

Get started with a risk free 30 day at-home trial today to wave goodbye to pain and inflammation.

For more articles on, red light therapy, read:

Headshot of Sophie Atkinson: Kineon's Women's Health and Wellness Writer

Sophie Atkinson

Job Title: Women's Health and Wellness Writer
LinkedIn: @Sophie_Atkinson
Location: United Kingdom
Bio: Sophie Atkinson is a journalist and content writer. Sophie went straight into the newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism. She has since gone on to work as a freelancer for a range of brands worldwide. Her work has included a focus on several topics around women’s health, with the aim of putting a stop to the taboo culture surrounding certain subjects and health issues

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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