Article at a Glance:
- Rather than prescribing drugs or surgery to help relieve pain, chiropractors emphasize the use of natural, non-invasive treatments, such as manual adjustments and/or manipulations of the spine.
- LED light therapy is a painless, non-invasive form of treatment that delivers specific wavelengths of light to heal the body.
- Chiropractors often advocate for and recommend the use of LED light therapy (or photobiomodulation) because it is a very effective tool for muscle recovery, tissue regeneration, and pain management.
- In order to get the full benefits from LED light therapy sessions, it’s important for patients to get the correct dosage of light.
- TrueLight® light therapy devices use a patent-pending combination of deep red, red, near-infrared (NIR), and yellow light to heal the body from the surface of the skin all the way down to the bone.
Chiropractic care is the first line of defense for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of pain and neuromuscular disorders. Rather than turning to drugs and surgery to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation, chiropractors emphasize the use of natural, non-invasive treatments, such as manual adjustments and/or manipulations of the spine. Chiropractors are also big believers in patient education and want to be your partner in achieving optimal health. So, they may offer additional tips and tools to help relieve pain and improve your quality of life.
What Chiropractors Believe In
Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between the body’s primary structures – the skeleton, the muscles, and the nerves — and how they relate to an individual’s overall health. Chiropractors believe that any structural or biomechanical issue affecting your spinal cord could also negatively impact the function of your nervous system. In a similar vein, chiropractors advocate for helping patients heal by adjusting the musculoskeletal system without the use of surgery or drugs.
The History Behind LED Light Therapy as a Modality for Chiropractors
NASA initially developed LED Light therapy technology (also known as photobiomodulation) to protect astronauts’ health – more specifically, to promote the growth and generation of healthy cells, prevent bone and muscle loss, and speed up wound healing — which can be greatly impacted by a lack of gravity. (1) In the world of chiropractic treatments, which focus on muscle, joint, and/or bone pain, photobiomodulation can be a very effective, complementary tool for muscle recovery, tissue regeneration, and pain management.
Why Chiropractors Are Leading the Way with Light Therapy
Chiropractors are especially drawn to LED light therapy because of its safety factor. It is a painless, non-invasive form of treatment that delivers specific wavelengths of light to heal the body. LED light therapy also notably has far-reaching abilities without the use of surgery or drugs. In fact, general chiropractic care has been recognized as an important non-pharmacologic approach to address chronic pain and the opioid crisis; in conjunction with chiropractic care, photobiomodulation is a safe and effective, conservative treatment option that is conducive to the National Pain Strategy set forth by the National Institutes of Health(NIH). (2)(3)
Over 3,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies to date have shown that LED light therapy can have many positive biological effects, including but not limited to:
- Accelerated muscle recovery
- Faster would/injury healing
- Pain relief
- Improved blood and oxygen circulation
- Reduced inflammation
- Fat loss
- Anti-aging (reduced wrinkles and fine lines)
- Increase in strength and endurance
- Improved hormonal health
- Improved energy levels and mood
- Improved cognitive function
- Reduce skin irritation, UV damage, and redness (e.g. rosacea)(4)
Since LED light therapy pairs perfectly with what chiropractors advocate, it’s no surprise that these specialists have taken the lead in advancing the clinical use of this technology.
How Patients Can Make the Most of LED Light Therapy
Given the emphasis on holistic health care, chiropractors typically refer their patients to invest in complementary and alternative medicine for natural healing and minimal pain – especially for in-home use in between office visits. LED light therapy is an ideal tool for those with long-term therapy needs such as chronic pain and neuropathy.
To make the most of photobiomodulation, it’s important for patients to get the correct dosage of light. A common misconception is that the more light you deliver to the body, the better; in reality, it is actually possible to overdose on light and negates the intended benefits. According to Dr. Michael Hamblin, a researcher and associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, the most appropriate dosage is between 10 and 20 milliwatts per square centimeter for 20-30 minutes per day. When used correctly, and in conjunction with chiropractic care, LED light therapy is an ideal tool for those with long-term therapy needs such as chronic pain and neuropathy.
How TrueLight® Devices Can Help Chiropractors and Their Patients
TrueLight® light therapy devices emit a patent-pending combination of light wavelengths to heal the body from the surface of the skin all the way down to the bone. This combination includes deep red (660nm), red (630nm), near-infrared (NIR) (850nm), and yellow light (580nm). Red and NIR have deep penetration levels, allowing the dispersed light to reach into cells, tissues, blood, nerves, and bones. When the light reaches the cells, it also promotes the release of nitric oxide (NO) from the mitochondria. This is especially important for chiropractors and their patients to know because the release of NO helps dilate blood vessels and stimulate ATP production, which in turn can accelerate healing, muscle recovery, and tissue strengthening. Yellow light has a much shallower penetration level and is ideal for creating primary cellular movement at the top layer of skin. (Think reducing skin irritation and redness.)
TrueLight® devices are also unique in that they have two different light modes: steady and pulsed light. (6) It has been discovered that when LED lights are pulsed, they stimulate the cells and enable them to produce more protein and ATP, which can help cells heal faster. Alternatively, a steady beam of light can remove/dull pain, reduce inflammation, and allow muscle tissue to relax.
More and more chiropractors are recommending TrueLight® products to patients who are looking for relief – from sports injuries, post-surgery conditions, sprains and strains, plantar fasciitis, and various other conditions ailments that often result in pain and inflammation. These devices can also be used to treat skin conditions, accelerate wound healing, and reduce scar tissue.