We can usually identify inflammation when we see it. The inflamed part of the body looks red and swollen, and it feels hot and painful. But in this article, we’ll find out why we experience inflammation, as well as its causes, risk factors, and how red light therapy devices can help reduce it.
What Really is Inflammation?
Inflammation is our body’s natural response to pain, irritation, damaged cells, exposure to germs, and potential danger. There are two types of inflammation:
1. Acute inflammation
This type of inflammation happens as our body’s healthy response to injury or stress. We mean “healthy” because it helps the body recover faster. The inflammation happens only for a few hours and then starts to repair the damaged tissue.
2. Chronic inflammation
On the other hand, chronic inflammation can be excruciating and may cause discomfort or inconvenience. It causes an imbalance in the body, making it operate inefficiently over time. Chronic inflammation can be caused by viral infections, repetitive tissue damage, autoimmune reactions, and persistent and recurring acute inflammation. At its worse, this type of inflammation may lead to more serious diseases and/or conditions such as cancer, stroke, depression, and heart disorder.
Common Causes of Inflammation
Anything that causes stress on your body may lead to inflammation. These include:
- Chemical irritants
- Excessive alcohol
- Poor nutrition
- Poor sleep
- Toxin exposure
- Wounds and injuries
Signs of Inflammation
There are five common signs of inflammation:
- Heat on the inflamed area
- Loss of function (i.e., you can’t move your arms or legs)
Treatment Options for Inflammation
For acute inflammation, doctors normally recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. Meanwhile, chronic inflammation may also be prescribed with NSAIDs, along with steroids and supplements.
However, these common treatment options help prevent inflammation symptoms but do not deal with the root cause, including improper cellular function, biological imbalance, and damaged tissues. This is also why lifestyle changes (improved diet, regular exercises, and high-quality sleep) and red light therapy could be of great help.
How Red Light Therapy Works Against Inflammation
Red light therapy, also referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), is a non-invasive treatment option. This kind of therapy delivers wavelengths of red and near-infrared (NIR) light to your skin and cells for multiple benefits. When it comes to inflammation, it can help cut down oxidative stress and activate protective cellular mechanisms to boost your immune system and protect you from diseases that may cause inflammation. It can also boost the generation of healing agents and antioxidants in the body to speed up damaged tissues' healing process.
Red light therapy can give your body the light exposure needed to function more efficiently, improve blood flow, and limit inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural part of our biological processes, but chronic cases may also lead to serious health risks that can affect the quality of your life. Therefore, if you’re experiencing signs of inflammation, regardless if it’s acute or chronic, please schedule an appointment with your doctor to get the care and treatment you need as early as possible.
In the meantime, to protect your body from the stress that may cause inflammation, you can do red light therapy either through a health provider or from the comfort of your home. If you need to purchase red light therapy devices, you can browse through our catalog to see the brands and products that we offer.