Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Knee Pain

Red light therapy has been proven to reduce joint pain and improve range of motion by reducing inflammation and stimulating healing within the joint, especially the knee joint.

Could you please explain what red light therapy is and the science behind it?

Dr. Luke Stringer: Absolutely. Super excited to be talking about this today, Liz. We’ve started to implement a lot of this in the clinic with our patients and we’ve been getting some awesome results. Red light therapy has actually been around for quite some time now, but in the last five plus years, it’s really started to pick up in terms of clinical implications and the effectiveness it has in conservative care. There’s different types of red light and the reVive Light is red light therapy that addresses more the surface level of the joints and the tissue, and it penetrates not as deeply as typical IR infrared. Infrared light therapy is awesome too, but it penetrates a lot deeper, more internal tissue. Essentially infrared and red light therapy work on different wavelengths and obviously the wavelengths of the light impact different parts of the joint and the tissue.

So the infrared is going to go a lot deeper and it’s going to address more of the self physiology of the joint, particularly the articulars, without getting too deep and nerdy about it, just all the stuff that makes up a physiological portion of joints, so water, hemoglobin, melanin, cytochromes, et cetera. The red light therapy works within the joint, it just doesn’t go as deeply. So, the benefit for the patient here is it’s really, really effective of addressing things such as inflammation and reducing inflammation in joint. It actually accelerates chromosomal activity, so it can support regrowth of tissue, such as cartilage. Obviously, if we’ve got less inflammation in the joint, it’s going to reduce pain, it’s going to increase less stress that the joints put out, the oxidative stress that happens within a joint. And obviously the red light therapy really heats the joint up, so it increases blood, lymph, oxygen to the joint, which obviously all aids the joint.

The red light therapy just penetrates the right depth in the joint to excite and accelerate all the kind of molecules within the joint. And when that happens, essentially, it’s just like giving the joint a shot of adrenaline, essentially. It just wakes everything up and gets everything fired up, which has some awesome clinical outcomes for the patients, particularly in those big joints, like the knee, the hip, the shoulder, the elbow.

How does red light therapy work specifically to relieve knee pain?

Dr. Luke Stringer: Without getting too deep into the science, there are a few main mechanisms that the red light specifically addresses to reduce the pain, nociception et cetera of the joint. But essentially what it does, it increases cell activity, specific things such as serotonin and acetylcholines, increases the activity of the synapses and synthesizes these hormones, which obviously when they are increased, it increases regulation and growth of the tissue. And it also decreases and suppresses the stuff that damages the joints, bradykinin, and essentially decreases the potentials of that hormone. And it just increases the mitochondrial potential.

When you penetrate the joint, the photons within the mitochondrial cell or the mitochondrial cells pick up on the red light. What it does, is it essentially just boosts those cells with activity. This increases the light transport, and it just increases all these pathways. It just basically gives the joint a massive dose of healing. It essentially creates biochemical changes that just create big changes in the joint that add a lot of medical benefits. Such a promotion of cellular proliferation, decreasing inflammation, obviously decreased inflammation improves range of motion, decreases pain, all these things. It just wakes the joint up and just gets the joint firing, and the neuron interactions fire up.

It’s loads of nerdy stuff. I think the best thing without getting too deep in the podcast, is kind of jumping in on the reVive Light website. And then you can kind of take a deep dive into exactly the science of it, but it’s really cool and effective.

Can you please describe the Move Plus device and how it works?

Dr. Luke Stringer: The Move Plus device is specifically designed for the knee joint in every way, shape, or form. How it fits, how it moves, how it targets the joint. It uses a combination of IR infrared lasers and then obviously red light, which is essentially lower angle on the emissions. When we strap the reVive Light to the knee and get it fired up, it’s just going to penetrate into the joint tissue just at the right depth, which is then going to fire that joint up and kind of get that joint healing.

The whole idea is it’s going to reduce the inflammation, which is going to reduce pain, which is going to improve range of motion. This is just going to affect or be beneficial for both acute injuries, so you’re sixty-five years old, you enjoy hiking, you’ve lost joint height within the joint. You load that joint, you’re going to get a lot of inflammation. It’s just specifically targeted for the knee to, again, decrease inflammation, improve range of motion, and decrease pain.

What are some reasons people would try Move Plus over other forms of red light therapy?

Dr. Luke Stringer: It’s just really effective in terms of a sophisticated laser LED based system, which is designed specifically to penetrate the knee just at the right depth. It’s going to address the joint tissue and the synovial fluid. Typically, commercial products out there are going to be LED only. LED doesn’t penetrate as effectively, it’s harder to get the dosage right. Other commercial products involve panels, literally a panel like you’d stand under so it’s difficult to get the dosing right. It’s really difficult to fit around a joint, and then there are not many good clinical trials, it’s pretty poorly regulated so it’s just difficult to use.

The Move Plus device obviously uses different types of lasers which penetrate at different levels. And it’s also a really, really cool design. So, it fits well, it feels good, and you can wear it both when you’re sedentary and when you’re moving. There are not many products on the market that offer that combination of type of light, type of depth and penetration, and that comfort and fit where we can actually use it actively.

Where can someone purchase a Move Plus device?

Dr. Luke Stringer: The best place to go to purchase a reVive Light is the website, www.reVivelight.com. And on that website, you’ll find some really cool resources to go over the kind of science we briefly touched on here. There are some really cool case studies out there, some trials that have been set up to run, and then obviously that’s when you can purchase the reVive Light.

If you are someone who suffers with chronic knee pain and you’re struggling to get results with physical therapy or the traditional allopathic medicine, or cortisone shots. Just to review, the reVive Light is something you can have in your toolbox, too. If you have degeneration in a knee, but you’re not surgical, you don’t warrant surgery, and you’ve got to deal with constant inflammation and swelling, particularly after activity, this is going to be a great device for you to handle that type of activity and that swelling post-activity. And also put off any form of surgery that you may eventually need or may not need if you’re using the reVive Light.

If you’re more active, there are lots of professional sports teams and professional athletes, there are some people at the winter Olympics on the Jamaican Bobsled team that used the reVive Light pre- and post-competition just for active recovery. If you’re a CrossFitter or you play sports to a high level, high school, college, or even recreational league, reVive Light is something that you can use on the knee and you can transfer it to the hip, the shoulder, any big moveable joints. It’s just a great way to be proactive and recover.

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If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Luke Stringer visit www.southloopchiropractor.com or call (312) 987-4878 to schedule an appointment.

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