Red Light Therapy for Fibromyalgia: Relieving Symptoms and Improving Quality of Life
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Red Light Therapy for Fibromyalgia: Relieving Symptoms and Improving Quality of Life
Create on 2023-11-12
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What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disease manifested by widespread musculoskeletal pain. It does not cause joint deformation and is not life-threatening. However, for the patient, it can be excruciating, not only because of the pervasive (diffuse, generalized) pain throughout the body but, more importantly, because patients may have significant depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and mental and psychological problems such as loss of interest, fatigue, and mood disorders. Genetics, viral infections, psychological and physical trauma, etc can cause fibromyalgia syndrome. It is the third most prevalent musculoskeletal-related disorder after low back pain and osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia can occur at any age, even in adolescents under the age of 18, especially in today's increasingly stressful world.

Fibromyalgia

Why Fibromyalgia Cannot Get Better After Taking Medicine?

Fibromyalgia is common in women aged 30-50, which is not only difficult to diagnose but also has less drug efficacy. This means that for most people, drug therapy is not the first choice, and others may not respond at all to medication. The treatment of Fibromyalgia is divided into two parts: pharmacological and non-pharmacological. Drug treatment is mainly focused on relieving pain. Analgesics such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioid analgesics have little benefit. These medications have side effects, including constipation, indigestion, inflammation, and other allergic reactions, and some drugs can be addictive. Clinical studies have found that drug medication reduced symptoms in one out of 10 patients, and 90 percent of patients did not get relief from medication alone. Drug therapy also has limitations in improving the symptoms of patients with FM, and non-drug treatment should be considered. The performance of drugs is generally poor and causes adverse effects, so many patients want to try safer treatments and red light therapy is recommended as adjunctive therapy for patients with fibromyalgia.

How Does Red Light Therapy Relieve Fibromyalgia?

Red light therapy, or low-level light therapy (LLLT), is a kind of physiotherapy device that emits low-energy concentrated red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelength (630-940nm) and irradiates the whole body with a penetration depth of 15mm. The photochemical action acts deeply on the vascular, lymphatic tissue, nerve endings, subcutaneous tissue, and other human body parts. It produces photobiomodulation (PBM) effects with human cells, ultimately enhancing the energy of human cells and promoting cell growth. After light is absorbed into the tissues, it reaches the deep, painful areas and activates the photosensitive enzymes in the mitochondria to produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

PBM enhances the metabolic capacity of cells and the regeneration and repair of tissues. Red light therapy is a revolutionary modern healthcare technology that is painless, and it changes how we deal with pain, reduces inflammation, and improves health. Red light therapy relieves fibromyalgia symptoms by employing the following mechanisms:

Boost Microcirculation:

Red light therapy induces vasodilation, which increases blood flow, tissue oxygenation, and nutrient supply, accelerating tissue regeneration and repair.

Anti-inflammatory Role:

Reduce circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, pain symptoms, and pain perception and speed up tissue repair mechanisms at the inflammatory site.

Accelerate Cellular Metabolism:

Promote the synthesis and metabolism of ATP in cells, thereby improving cells' metabolic level and immune function.

Alleviate Pain

Red light helps to combat anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia, etc, by activating nerve endings and inhibiting the release of pain neurotransmitters.

Red Light Therapy Efficacy in Fibromyalgia Treatment

With the current progress in scientific research, studies have found that red light therapy's use in the management of FM is scientifically valid and effective. A recent clinical study conducted on eighteen FM patients reported, "Whole body photobiomodulation therapy for six weeks resulted in improvement of pain, tenderness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and cognition."

(Fitzmaurice et al., 2023)

Whole body photobiomodulation therapy for six weeks resulted in improvement of pain, tenderness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and cognition.

Another triple-blinded randomized clinical trial was conducted in 2022 to evaluate the short and long-term effects of whole-body red light therapy on FM symptoms. Study showed,"Low-level light therapy of the whole body with 660-850 nanometers wavelengths for 3-6 months significantly reduced pain, inflammation and also improved the rate of tissue repair, and psychological functions such as kinesiophobia and self-efficacy."

(Navarro-Ledesma et al., 2022)

Another clinical study found compelling similar evidence of red light therapy's utilization in treating (FM);

"Patients were treated for two weeks with the super pulsed 904 nm low-level light therapy combined with the amitriptyline anti-depression drugs, fibromyalgia typical symptoms were significantly decreased, suggested that red light therapy can be used as a monotherapy or a supplementary therapy to manage FM."

(Gür et al., 2002)

Red Light Therapy Usage Safety

Red light therapy is a non-invasive method with the advantage of high safety. It is worth noting that since low-energy red light therapy has a relatively weak bio-stimulating effect on human tissue, the dosage and duration of therapy must be strictly controlled during treatment to avoid excessive stimulation and adverse reactions. In addition, when applying red light therapy for Fibromyalgia, it is also necessary to consider your physical condition and get a personalized treatment plan to obtain the best effect.

Conclusion

Fibromyalgia is more than just a "physical disease" that causes suffering to many people. The purpose of red light therapy is not to "cure" Fibromyalgia but to allow you to live comfortably while boosting your well-being. Red light therapy is a multifunctional, effective treatment for alleviating both mental illness and musculoskeletal disorders in FM compared to traditional medications. Drugs may make you feel better, but their side effects cannot be ignored. If you are suffering from the debilitating effects of Fibromyalgia, try Best Qool's cutting-edge red light therapy devices today to improve your quality of life.

References and Citations:

[1] Mafei M. E. (2020). Fibromyalgia: Recent Advances in Diagnosis, Classification, Pharmatherapy, Alternative Remedies. Intern journal of molecular sciences, 21(21), 7877.

[2] Ruaro, . A., Fréiz, A. R., Ruaro, M. B., & Nicolu, R. A. (2014). Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to treat Fibromyalgia (FM). Lasers in medical science, 29(6), 1815–1819.

[3] Fitzmaurce, B. C., Henghan, N. R., Rayn, A. T. A., Grenfel, R. L., & Soundy, A. (2023). Whole Body PBM Therapy for Fibromyalgia: A Feasibility Trial. Behavioral sciences, 13(9), 717.

[4] Navaro-Ledsma, S., Carol, J., Burtn, P., & Ana, G. M. (2023). Short Term Effects of Whole Body Photobiomodulation on Quality of Life, pain and Psychological Factors in Fibromyalgia: A Triple-Blinded Random Trial. Pain and therapy, 12(1), 225–239.

[5] Gur, A., Karkoc, M., Nas, K., Cevk, R., Sarc, J., & Ataglu, S. (2002). Effects of low power laser , low dose amitriptyline on clinical symptoms and Fibromyalgia quality of life : a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Rheumatology international, 22(5), 188–193.

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