Competitive swimming demands your all, but It's not just about racing – it's about the strain on your body. Chlorine, those repeated strokes, and the long hours? They shape champions but pose risks, especially for your shoulders and elbows, where tendinitis can strike.
Now, between races and practices, what happens? Soreness hits, making the next swim a challenge. And over time, these strains can lead to overuse injuries, threatening the success you aim for. So, here, meet the game-changer: Red light therapy. This isn't a passing trend; it could be your companion in your swimming journey. With its anti-inflammatory powers, red light therapy targets post-swim soreness, helping you recover faster, refine your training, and secure a longer peak performance.
Are you ready to stay on top of your game? This article will cover how red light therapy can enhance your competitive swimming journey.
Understanding the Needs of Swimmers
Swimming competitions are super challenging, with rigorous training schedules and a never-ending cycle of races. Every stroke, every lap, and every practice helps to shape swimmers into champions.
Moreover, this journey comes up with a lot of challenges as well. Most frequently, swimmers experience muscle soreness and fatigue as a result of pushing their bodies to the limit. For competitive swimmers, the time between races is a crucial period where recovery becomes a challenge. The toll of chlorine exposure, repetitive strokes, and extended durations in the water intensify the strain on shoulders and elbows, increasing the risk of tendinitis and other overuse injuries.
That's where red light therapy steps in! This therapy helps swimmers overcome challenges and prevent overuse injuries.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Red light therapy works by improving mitochondrial function and subsequently organ function through by producing of ATP (which transports energy throughout the body). Muscle cells have more mitochondria than most other types of cells because even minor muscle movements require energy. That's why muscle tissue responds so well to red light therapy.
Red light therapy may improve the overall health and well-being of swimmers through the following ways:
- Increases blood circulation
- Increases muscle growth and strength
- Pain relief
- Enhances muscle recovery
- Stimulates collagen production
- Promotes injury healing and faster recovery
- Increases endurance
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduce inflammation in cells.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Swimmers
Red light therapy is beneficial for more than just treating diseases. It can improve your body's fitness and promote faster muscle recovery. Red light therapy is being used by an increasing number of professional swimmers in their training schedules and daily lives. Let's discuss its scientifically backed benefits.
Accelerated Muscle Recovery
For swimmers, muscle recovery is also a key factor in between competitions and races. Quicker muscle recovery means less rest time is required between workouts_ and, of course, less time feeling sore.
Red light aids muscle recovery by increasing circulation and oxygenation, as well as cellular regeneration, all of which have long been shown to aid in the treatment of post-exercise muscle soreness, fatigue, and stiffness, among other issues.
Research also suggests that red light therapy may also reduce muscle damage and oxidative stress (an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants within the cells, limiting the body's ability to detoxify), both of which are important barriers to muscle
Red light therapy isn't just for common post-workout aches and pains. It has also been shown to significantly reduce the return to play (RTP) time following a sports-related injury while having no negative side effects.
Reduced Muscle Soreness
The key result from RLT that may be most interesting to swimmers is its effect on inflammation. Red light therapy stimulates collagen production and increases blood circulation, so you get more blood flow to the muscle that you're trying to work_ ultimately, it reduces inflammation.
When you suddenly perform new movements or increase exercise intensity, such as going for a swimming race for the first time, you may experience DOMS. This pain can delay your performance and postpone muscle recovery.
In one study, bicep muscles were treated once a day for five days using red and near-infrared light therapy of 880nm and 660nm. Participants of the study experienced a significant reduction in their DOMS pain. Red light therapy after a workout also raises your muscles' workload capacity, which can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries to muscles during exercise.
Studies have shown that applying red light to muscles either before or following exercise can improve athletes' performance in sports. Red light therapy may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in muscle biopsies and enhance the amount of muscle mass gained following training.
Improves Overall Athletic Performance
Numerous studies have shown that red light therapy used both before and after exercise is effective in terms of increasing muscle mass, reducing muscle fatigue, and improving muscle performance.
A study published in the Journal of Laser Therapy tracked a group of university athletes to calculate how long it took them to return to play (RTP) following race injuries. LED light therapy was utilized by 65 of them to treat their wounds. The mean RTP time for these subjects was 9.6 days, while the mean expected RTP was 19.23 days. Based on a wide range of injuries and no adverse effects, the researchers concluded that "LED phototherapy significantly and safely reduced the RTP in dedicated university athletes."
PBM can help your body recover from microscopic tears in muscle fibers, which are an important part of growing muscle tissue and improving athletic performance.
A 2010 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology suggested that using low-level laser therapy before exercises or races reduces muscle damage markers. Lower levels of those muscle damage markers mean your body will recover faster after workouts. Another study also demonstrated that red light therapy as part of a post-workout regimen can increase muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness for up to 96 hours following exercise.
Red light therapy is a perfectly safe, risk-free natural treatment that can significantly benefit swimmers' health issues. Bestqool red light therapy offers swimmers improved performance, faster recovery rate, and less soreness –a perfect deal.
 Foley, J., Vasily, D. B., Bradley, J., Rudio, C., & Calderhead, R. G. (2016). 830 nm light-emitting diode (led) phototherapy significantly reduced return-to-play in injured university athletes: A pilot study. Laser Therapy, 25(1), 35-42. https://doi.org/10.5978/islsm.16-OR-03
 Bjordal, J. M., & Iversen, V. V. (2005). A randomised, placebo-controlled trial of low-level laser therapy for activated Achilles tendinitis with microdialysis measurement of peritendinous prostaglandin E2 concentrations. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(1), 76-80. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2005.020842
 Douris, P., Southard, V., Ferrigi, R., Grauer, J., Katz, D., Nascimento, C., & Podbielski, P. (2006). Effect of phototherapy on delayed onset muscle soreness. Photomedicine and laser surgery, 24(3), 377–382. https://doi.org/10.1089/pho.2006.24.377
 Ferraresi, C., Huang, Y., & Hamblin, M. R. (2016). Photobiomodulation in human muscle tissue: An advantage in sports performance? Journal of Biophotonics, 9(11-12), 1273.
 Pinto, H. D., Vanin, A. A., Miranda, E. F., Tomazoni, S. S., Johnson, D. S., Albuquerque-Pontes, G. M., Aleixo, I. O., Junior, Grandinetti, V. D., Casalechi, H. L., de Carvalho, P. T., & Leal-Junior, E. C. (2016). Photobiomodulation Therapy Improves Performance and Accelerates Recovery of High-Level Rugby Players in Field Test: A Randomized, Crossover, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 30(12), 3329–3338. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001439