Serving up Healing: Red Light Therapy for Tennis Players
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Serving up Healing: Red Light Therapy for Tennis Players
Create on 2024-02-04
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Tennis is a dynamic and passionate sport, but as the number of participants increases, so does the problem of tennis injuries. Tennis is a high-impact sport that places significant strain on the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles through repetitive serving, swinging, stopping, and changing directions. Frequent swings and powerful serves can lead to injuries over time, such as tendinitis, bursitis, stress fractures, and tennis elbow. So, how can tennis players fully enjoy the charm of this "noble sport"? Today, I will share a must-read practical guide on red light therapy to help you catch up!

Red Light Therapy for Tennis Players

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy also known as low-level light therapy is an artificially produced visible red-light source similar to sunlight with a wavelength of 660-850 nm. Red light is the only band of all light spectrum with a more obvious and direct biological effect due to photochemical and thermal effects. The penetration depth of red light into human tissues can reach 10-15mm. It increases the energy supply to cells and boosts overall body metabolism. Red light therapy application is well-known in the sports rehabilitation field to combat athletic injuries.

Game-Changing Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Tennis Players

Flexibility, coordination, balance, endurance, strength, speed, and agility are the core characteristics of tennis stars. Red light therapy benefits athletes in all these areas, making them more well-rounded and physically and mentally minded.

Injury Prevention and Recovery

High-risk injuries in tennis are concentrated in the shoulder, lower back, knee, ankle foot, and wrist especially. The ligaments and joints of the wrist are susceptible to damage due to the greater force experienced by the wrist when hitting the ball. This injury usually presents with wrist pain, swelling, and limited movement. Over the past three decades, red light therapy has been clinically proven to speed up muscle and joint recovery and reduce swelling.

When healthy, natural red light hits the body, it stimulates the mitochondria (the powerhouse of cells) which increases cellular metabolism and glycogen content, protein synthesis, and adenosine triphosphate breakdown. As a result, it reduces inflammation in strained muscles and joints, helps the body to self-energize, regenerates, and heals faster.

It could be especially helpful for promoting recovery from injuries involving Achilles tendon or ligament tears.

Red light prevents fatigue after a match and also improves endurance and performance. It accelerates tissue repair between matches and practices and strengthens connective tissues vulnerable to injury. By enhancing recovery and injury prevention, regular red light therapy may help tennis players sustain peak athletic performance for longer and lower their risk of injuries ending their seasons or careers prematurely.

Red Light TherapyReduces Spasm and Pain

Localized pain in the player's joint, and persistent soreness affect wrist extension and forearm rotation. In about one-third of cases, pain radiates to the forearm, wrist, or upper arm. Physical exhaustion and relatively poor muscle elasticity and strength cause sudden pain and uncontrollable stiffness in thighs, triceps, calves, and upper arm muscles. According to research, red light therapy is a safe and potent way to reduce pain. It enhances blood circulation, speeds up wound healing and eliminates pain. It has a relieving effect on some diseases: frozen shoulder, wound rehabilitation and lumbar muscle strain, soft tissue injury, etc. As red light increases microcirculation, it boosts the blood supply in the full body with an enormous supply of pain-healing molecules-endorphins to the injury site. It also activates the immune system to combat inflammation, which ultimately reduces aches, swelling and stiffness all over the body.

Safe Practice Guidelines

Unlike most of the invasive methods available to repair muscles and bone injury, red light therapy is a natural, non-invasive, and safe way. It does not require drugs, chemicals and surgery, making it a preferred option for players who want to avoid pain and complications of surgery. A team of researchers in the United States has shown that red light therapy is a very safe and effective anti-inflammatory method. For beginners, it is advised to incorporate red light therapy short sessions of around 5-10 minutes in their daily athletic routine. In case of injury, it's crucial to follow the expert suggestion for a targeted and effective outcome.

Conclusion and Summary

Tennis is known as the "second largest sport in the world" and has a lot of charm. I hope everyone can enjoy tennis and enjoy sports within a safe range. More research is needed but red light therapy warrants exploration as a supplemental training tool for tennis players seeking safe ways to maximize their time on the court. Red light application has no side effects, which is a strong backing to protect sports health and improve sports skills. If you love sports, come and try it!

References and Citations

[1] Ailioaie, L. M., & Litscher, G. (2021). Photobiomodulation and Sports: Results of the Narrative Literature Review. Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(12), 1339. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11121339

[2] Zagatto, A. M., Dutra, Y. M., Lira, F. S., Antunes, B. M., Faustini, J. B., Malta, E. S., Lopes, V. H. F., de Poli, R. A. B., Brisola, G. M. P., Dos Santos, G. V., Rodrigues, F. M., & Ferraresi, C. (2020). Full Body Photobiomodulation Therapy to Induce Faster Muscle Recovery in Water Polo Athletes: Preliminary Results. Photobiomodulation, photomedicine, and laser surgery, 38(12), 766–772. https://doi.org/10.1089/photob.2020.4803

[3] Ferraresi, C., Huang, Y. Y., & Hamblin, M. R. (2016). Photobiomodulation in human muscle tissue: an advantage in sports performance?. Journal of biophotonics, 9(11-12), 1273–1299. https://doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201600176

[4] Tripodi, N., Feehan, J., Husarric, M., Sidiroglou, F., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2021). The effect of low-level red light (LLLT) and near-infrared photobiomodulation on pain and function in tendinopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials. BMC sports science, medicine & rehabilitation, 13(1), 91. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-021-00306-z

[5] Tsagkaris, C., Papazoglou, A. S., Eleftheriades, A., Tsakopoulos, S., Alexiou, A., Găman, M. A., & Moysidis, D. V. (2022). Infrared Radiation in the Management of Musculoskeletal Diseases and Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review. European journal of the investigation in health, psychology and education, 12(3), 334–343. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12030024

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