Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes extensive musculoskeletal pain. This disorder can also cause sleep disturbance, mood distortion, memory problems, and fatigue issues. Fibromyalgia patients are more sensitive to pain.
Researchers believe that fibromyalgia manipulates the brain to amplify painful sensations. Around 4 million US adults currently have fibromyalgia. Yet, the exact cause of this disorder is unknown.
Benefits of Light Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia symptoms can be managed and treated successfully. Red light therapy has shown significant promise in treating this chronic disorder.
In this article, we will discuss Fibromyalgia and the benefits of red light therapy for Fibromyalgia.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
A person can develop fibromyalgia at any age. Commonly, most patients are diagnosed in their adulthood and experience the symptoms as they age. There are three major causes of fibromyalgia. They are:
- Traumatic events
Fibromyalgia disorder often runs in families. This disorder genetically passes through generations. Also, any traumatic event, either physical or mental, can trigger this disorder in a person.
If you have any kind of arthritis, you are likely to develop fibromyalgia. Also, women have a higher risk of developing this disease than men.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The key symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Extensive musculoskeletal pain
- Cognitive difficulties like trouble in focusing and paying attention
In some cases, Fibromyalgia can co-exist with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, migraine, depression, etc.
Why Consider Red Light Therapy?
Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain in the patient’s body. Many researchers believe this chronic pain occurs due to inflammation in the brain. Red light therapy is well-known for treating chronic pain and inflammation.
Here a specific wavelength of light is used to energize body cells. When energized, the body cells can repair themselves from the damage due to inflammation.
Higher wavelengths of light go deeper into the skin. Then the body cells and tissues absorb energy from the light and energize themselves. These cells then repair cellular damage and replicate.
How Light Therapy Helps with Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia generates pathogens in the body. Light therapy energizes cells to protect themselves from these pathogens. Therefore, the patient doesn’t experience additional pain due to fibromyalgia.
According to some researchers, abnormal cytokine release in the brain causes fibromyalgia. The imbalance of pro-inflammatory cytokine and anti-inflammatory cytokines causes inflammation in the brain. The brain cells absorb near-infrared light and balance both types of cytokines. Therefore, inflammation is reduced, and the patient can have some relief.
Fibromyalgia decreases serotonin levels in the body. Lack of serotonin affects the body’s pain management capability and causes drastic changes in mood. Red light therapy reduces oxidative stress and balances serotonin levels. Hence, shifting moods can be stabilized, and depression and anxiety can be managed.
Light therapy encourages neuronal regeneration and neurogenesis. This restores normal pain signaling and helps in regulating neuronal function. Therefore, the fibromyalgia patient can go on with their day without worrying about additional pain killer meds.
Red light therapy encourages the body to enhance circulation. It allows circulating blood, oxygen, and nutrients all over the body. Better circulation allows the cells to stay healthy and resist pain.
Moreover, red light therapy encourages stem cell migration and reduces abnormal cell death. Also, with this therapy, one can restore their circadian rhythm, improve sleep quality, decrease pain and induce peripheral nerve generation.
With all these benefits, red light therapy is an excellent way to treat and manage fibromyalgia.
Why Consider Light Therapy for Fibromyalgia?
Doctors recommend several treatments for fibromyalgia. Sometimes, they can recommend a combination of the following treatments:
- Medications (both prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers)
- Muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises
- Stress management techniques
- Better sleep habits
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy to manage depression
Prescription and over-the-counter medications have numerous side effects. It often discourages the patient from taking them. Also, exercising can be challenging for fibromyalgia patients. They can experience extreme pain during their workout sessions.
Red light therapy can help in this manner. It boosts the immune system in the body, improves circulation, and reduces pain. Therefore, you can take your medication with less risk for side effects and exercise without worrying about pain.
Moreover, red light therapy helps in managing stress and depression. This therapy restores the body’s biological clock and helps in falling asleep. All these benefits align with the above-mentioned treatments of fibromyalgia.
So, it is possible to have a better life for a fibromyalgia patient with light therapy.
Possible Side Effects
Red light therapy has few side effects. If you have light-sensitive skin or any medication makes your skin light sensitive, you may experience temporary redness. In such cases, consult your doctor before getting light therapy.
If you have bipolar disorder, red light therapy can trigger manic periods. Also, make sure to consult your therapist before getting red light therapy during pregnancy.
Fibromyalgia affects the whole body and makes it sensitive to pain. Light therapy can effectively manage this disorder. Many research proved the efficiency of red light therapy. So, consult your doctor and get the best possible solution for fibromyalgia.