Stroke Incidents & Red Light Therapy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 800,000 stroke incidents occur every year. No two-stroke incidents are the same. Stroke patients suffer complications such as loss of motor skills or partial paralysis on one side of the body.
A person can feel excruciating muscle pain, contractions for long periods of time, or spasms during the recovery process. This muscle tightness is known as spasticity or hypertonia. Sometimes patients experience muscle weakness down one side of the body, known as hemiparesis. One of the best treatments for muscle spasticity and strengthening muscle function is physical therapy.
The recovery process is dependent on the continued movement of the affected muscles. For example, some patients are known to keep their affected shoulder tense due to pain from the arm remaining relaxed and hanging. This leads to more complications, pain, and tightness. Everyday tasks such as lifting a fork, sweeping a floor, or driving a car can feel impossible for some. While pain is felt in the shoulder, arm, or leg muscles — these muscles are mostly healthy. It is the brain circuits and nerves between the brain's connection to these body parts that are damaged and need to be strengthened. Often, stroke patients do not find relief from even the strongest pain medication. Regardless, stimulating the muscles and pained areas with physical therapy strengthens the brain's connection and generates the healing process.
The National Library of Medicine has shared a study conducted in 2016 on stroke patients and red light therapy. The study concluded that red light therapy “may contribute to increased recruitment of muscle fibers and, hence, to increase the onset time of the spastic muscle fatigue, reducing pain intensity in stroke patients with spasticity, as has been observed in healthy subjects and athletes.” Another study from The National Library of Medicine on the effect of Photobiomodulation by red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on nerve regeneration concluded with positive results. It was found in 2010 that “red to near-infrared LEDs have been shown to promote mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. In this study, LED irradiation improved nerve regeneration and increased antioxidation levels in the chamber fluid. Therefore, we propose that antioxidation induced by LEDs may be conducive to nerve regeneration.” Red light therapy works well to stimulate mitochondrial functions in cells and nerves. It can stimulate recovery 4 to 10 times faster than your body’s natural healing process.
Physical therapy is necessary for stroke patients, and when paired with full-body red light therapy, there is the potential to assist efforts towards pain reduction significantly. Photobiomodulation or red light therapy stimulates cells and helps repair the myelin sheath covering nerve fibers to accelerate their healing process and can have a positive effect on repairing broken neural pathways in the brain disrupted by stroke incidents.
In Kaiyan Medical, we develop all types of light therapy devices. We believe in the holistic approach to balance your body.