Neuropathy isn’t something very common in the US, so you might not have heard of it unless you or someone close to you has suffered from it. Neuropathy occurs when the nerves we have outside our brain and the spinal cord, or in other words, our peripheral nerves get damaged due to some reason. The risk of suffering from neuropathy increases more when a person grows older, but it can occur to anyone at any point in their life. A person starts facing weakness, numbness, and intense pain when they fall victim to neuropathy.

Despite being uncommon, the risk of getting affected by this is not really low. Around 25% to 30% of Americans are at high risk of falling victim to neuropathy based on the reports of the Cleveland Clinic. When someone starts suffering from neuropathy, they mostly try to treat it with a conventional method, such as medicines. But you can also go for unconventional methods such as light therapy, as you can easily take it at your home, and it will help you a lot with your condition without any notable side effects. 

In this article, we will shed light on how light therapy, especially infrared light therapy can help you with neuropathy. How like many other physical and mental issues, light therapy can deal with it too.

What is Neuropathy?

When a person falls victim to neuropathy, they experience intense pain in different parts of their body, or they face numbness or a loss of sensation in their feet, hands, and other body parts. 

We have already discussed that neuropathy is caused due to dysfunction or damage in the peripheral nervous system, and this nerve damage occurs when the blood flow to these nerves gets affected. The nerve fibers that are in control of conducting pain get damaged when the blood flow gets affected, and the person faces a loss of painful sensations. Even though most of these losses of sensations occur in the affected person’s legs and feet, these can also occur in the person’s arms and hands. 

Causes and Symptoms of Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be caused due to various reasons, but diabetes is the most common among them. Apart from diabetes, neuropathy can also occur due to circulatory problems, vitamin deficiency, heavy metal poisoning, alcoholism,  medication or statin drugs taken for reflux, medications taken for elevated cholesterol, etc.  

When a person suffers from neuropathy, pain becomes a ceaseless companion for them during day-to-day activities. Painful sensations can get triggered in different parts of their body when they try to do even the simplest of things like grabbing an object. The pain a patient feels due to this disease feels like a burning, tingling, or stabbing sensation. Here are some other symptoms of neuropathy-

  • Muscle Weakness
  • Sensitivity to Touch
  • Poor Coordination
  • Paralysis (In Some Types)

What is Light Therapy and Why People Use It?

Light therapy technology has been around for quite some time, but it has gained immense popularity in recent times as people have gotten to know the numerous benefits light therapy provides to its users. Many pieces of research have been conducted on light therapy technology, and due to that, we have got to know about the different physical and mental issues light therapy can help us to deal with.

Light therapy can be easily taken at home by using a light therapy device. There are different types of light therapy devices such as lightbox, light therapy mask, handheld light therapy device, etc. These devices try to mimic sunlight by emitting a strong light that can penetrate your skin, muscles, and even bones, and work on a cellular level to generate necessary and relevant chemical reactions and hormones that will help to deal with your issue.

Different colors of light are used in light therapy, as each different color has a different set of benefits. But mostly red light and infrared light are used in light therapy devices, as these two provide the most benefits. Light therapy can help you deal with various issues such as skin problems, hair loss problems, sleeping problems, muscle pain, muscle building, weight loss, different types of pain and wound, and different mental health issues such as seasonal affective disorder, anxiety disorder, stress, depression, etc. 

And most importantly, light therapy, especially infrared light therapy can help a person with the symptoms of neuropathy too. Let’s see how infrared light therapy can help with neuropathy

Infrared Light Therapy for Neuropathy

Even though lights of the visible spectrum are mainly used in light therapy, light that slightly goes past the visible spectrum is also used, such as infrared and near-infrared lights. Infrared light operates at wavelengths of 700 to 1000 nm. Their effects are mostly like red light therapy, but they have some differences too.

Infrared and near-infrared light therapy can help with reducing pain and inflammation, and also help prevent any further nerve damage in a patient with neuropathy. And treatments of neuropathy mainly focus on these two things. If you expose your affected body parts to infrared light, the blood circulation in those areas will increase, and the pain will also get reduced temporarily due to the infrared photo energy. The patients also feel comfortable, warm, and soothing with this therapy.

Infrared and near-infrared light has bio stimulating effects, so the nerve cells respond well to them. The emitted infrared light from the light therapy device helps to increase the oxygen levels in the cells, and also regenerates fibers and heals the peripheral nerves by increasing microcirculation around the affected nerves. The nerves are regenerated by stimulating fibroblast growth, and infrared light therapy helps with the stimulation.

It is also really important to reduce inflammation during the treatment process of neuropathy, as inflammation creates the most problems for a patient. And light therapy can help reduce inflammation.  It helps blood vessels to widen, and relax those vessel’s inner muscles so that the blood circulation can be increased to the affected area and the inflammation of the cat gets reduced. 

Overall, light therapy can deal with the pain a patient feels, and calm the fiery nerves down. Also, tissue repair and nerve growth are also encouraged by infrared and red light therapy. Even if the situation doesn’t get fully cured, light therapy will provide enough comfort and relaxation to keep the painful sensations at a tolerable level. 

Final Words

Light therapy is one of the most effective forms of therapy, and it has brought wonders in the medical industry. In the same way, light therapy can help to deal with various problems that come with neuropathy in an effective manner. Light therapy is also really safe and easy to use. So, you can resort to this therapy for treating neuropathy without any doubt.