Neuropathy is something that you might not have heard of unless someone you know or you start suffering from it. It occurs when the nerves that are outside of our brain and spinal cord, or your peripheral nerves get damaged. While it can occur to any person at any point in their life, the risk of neuropathy increases with age. Whenever it occurs, a person falls victim to intense pain, numbness, and weakness.
Even though it’s pretty uncommon, according to the reports of the Cleveland Clinic, around 25% to 30% of Americans are at huge risk of getting affected by neuropathy. While most people try to treat neuropathy in a conventional way with medicines, you can go for a totally unconventional method; which is light therapy.
Light therapy is a great way of treating various issues, both physical and mental. And you can also try to treat your neuropathy with the help of light therapy. This article will show you how you can do so.
What is Neuropathy?
Whenever someone suffers from neuropathy, they suffer from intense pain in some parts of their body, or they experience a loss of sensation or numbness in their hands, feet, or other body parts.
As said earlier, neuropathy is caused due to damages or dysfunction in the peripheral nerves of a person. And this nerve damage is caused when the blood flow to these nerves gets affected.
When the blood flow gets impaired, the nerve fibers that are behind conducting pains get damaged, and then it causes a loss of painful sensations. Mostly these sensations occur in the legs and feet, but they can also occur in the arms and hands.
The most common reason behind neuropathy is diabetes. Apart from that, it can also get caused by heavy metal poisoning, circulatory problems, vitamin deficiency, alcoholism, medications that are taken for elevated cholesterol, medication or statin drugs taken for reflux, etc.
Pain becomes a constant companion during daily activities for neuropathy patients. Whenever they try doing the simplest of things such as grab an object, it can trigger painful sensations in various parts of their body. And the pain feels like a burning, stabbing, or tingling sensation. Some other symptoms of neuropathy are:
- Muscle weakness;
- Sensitivity to touch;
- Poor coordination;
- Paralysis (in some types).
What is Light Therapy and What Can It Do?
Light therapy is one of the most effective and popular forms of therapy. Even though light therapy technology has been around for quite some time, it got popular recently after numerous benefits if light therapy came to light.
Different pieces of research have been conducted on the functions of light therapy, and from that, we got to know how good light therapy is in treating various mental and physical issues.
Light therapy can help you with pains, injuries, wounds, muscle building, weight loss, hair loss problems, skin problems, and sleeping problems. Also, it can help with mental health problems, such as seasonal affective disorder, anxiety, stress, depression, etc.
You can take light therapy easily at home by using a light therapy device. There are various types of light therapy devices, such as lightbox, light therapy lamp, handheld light therapy device, facemask, etc. Also, different colors of light are used for light therapy, such as red, near-infrared, blue, white, amber, yellow, green, etc.
Each color of light has its own different sets of benefits, and you’ll need to choose the color of your light based on your needs. If you expose your body to any color of light that’s emitted from a light therapy device, it will penetrate your skin, and even muscles and bones. These light therapy devices try to mimic sunlight.
The way the sun generates various chemical reactions and hormones in our body by working on a cellular level, light therapy does exactly the same. And by doing these, light therapy helps us deal with so many different problems.
How Light Therapy Can Help with Neuropathy
Treatments of neuropathy mainly focus on reducing pain and inflammation and preventing any further nerve damage. Light therapy can help you with that, and much more! Like many other problems, light therapy can help with neuropathy too.
Two different colors of light are especially used in the treatment of neuropathy, red light, and near-infrared light. Let’s see how these two lights help to deal with neuropathy.
If you expose your affected areas to near-infrared light, it will increase blood circulation to those areas and reduce pain temporarily with the help of infrared photo energy. Also, it will make patients feel warm, comfortable, and soothing.
The nerve cells of the body respond well to the near-infrared light as it has bio stimulating effects. This light helps increase oxygen in the cells and increase microcirculation around the affected nerves in order to regenerate fibers and heal the peripheral nerves.
By stimulating fibroblast growth, light therapy helps to regenerate nerves. Light therapy also helps the blood vessels to widen, and relax the inner muscles of these vessels so that blood circulation to the affected area can be increased, and it helps reduce inflammation.
It is really important to reduce inflammation while treating neuropathy, as inflammation leads to most of the problems a patient faces.
Red light therapy does the same by calming down the fiery nerves of the body and reducing inflammation. Red light also encourages nerve growth and tissue repair. All these can help a lot in order to take care of neuropathy.
You might not be able to fully cure it, but you will be able to keep it at a tolerable level, and keep the patient relaxed and comfortable by reducing intolerable pains in different parts, and also inflammation.
Light therapy has brought wonders in the medical industry, as it helps to deal with a lot of problems, and it does all that without any side effects. Light therapy is completely safe to use, and anyone can take it at home easily all by themselves.
Light therapy can also help with neuropathy a lot by initiating nerve growth and reducing pain and inflammation. So, you can resort to light therapy if you are suffering from neuropathy.