Many people throughout the United States suffer from debilitating arthritis pain everyday. Arthritis pain is nothing to laugh about due to the intense pain the person feels where the arthritis occurs. If you are among the many suffering people who have arthritis, you might want to consider light therapy.
Light Therapy is becoming a more popular option among the many people with arthritis, partly because it is natural. Light therapy was used a long time ago to help combat seasonal affective disorder but in the past 10 years, it is now becoming an alternative treatment for people suffering from arthritis. In the winter, people who have arthritis seem to notice the difference in their pain levels. Winter means that we are not outside as much and as a result of that we take in less light. Light therapy is exactly what it sounds like meaning you are using a red light device as an alternative therapy.
Generally light therapy is done in the mornings, so while you sip your coffee in the mornings and watch the news you can do your light therapy. There are no real medical problems associated from using light therapy for arthritis pains but you should consult your doctor before trying it to make sure that it is okay for you personally. Light therapy does not come with many side effects except maybe a headache or eye strains which can be caused by sitting too close to the light. Since this is a white full-range bulb, you might want to sit about 80 centimeters away from the light box.
The general thinking behind the light therapy is that since arthritis occurs more in the winter, it could be due to lack of direct sunlight so the key is to replace the sunlight with something similar in nature. Light therapy would be a good thing for anyone to try with depression, mood disorders, or painful conditions such as arthritis.
Light therapy should always be used in moderation due to the brightness and strength of the light and should be used cautiously as all other alternative treatments should. Light therapy is something you can discuss with your doctor because it can possibly be just the treatment you need without the hassle of medications and nasty side effects.
Forms of Arthritis that Light Therapy Can Help
There are two forms of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the bursa, the fluid filled sack between the bones of the joint, break down and the bones are rubbing against each other. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system goes awry and begins attacking the joints themselves as foreign invaders.
Although both condition is reversible and both are painful, there is a pain relief option patients can perform at home. Infrared light therapy has been use by doctors, hospitals, clinics and patient self therapy at home for decades.
What is Infrared Light?
Put simply, infrared is a band of light that is felt as heat. When the sun is hidden behind a cloud, the air temperature is still warm but you feel cooler. This is because the infrared light rays have temporarily been lowered.
Light therapy basically means you are sitting in front of this big light bulb that generates more light than your traditional lamps do. You can sit in front of the light for about thirty minutes each day and the light imitates the sunlight which is why it helps you. Light therapy is a natural treatment for many conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, and many arthritis conditions. The light is a full-range light so you do not look directly into the light, instead you can sit on the couch and go about your daily activities while you have the light on. The light therapy consists of you getting something called a light box. Alternatively, you can use light therapy glasses!
The best light therapy box is the actual treatment and consists of the light and a base similar to a lamp. Normally you can get the light box at a pharmacy or on the Internet, and the great thing is you do not need a prescription for it. The light box will cost you about 200 dollars to get in the store but sometimes you can find them on places like Ebay for 100 dollars or so. Availability for a light box to use during light therapy is very high and you can get them just about anywhere that carries alternative treatment devices or sells medications like a pharmacy.
How Does it Help With Arthritis?
The infrared light penetrates deep into tissues and blood vessels, gently heating the joint. The blood vessels dilate, or expand to allow more blood to flow to the joint without increasing the patient’s heart rate or raising the blood pressure.
It also increases the oxygen levels and stimulates the white blood cells. The light also stimulates collagen production, a substance necessary to repair damaged joints.