Could Green LED Light Relieve Chronic Pain?
It’s hard to argue that LED is providing inspiring breakthroughs which will revolutionise the way we live and interact with technology - everything from LED displays changing the world outside our windows to the dawn of Li-Fi, which promises super fast connection to the internet through lightwaves.
If you’re a beauty buff, you may have even heard of LED light therapy - a skin treatment which uses different colour wavelengths in an attempt to stimulate the natural anti-ageing processes of the skin, however, researchers now think that LED light could have a much more significant contribution in healthcare.
According to LEDInside, a new study which was published in the February issue of the journal Pain, has had promising results which suggest LED could hold a key to helping treat those with chronic pain.
Dr. Mohab Ibrahim, who led the study, was inspired by his brother who suffers from chronic headaches. Rather than taking pain relief, he would choose to sit in the park to help himself feel better. Keen to find a link in the realm of science to his brother’s ‘cure’ for his headaches, Dr Ibrahim started to investigate why this could be the case. Rather than consider the meditative effects (which could be achieved in an office if needed), he thought about the environmental stimulus around him. “I thought about what trees do. They could be releasing some sort of chemical in the air, or maybe it's just their colour, green, which is associated with most trees.”
To test his theory, he tested the effects of green LED light in various forms on rats who had chronic pain symptoms. The results found that those bathed in the light which also had neuropathic pain, reacted better to heat and touch than those who did not.
The results clearly show the positive effect of green LED on chronic pain, however, the reason for this is currently unclear. It is enough however to start a small clinical trial on fibromyalgia sufferers to test the effects. Early results are again promising with some patients even not turning up for the second session as they felt so remarkably better after just one exposure.
This isn’t the only news of LED lights offering potential treatments to those suffering from serious illnesses. It’s been known that lightwaves of various lengths can stimulate cellular activity in the body for 50 plus years as, according to Seeker, a research in the 1960s tried to treat cancer with a laser. While the cancer wasn’t affected, these mice experienced heightened healing.
In another, more recent experiment, mice with early stages of Alzheimers have also been treated with flashing LED light which has in turn reduced the number of harmful proteins which contribute to this horrible disease quite significantly. In this experiment, they used blue light pulsed through the eyes of the mice.
Another technique, photobiomodulation, works by shining red LED light directly up the nose and into the brain to stimulate a reaction that reverses the degenerative effects of Alzheimers disease.