When you're an athlete, getting injured can be a major setback. You can't safely compete when you're injured, and you also lose out on valuable training time while you're recovering. Being unable to train can negatively affect future performance, so it's important for athletes to help themselves heal as quickly as possible after any sports injury.
One way that you can help your body heal quicker is to use a light therapy device on the area that you've injured every day. These devices shine a very powerful red light onto your skin, which is capable of penetrating through the skin and affecting the tissues underneath. To learn more about how a light therapy device can help your body recover after a sports injury, read on.
1. Boosts Nitric Oxide Production to Increase Blood Flow
The cells that make up the walls of your blood vessels are capable of producing nitric oxide, which is a very powerful vasodilator. When blood vessels are exposed to nitric oxide, they widen in response. This allows blood to flow through them much more easily (in fact, causing a sudden release of nitric oxide is the way that drugs like Viagra treat erectile dysfunction.)
Light therapy devices cause the cells that line your blood vessels to start producing nitric oxide rapidly, which helps increase blood flow in that area. Extra blood flow will deliver more nutrients to an area that you've injured, which can help it heal more quickly — your body requires these nutrients in order to rebuild damaged tissue, so it's important to make sure the injured area has all the blood supply it can get.
2. Heats Up Tissue Deep Underneath Your Skin
Light therapy devices also heat up deep tissues as the light is absorbed by them. Using a light therapy device, the heat can penetrate deeper into your skin compared to using something like a hot water bottle, which helps tissues like muscles and tendons heal after an injury. Heating up tissues is another way to boost blood flow to an injured area. In addition, heat also helps speed up tissue repair — biological processes, including the healing process, tend to speed up when temperatures are warm.
3. Helps You Begin Physical Therapy Sooner
Finally, a light therapy device can help you heal more quickly from a sports injury by allowing you to start using your injured area again sooner. Boosting blood flow and speeding up the repair process often leads to pain subsiding more quickly, which means that you'll be able to engage in exercise or physical therapy with less pain.
Exercise needs to be done with caution to avoid injuring yourself again, but movement is another way to speed the healing process. Movement helps to boost blood flow, and it also pushes lymph further along through your lymphatic system — lymph contains toxins and other inflammatory compounds that your body is trying to get rid of, so pushing it out of the injured area can help boost healing by reducing inflammation.
Overall, the primary way that light therapy devices help you heal more quickly after a sports injury is by greatly increasing blood flow to the affected area. Blood carries nutrients like protein with it that provides the compounds that your body requires in order to heal effectively. If you're an athlete, it's worth having a device like the Circulation Plus Light Therapy Device and other similar objects on hand in order to help you heal more quickly if you ever injure yourself — healing more quickly means that you'll be able to return to training and competing again sooner.