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Blog - Osteoarthritis Treatments

Treating Osteoarthritis With Low-Level Light Therapy (Near Infrared)

Treating Osteoarthritis With Low-Level Light Therapy (Near Infrared)

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Knee Pain From Osteoarthritis

Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

This simple, yet powerful quote by George Bernard Shaw says so much in just 6 words [4]. Oh to be young again and have excellent physical health, where the simple act of bending over to pick up a pen you just dropped didn’t cause aches and pains where aches and pains never used to exist. Unfortunately, humans aren’t made to last forever. Just like a car, parts deteriorate over a period of time; with some people experiencing degradation sooner than others. One of the most common afflictions that comes with age are joint diseases, more specifically osteoarthritis.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Being the most frequent form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects millions of individuals across the globe [5] . In fact, “One in every two persons in the US will experience some form of osteoarthritis in their lifetime…” [1] Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage between two joints (primarily in the hands, knees, hips and spine), causing the bones to rub together [2][5]. This can lead to discomfort, tenderness, stiffness and inflammation in and around the affected area.

The cause of this painful joint disease is overall damage to cartilage in between the connection of two bones, which occurs over time. This is a major reason why age plays a primary role in the statistics of osteoarthritis. “The older you are, the more wear and tear you’ve had on your joints.” [2] Unless you’re a sufferer from this progressive condition, most people don’t know that there are 5 stages of osteoarthritis: starting from 0 and ending at 4 [2]. Typically, those diagnosed don’t reach the higher stages because the condition is normally able to stabilize itself before then [2]. However, the unlucky few in the higher stages of osteoarthritis experience literal bone-to-bone friction, which as you can imagine, can be extremely painful. What’s worse about this degenerative disease is that the joint damage caused is irreversible [2]. Your only means of relief can come through treatment that’s been shown to lessen symptoms.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis

When diagnosed, doctors will normally recommend acetaminophen, ibuprofen, diclofenac and/or Celebrex [1]. Be warned though that these forms of therapies carry considerable risks which can include gastrointestinal bleeding and myocardial infarction [1]. With possibilities like these, it can make some feel hesitant before committing to more traditional remedies.

Medication

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Luckily, “Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) [near infrared] is a rapidly growing alternative approach to many medical conditions that require relief from pain and inflammation…” [1] In Michael R. Hamblin’s academic paper, Can Osteoarthritis Be Treated with Light?, Hamblin elaborates on a study where a chemical solution was injected into the knee joint of rat subjects, which then degraded the cartilage, leading to inflammation. After the knee joint had been treated with LLLT (near infrared), scientists “…found a significant reduction in inflammatory cells…” [1] Even though the study was conducted on an animal model basis and wasn’t a clinical study on human disease, it’s worth noting that “[t]hese results provide additional justification for the use of LLLT as a treatment for osteoarthritis.” [1]

As further proof on the stellar benefits of infrared, Jean Stelian MD and others conducted a study on elderly patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and if infrared therapy could provide any substantial relief [3]. They found that “[p]ain reduction in the…infrared groups after the treatment was more than 50% in all scoring methods.” [3] Stelian and his colleagues confirmed that LLLT is an efficient means of pain relief caused by osteoarthritis.

Low Level Laser Therapy AKA Near Infrared

Tosi 2 Person Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna

The studies presented are just a few of the many conducted that exhibit the healing and therapeutic benefits of near infrared. Near infrared, used in combination with its siblings, mid and far infrared, can be a powerful healing tool for the body. If you’re a sufferer of osteoarthritis in search of a more natural therapy, then we heavily suggest an infrared sauna with near infrared capabilities. JNH Lifestyles offers the public access to this amazing technology through their full spectrum infrared sauna, the Tosi™. This sauna gives you access to far, mid and near infrared wavelengths, all within the confines of your own home. The Tosi™ is perfect for those who need relief from their osteoarthritis and want to avoid the harmful side-effects medication can bring. If you have any questions on the technology described in this blog, please call our well-informed infrared sauna specialists at (800) 528-3110 or message them through our website!

We thank you for your time and if you haven’t already, join us in the JNH lifestyle today!




References

[1] Hamblin, Michail R. (2013). “Can Osteoarthritis Be Treated With Light Therapy?” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 29 October 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978432/.

[2] Heitz, David et al. (2018). “Everything You Need To Know About Osteoarthritis.” Healthline.com, Healthline Media, 9 January 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis.

[3] Stelian, Jean et al. (2015). “Improvement Of Pain And Disability In Elderly Patients With Degenerative Osteoarthritis Of The Knee Treated With Narrow‐Band Light Therapy.” Onlinelibrary.wiley.com, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 27 April 2015,https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1532-5415.1992.tb01824.x.

[4] Tuchman, Mitch. (2013). “When It Comes To Retirement, Is Youth Wasted On The Young?” Forbes.com,Forbes Media LLC., 24 January 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mitchelltuchman/2013/01/24/the-most-powerful-financial-tool-is-time/#ec854a82f684.

[5] (2019). “Osteoarthritis.”Mayoclinic.com, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 May 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351925.


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