What do Pro Mountain Bikers & Olympic Athletes Have in Common? Light Therapy.

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Professional athletes invest hours of their day toward perfecting their sport. It’s their life. However, like all professions, there are risks. With professional athletes, the risks are high, as one injury can have their careers halted to a complete stop. Hours, months, even years of training to be the best can be destroyed with a single injury. 

While famous athletes like tennis player Novak Djokovic or basketball player LeBron James have private doctors and physiotherapists at every training session and match, not all professional athletes have this support. However, that doesn’t mean their careers have to be over after an injury. 

Former Olympic medalist Jill Kintner, now a pro mountain biker, suffered a knee injury during the Olympic year. Naturally, it was devastating news and risked her from losing her chance to win a gold medal. 

“After my surgeries I had to get back quick because of it being an Olympic year,” she told SI.com. “People are coming and going and wanting Olympians to use (their products), so I got to pick and choose and used a lot of modalities to heal faster.” 

Kintner chose to use red light therapy products to aid the recovery process. What Kintner didn’t know were the red light therapy benefits for athletes - and she was shocked by them. 

How does light therapy benefit athletes?

Red light therapy devices penetrate red light through the skin to heat and stimulate circulation in the joints. It also promotes cellular stimulation to reduce inflammation, provide pain relief, and limit swelling. 

The body’s damaged cells are rejuvenated, and new cells are produced, quickening the cell cycle. For athletes, the benefits are outstanding as red light therapy treatment increases endurance, heals bone, tendon, and ligament injuries, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.

The Secret to Recovery

Increasing numbers of pro athletes such as Vinny Comiskey, a San Diego-based Olympic trainer, are now turning to red light therapy for treatment. “We had a high level of scrutiny,” he said. “We wanted to make sure it (red light therapy) was appropriate for use by athletes...we started to get results with soft-tissue injuries. You start to use it, you see reactions, and then the athletes give us two thumbs up.” 

For Olympic athletes, they use red light therapy before and after training. Using light therapy before training aids with pain relief and soft tissue stimulation, while usage after training reduces inflammation, muscle fatigue and quickens muscle recovery time in between sessions. 

While there’s always a risk for injury when being an athlete, red light therapy gives them the ability to heal quickly and continue progressing in their athletic career. 

A study published in The Journal for Laser Surgery followed university athletes, measuring their recovery time after a sports injury. Participants who used light therapy returned to play 9.6 days after injury. Athletes that did not use red light therapy returned to play 19.23 days after injury. The study concluded, “LED phototherapy significantly and safely reduced the RTP in dedicated university athletes over a wide range of injuries with no adverse events.”

Whether you’re a physiotherapist or an athlete, Kaiyan produces FDA-approved red light therapy devices for clinical or at-home use. Our devices ensure that users receive high-quality treatment that works and has athletes back in the game as soon as possible. Our light therapy devices can be used by all athletes, with the ability for them to treat their injuries in the comfort of their own home. Contact our team for more information.