What Infra-Red therapy in Physiotherapy? how it helps in pain Reduction?

Infrared radiation therapy is drug-free and non-invasive light-based technology in physiotherapy which provides a wide range of health benefits. It is an alternative treatment for healing acute to chronic pain and different other conditions of health. It's safer than ultraviolet rays, which can cause skin damage.

Types of Infra-red Rays Generators 

  1. Non-Luminous Generator
  2. Luminous Generator

Infrared rays are in an electromagnetic spectrum just above visible light, with a wavelength of 770 nm to 1 mm. These rays are relatively safe in the neonatal intensive care unit, as they are used to warm infants. In recent years IR therapy applications have moved on rapidly.

For example, IR therapy was developed that does not actually require an external source of power, such as materials emitting IR, and garments that can be powered by body heat alone.

 Another area of interest is the possible involvement of solar IR radiation as opposites sides of the coin in photoaging or photorejuvenation, and whether sunscreens should protect against solar IR? A better understanding of IR's new developments and biological implications might help us improve therapeutic efficacy or develop new PBM methods using IR wavelengths.

Working principle of infrared physiotherapy

The infrared lamp works on the thermotherapy principle. To understand how do we need to understand what thermotherapy is first in infrared lampwork? What are infrared rays?

The heat therapy application is termed thermotherapy. An instrument for giving thermotherapy is the infrared lamp. It conducts heat from radiation on to our body.

It comes in a variety of types with different shapes and sizes. With the advent of technology, it is also available in a portable variety. The portable Infrared lamp has become very popular and people are keeping it at home for their needs.

The infrared lamp looks like a normal lamp with a bulb emitting visible red light. It’s not a normal red light that emits from a red neon bulb. This light ray that emits from infrared lamps consists of “infrared rays”.  

Effects of infra-Red therapy

  • As a therapy, the area of the injured or the area of pain is exposed to infrared radiation, which increases blood flow and oxygen to different parts of the body. This process reduces inflammation and makes healing easier.

  • This therapy works like a hot compressor, which radiates heat on the focus area and leads to rapid relief.

  • Infrared therapy, along with physiotherapy, enhances the healing effect of musculoskeletal pain when used.

Physiotherapy is an exercise-based therapy used to strengthen the muscles and improve function using suitable training and exercise. Its core approach is to rehabilitate, prevent, and treat illnesses, injuries, and diseases. Physiotherapy infrared therapy can help faster recovery. While physiotherapy will do its best, Infrared radiation will penetrate deep into the body providing the affected area with therapeutic benefits.

  • High intensive training and exercises may lead to injuries, followed by pain and inflammation. In such cases, the physiotherapist is no doubt specialists in sports injuries; however, if infrared physiotherapy is used in combination, it will accelerate healing.
  • Infrared radiation has therapeutic properties that when penetrates 2-7 centimeters deep into the layers of the skin increases blood circulation in different parts of the body and bring oxygen and healing nutrients to the cells. This stimulates in regeneration and repair of new cells and tissues, thus relieving pain, inflammation, and curing injuries.
  • It can also cure fractures in the bone. A 15-year-old athlete had an avulsion fracture according to the study conducted by the research paper, "The Effects of Infrared Light on Bone Healing" The patient was receiving daily 3200 mg Ibuprofen medication. The usual prognosis would take 22 weeks but with 20 minutes of daily infrared therapy treatment, the number of days was reduced to just 5 weeks. The patient was reported to be 100 percent fit to get back to running when consulting with an orthopedic. The result was so deep that the patient stopped taking the medication.

Contraindication and disadvantages

  1. Defective Blood Supply to the area (eg. In case of diabetes)
  2. Any Blood loss
  3. Defective skin sensation (nerve damage)
  4. Burns
  5. Electric Shock
  6. Overdose headache
  7. Injury to eyes
  8. Faintness

This therapy is not suitable for pregnant women, patients who have undergone knee or hip replacement, or have any metal implants in their body. Patients using photosensitive medicines like lithium, melatonin, and other antibiotics have to avoid getting exposed to infrared radiation.  

People should have personal protective equipment to cover their exposed skin. They should keep the utmost safety to cover their body with non-photosensitizing material to protect the body from harmful radiation.

So, it is necessary to check if the infrared radiations are suitable for the body-type before entering the infrared radiation room.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post