Light Therapy & Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic illness, which causes immense physical pain and unbearable fatigue. The word ‘fibromyalgia’ actually means “pain in the fibrous tissues in the body” and as such does not involve the joints, as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It is not classified as a disease as it is a condition that causes many different symptoms, which affect all systems in the body. 90% of those affected are female (especially during child bearing ages) with most patients experiencing symptoms between the ages of twenty and forty. Children and the elderly can also be affected by FM.

So if you are suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, you may be interested in trying a treatment that is associated with few side effects and positive results. Light therapy has been used for centuries in some countries to help cure chronic and acute pain. It is now available throughout North America to help reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms.

What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy is an alternative therapy used to help relieve a variety of physical illnesses, ranging from chronic pain to depression. Also known as phototherapy, light therapy delivers light beams to various areas of the body in order to trigger hormone release and healing. Practiced by physicians, physical therapists, and psychologists, light therapy uses bright, colored, and low-level forms of light to promote wellbeing.

Who Can Light Therapy Benefit?
Light therapy can offer long-term benefits to those suffering from a variety of health problems or illnesses. It is often used to treat:

  • migraine headaches
  • arthritis
  • soft tissue injuries, including sprains and strains
  • seasonal affective disorder
  • depression
  • sleep disorders

How Can Light Therapy Benefit Fibromyalgia?

Light therapy is particularly useful for treating fibromyalgia syndrome. It can help to reduce:

  • muscle pain
  • mood disorders and depression
  • fatigue
  • insomnia

Bright Light Therapy
Bright light therapy is the most commonly used form of light therapy. It is based on the idea that your body is specifically attuned to light. Known as the circadian rhythm, your body’s sleep cycle, energy levels, and mood are all governed by changes in natural light. Bright light therapy uses high-powered fluorescent lights to help trigger the release of specific hormones which will help to restore your body’s natural circadian rhythm and your overall health.

How Effective is Light Therapy?
The effectiveness of light therapy has been debated over the years. However, recent studies now suggest that light therapy is very effective at reducing symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue,
headache, and depression. In a study of migraine sufferers, 99% of migraine patients experienced a reduction in the number of headaches they experienced after using light therapy. Another study analyzed light therapy in fibromyalgia sufferers. 66% of sufferers using low light laser therapy experienced a reduction in muscle pain symptoms.

Side Effects of Light Therapy
The side effects caused by light therapy tend to be minimal and temporary. The most common side effects include eye sensitivity and irritation. You may also experience some mild nausea at the beginning of your light therapy sessions. Some patients complain of becoming restless or over-stimulated by light therapy. Reducing the time spent in light therapy can help to eliminate this restlessness

Who Shouldn’t Use Light Therapy?
Light therapy isn’t for everybody. Be sure to speak with your health care provider before trying any form of light therapy for fibromyalgia.

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