Red Light Therapy for Muscle Repair

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Are you experiencing problems with your muscles? This can happen because you do too much physical activity or the effects after exercise. Red Light Therapy is an optimal way for muscle recovery.

Although this method is not the newest, recently Red Light Therapy has become very popular as a muscle recovery tool, especially among athletes who work hard during physical training. Red Light Therapy for muscle recovery has been well-received in the health world.

Before discussing further how Red Light Therapy works and its benefits for muscle repair, first find out what Red Light Therapy is in general.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy or RTL is also known as photobiomodulation, low-level laser light therapy, low-power laser therapy, photonic stimulus, or cold laser therapy.

Red Light Therapy has the same impact as other photodynamic therapies, namely when the body absorbs red spectrum wavelengths, the body will experience beneficial physiological effects.

The red spectrum is used as a therapeutic tool because it has been proven to be effectively absorbed by tissue after penetrating the skin. Therefore, Red Light Therapy is widely used as a recovery tool for various body problems.

How Red Light Therapy Works

Red Light Therapy is performed on bodies that have problems emitting low levels of red light. When red light waves successfully enter the skin and are absorbed by body tissue, they will activate the mitochondria which will produce maximum cell energy.

With better cell energy, the body’s cell tissue will work more optimally to repair damaged tissue. This includes regenerating new cells, producing collagen, improving blood circulation, and reducing inflammation

The tools used for Red Light Therapy come in various forms, such as small or large boxes placed close to the surface of the body, sauna blankets to wrap around the body, or mini sticks for therapy in the facial area.

In general, Red Light Therapy is used in the field of dermatology. Usually for facial treatment, skin cancer, and warts. However, Red Light Therapy is also widely used for other health problems, such as treating hair loss, healing wounds, and treating muscle and joint problems.

Many experts recommend undergoing Red Light Therapy slowly. Exposure to red light can be started with 1 to 2 minutes, then can be continued for 10 to 20 minutes. Can be done up to 5 sessions a week for optimal results.

What Can Be Cured?

Red Light Therapy is most famous for curing various skin and muscle problems. The following are several health problems that have been treated with Red Light Therapy, including:

  • Skin cancer
  • pimple
  • wound recovery
  • muscle and joint pain
  • hair loss
  • osteoarthritis
  • dementia
  • dental pain
  • tendonitis
  • wrinkles

How Red Light Therapy Can Have Beneficial Effects on Muscles

Red Light Therapy is attractive for muscle repair because it has a positive influence on inflammation. When experiencing inflammation after exercise, athletes and sports fans need something to reduce the pain.

When therapy is carried out, red light stimulates energy production which will improve blood circulation which is needed to flow blood to the muscles. Furthermore, it will stimulate the growth of collagen which is the foundation of muscles and joints.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe for Muscles?

In contrast to ultraviolet (UV) laser light which must go through a stage of damaging body tissue to stimulate the growth of new tissue as regeneration, Red Light Therapy does not go through that stage.

So, side effects that may arise during ultraviolet light therapy such as cancer and inflammation will not occur with Red Light Therapy. Red Light Therapy can be said to be safe because red light is harmless and non-toxic.

During treatment after Red Light Therapy, you also don’t need to use too much sunscreen. However, irritation may occur if you do not wear eye protection when carrying out therapy.

General side effects that may appear are not serious, such as mild irritation, redness, or bruising. It is very rare for side effects to cause burns.

However, consultation with a health professional is very necessary before deciding to do Red Light Therapy. You must undergo this therapy properly to avoid possible side effects.

Because if you are exposed to too much red light, body tissue can be damaged, and if you are exposed to too little red light, the results you get may not be optimal.

Red Light Therapy also does not have sufficient research according to the benefits promised. Even though it has been proven to be successful in various cases of disease, there are still many people who are not sure about this therapy, especially regarding the side effects.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Muscle Repair

Red Light Therapy has been proven to have benefits in muscle repair. Some people believe that this method is the most appropriate complementary method for muscle recovery. However, remember that Red Light Therapy must be accompanied by rest.

Below are some of the benefits you will get when undergoing Red Light Therapy for muscle repair.

1. Accelerate Recovery Of Injured Muscles And Joints

Muscle and joint injuries are the most frequently encountered problems. This injury causes uncomfortable pain in the body. In fact, for some people, it can interfere with important activities that must be done.

Red Light Therapy has been proven to be able to speed up the recovery of injured muscles and joints compared to regular recovery. Because red light can reduce inflammation in muscles so recovery can take place more quickly.

2. Improve Blood Circulation

Blood circulation can increase with Red Light Therapy. With smooth blood circulation, oxygen and nutrients will be delivered to tissues and organs efficiently, so that the body can carry out its overall functions better to improve health, reduce health problems, and speed up recovery.

3. Reduces Muscle Inflammation Due To Injury

Inflammation of muscles and joints is the beginning of pain. This of course causes pain, stiff joints, and discomfort after physical activity and exercise.

Red Light Therapy can reduce the production of inflammatory compounds and tissue damage that causes muscle inflammation. This is because the red light that is absorbed by the body’s cell tissue will produce antioxidants to capture free radicals.

4. Reduce Muscle Fatigue

A study says that using Red Light Therapy before exercise can reduce muscle fatigue. Usually, muscle fatigue occurs more quickly due to repetitive movements in certain parts of the body, for example, athletes who play basketball and volleyball.

By doing Red Light Therapy, of course, you will increase your range of motion before experiencing muscle fatigue so you can last longer while exercising. This is certainly beneficial for sports athletes. They can utilize the time and energy they have to do more practice so that they reach a better level of ability.

5. Increase Muscle Growth And Strength

Red Light Therapy before exercise can help with significant muscle growth compared to therapy after exercise. By increasing muscle growth, researchers say that this will provide other benefits such as accelerating tissue recovery so that muscle injuries heal quickly.

Another benefit that you get when doing Red Light Therapy before exercising is increasing muscle strength. Muscle strength is still influenced by the delay in muscle fatigue and muscle growth. With more power, this is beneficial for many people, especially athletes.

6. Improve Sleep Quality

Red Light Therapy has been proven to be effective in helping the body recognize sleep and wake times (also called circadian rhythms). This is certainly very helpful for those who have trouble sleeping or sleep too much due to fatigue.

Red light helps by alerting the body to morning or afternoon time, so the body will be more sensitive to sunlight. This will certainly help with better sleep quality at night.

Red Light Therapy Before or After Exercise, Which is Better?

You can do Red Light Therapy before or after exercise. However, keep in mind that muscle condition also influences when is the right time to carry out therapy.

• Injury treatment

If you have an injury, you should do Red Light therapy after exercise or during the treatment period.

• Post-exercise pain

Pain felt after exercise can be treated with Red Light Therapy after exercise.

• Preparation for practice

To improve exercise performance, this therapy should be carried out before exercising.

• Jet Lag

Traveling long distances can cause jet lag which will make the body confused at bedtime. Do therapy before traveling.

Red Light Therapy Complementary Recovery

Apart from doing Red Light Therapy, it’s a good idea for you to also do several things that can help speed up recovery. For example:

  • Enough rest
  • Make sure your body is always hydrated
  • Consume nutrient-rich foods as fuel for the body
  • Stretch to loosen muscles and joints
  • Do light movements such as walking as active recovery
  • Cold therapy with an ice bath or hot therapy with sauna therapy


Red Light Therapy is an effective and safe way to repair muscles, especially injured muscles. With healthy muscle conditions, you can perform physical activities better and avoid muscle pain or other injuries.

Anyone can do Red Light Therapy for muscle repair, not just athletes. Because the body responds the same if it experiences a muscle injury.