Infrared Therapy for Low-Back Pain

18th Oct 2016

Posted by Sara Zuboff on

Infrared Therapy for Low-Back Pain

How Infrared Therapy can Help Reduce Pain in the Lower Back

Low-back pain is extremely pervasive and is the most common cause of disability in the United States. Nearly 67% of Americans suffering from debilitating back pain at some point in their life. The majority of cases of chronic back pain occur with desk and office workers. The debilitating effects of chronic low back pain include:

  • Inability to perform daily and work tasks
  • Reduction in quality sleep
  • Lack of ability to exercise

Low-Back surgery is a possible treatment option for some people with chronic back pain, but a whopping 74% of low-back surgery recipients have a recurrence of low back pain. Oral pain medication is another popular treatment option for people with chronic low back pain. 58% of people who suffer from chronic low back pain will treat their pain with oral pain medication, while only 48% will seek the help of a physical therapist. The physical problems created with extended oral pain medicine use has been well documented, but beyond that oral pain medication doesn’t give patients the tools or knowledge to not only reduce their low-back pain but also avoid future recurrence.

In addition to strengthening exercises and training in body mechanics, physical therapists’ use a multitude of modalities to reduce low back pain. Some of the modalities that can successfully treat low-back pain are:

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound:
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Low-Level Laser Therapy
  • Cold-Compression Therapy
  • Whirlpool Therapy

An innovative modality that can be used to successfully treat low back pain is Infrared Therapy.

What is Infrared Therapy?

Infrared therapy was developed by NASA as an alternative modality to treat astronauts in space. These devices have since evolved to be useful in medical and rehabilitative settings. These infrared therapy devices use specific spectrums of light in order to create and/or mimic certain desired results within the body’s cellular structure. Unlike sunlight, which can have harmful rays, infrared therapy devices have removed all harmful light spectrums and deliver concentrated doses of only the therapeutic light spectrums to specific treatment areas.

The Science Behind Infrared Therapy

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Pain Research and Management studied the positive use of infrared therapy for reducing chronic pain experienced in the low back. The study followed participants who experienced chronic low-back pain for 6+ years and randomly assigned them to either the Infrared Therapy group or the placebo group. A baseline of pain was established and then participants received 6 weekly treatments for the following 7 weeks. The results were remarkable. At the end of the seven weeks, the Infrared Therapy group showed a 50% reduction in back pain compared to the placebo group.

The advantage of infrared therapy is that infrared devices can be used either as part of rehabilitative treatment or for home use. The dpl Flex Pad Pain Relief System is a medical-grade infrared device that offers both practitioners and patients infrared therapy conveniently and efficiently.

dpl FLEXPAD from LED TEchnologies

The Benefits of the dpl Flex Pad Pain Relief System

  • Multiple treatment options: This device can effectively treat low back pain and with the conveniently designed wrap can treat additional areas of the body including: legs, shoulders and elbows.
  • Multiple therapeutic benefits: Infrared therapy does more than reduce pain. Infrared therapy can be used to:
    • Accelerate soft tissue healing
    • Reduce edema and swelling
    • Improve blood circulation
    • Lessen muscle spasms
    • Improve range of motion
  • Because of these therapeutic benefits, infrared therapy is useful in treating low-back pain, but also other patient issues like: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, etc.
  • Non-invasive: The dpl Flex Pad Pain Relief system is a natural pain management modality that is safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Most importantly, it offers no negative side effects with use unlike the adverse effects that may occur with prolonged use of oral pain analgesics.
  • Easy to Use: the dpl Pain Relief System was designed to be lightweight making it easy to use on any area of the body.

Additional Accessories for the dpl Flex Pad System

  1. Handheld device
  2. One-year warranty
  3. Travel bag
  4. AC/DC power supply
  5. Instruction manual

With an increase in our sedentary lifestyle, low back pain statistics will continue to rise. It’s important to have alternative, non-invasive pain management options that work. Infrared therapy is an innovative treatment modality that can significantly reduce low-back pain, making it a must-have modality for any physical therapy clinic.

Related Article: Clinical Applications of Low Level Light Therapy in Physical Therapy