Red Light Therapy for Migraines: A Light in the Dark

red light for migrain

Overview

What is Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological condition that is characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. 

Symptoms of Migraine

red light for migrain

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Sensitivity to light and sound

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Tingling or numbness in the face, arms, or legs

Migraines can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily activities. The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but they’re thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain.

Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. They may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, all of which can have different symptoms. Not everyone who has migraines goes through all stages.

It’s worth noting that migraines are a complex condition and can vary significantly from person to person. If you’re experiencing symptoms of migraines, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

Potential benefits of Red Light Therapy for Migraines

Here are some studies and articles:

  • Verywell Health discusses the complex relationship between light and migraines. While some light can worsen episodes, green light may ease them.
  • A study mentioned by Harvard Health showed that green light reduced migraine intensity in more than 20% of patients. Researchers flashed different colors of light at people suffering from migraines to test changes in migraine intensity, pain rating, sensory perception, and the spread of the migraine from the original site.
  • PubMed discusses photobiomodulation, the process by which the absorption of red/near-infrared light energy enhances mitochondrial ATP production, cell signaling, and growth factor synthesis, and attenuates oxidative stress. This process is now highly commercialized with devices marketed directly to the consumer.
  • Rouge Care mentions that a growing body of research indicates that red light therapy may be a safe and effective alternative to medication in the treatment of headache and migraines.

These studies and articles suggest that red light therapy could potentially provide relief for migraine sufferers, offering a new approach to managing this condition. However, as with any treatment, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting red light therapy for migraines.

red light for migrain

The study conducted by the University of Arizona Health Sciences found that exposure to green light for one to two hours daily reduced headache pain by 60% and significantly reduced the frequency of migraines. This was the first clinical study to evaluate green light exposure as a potential preventive therapy for patients with migraines. The green light therapy was treated as a drug, with the right intensity, frequency, exposure time, and methods being crucial for its effectiveness. The participants, who were all migraine patients, were given green light-emitting diodes (LED) lights and instructions to follow while completing the study at home. They were also allowed to continue their current migraine therapies and to initiate new treatments if directed by their physicians. The results showed that most of the study participants reported that the number of headache days per month was reduced by at least 50 percent. The researchers concluded that the use of a nonpharmacological therapy such as green light can be of tremendous help to a variety of patients that either do not want to be on medications or do not respond to them. The affordability and lack of associated side effects were also highlighted as benefits of this approach.

Use of Red Light Therapy for Migraines

Check these studies and articles:

  • Harvard Health: This study tested different colors of light on people suffering from migraines. They found that green light reduced migraine intensity in more than 20% of patients.
  • Verywell Health: This article discusses how light therapy, particularly green light exposure, may ease light sensitivity and even migraine pain. However, it also mentions that white, blue, amber, and red lights exacerbated headaches in 80% of the participants, while green light exacerbated headaches among 40%.
  • Rouge Care: This article indicates that red light therapy may be a safe and effective alternative to medication in the treatment of headaches and migraines.
  • PubMed: This review summarizes clinical and experimental data on the effect of light in migraine and discusses future prospects. It mentions that effective nonpharmacological treatment of hypersensitivity to light in migraine is an unmet clinical need.

Please note that while these studies and articles provide some insights, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and effectiveness of red light therapy for migraines. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized medical advice.

Here are some resources that discuss the use of red light therapy for migraines:

This article discusses how red light therapy may be a safe and effective alternative to medication in the treatment of headache and migraines.

This article discusses the role of different colors of light in migraine prevention and treatment, with a particular focus on blue and green light.

This article discusses a study that found green light reduced migraine intensity in more than 20% of patients. It was the only light that reduced pain intensity, while white, blue, and red significantly increased pain ratings and muscle tenderness.

This article provides a general overview of red light therapy, explaining that it uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to treat medical and cosmetic conditions by sending low-intensity red and near-infrared light deep into the body’s cells to promote healing.

This WebMD article explains that red light therapy is a treatment that may help skin, muscle tissue, and other parts of your body heal by exposing you to low levels of red or near-infrared light.

These resources suggest that while red light therapy may not directly reduce migraine pain, it could potentially play a role in overall pain management and healing. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and effectiveness of red light therapy for migraines.

Conclusion

In conclusion, red light therapy is a promising treatment for a variety of conditions, including migraines. It uses low-level wavelengths of red light to stimulate cellular processes, potentially reducing inflammation and pain.

For migraine sufferers, this could mean a reduction in the frequency and severity of their headaches. However, it’s important to note that while some studies have shown positive results, more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of red light therapy for migraines.

It’s also worth noting that red light therapy is generally considered safe, with few side effects. However, as with any treatment, it’s important to discuss it with a healthcare provider before starting.

Overall, while red light therapy may not be a cure-all, it could be a valuable tool in the management of migraines and other chronic pain conditions.