The green light may have pain relief

- Jul 22, 2019-

The history of pain relief is littered with snake oil and other dubious remedies that bolstered the hopes of individuals who suffered from chronic pain but offered no real solutions for their problem. Pain sufferers will therefore be excused if they express doubts over the prospects of green LED light as a pain remedy, but a recent preliminary research study at the University of Arizona has thus far survived peer review and analysis to suggest that green light has a very real and legitimate potential to alleviate chronic pain. 

The study that supports the pain-killing properties of green light was first conducted on laboratory animals. The results of that study were so favorable that green light is now being tested as a pain remedy among a population of humans who suffer from pain associated with fibromyalgia. Early results from this test have been encouraging.

If this and subsequent tests verify the remedial properties of green light against chronic pain, the next question will be how to best fine tune therapeutic green light to achieve optimal pain relief efficacy. The tests that showed the potential for green light utilized green LED’s as their light source. Green light lies in a spectral band with a wavelength of approximately 510 nanometers (nm). Unlike virtually every other artificial light source, LED lighting can be controlled and tuned with greater accuracy to generate light in narrow bandwidth ranges. Consider, for example, that additional research might reveal that light at 540 nm is better suited for pain relief than 510 nm. No other light source apart from an LED can be easily and inexpensively tuned to that wavelength.

The importance of this research is underscored by the number of individuals who suffer from chronic pain. Recent estimates suggest that 100 million people in the United States suffer from some level of chronic pain. A significant portion of these pain sufferers will turn to prescription opiates for pain relief, exposing them to a very real addiction risk. If green LED light is a valid alternative for even a small portion of these pain sufferers, this research will go a long way toward reducing prescription opiate addiction.

Advances in LED lighting over the past ten years have made it possible to generate  therapeutic green wavelengths of light at a low cost and with simple equipment that can be used and operated by anyone. Designers and manufacturers have created new colored LED light fixtures and control systems for many different prospective uses, including therapeutic pain relief, that would not have been feasible ten years ago.