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Photobiomodulation (PBM) (formally called light therapy) is the use of lasers to provide a positive change in the body. The PBM we use at Athlecare is developed by Carewear. The Carewear light therapy patch is an over-the-count (OTC) medical device that provides light therapy to elevate tissue temperature. It is indicated for the use in the temporary relief of minor pain, sprains, strains, stiffness in muscles and minor joint pain associated with arthritis. It is also used for the relaxation of muscles and muscle spasms, and for temporarily increasing local circulation where applied. Carewear utilizes the laser frequency colors red and blue. Different light frequencies affect our bodies in different ways. With red and blue frequencies Carewear can enhance the metabolism of the cell while also reducing pain. At Athlecare we often use Carewear for general recovery, contusions, and arthritis. “When PBM stimulates CCO activity in normal healthy cells, the resulting increase in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) above normal baseline levels, leads to a brief and rather modest increase in generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) [33]. However this brief burst of ROS caused by 3 J/cm2
of 810 nm laser (Figure 2A) was shown to be sufficient to activate the redox-sensitive transcription factor, NF-kB in embryonic fibroblasts”(2). This reaction proceeds to cause a biphasic dose response for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production (an increase in ATP production).  ATP is the fuel for the body for muscle contraction, healing, and basically everything else. Increasing the production of ATP results in greater recovery from training or injury.

One of the most fascinating results of PBM are its pro-inflammatory benefits. Because of its effect on reactive oxygen species, it helps reduce inflammatory responses to training and injury. By reducing the inflammatory response PBM can reduce recovery time and more importantly reduce pain.

Lastly PBM is light and light is energy. By leaving the patch on you for 30 minutes PBM is pumping an incredible amount of energy into body. Your body can utilize this energy and is also affected by this energy. This type of energy we experience as heat. Therefore PBM is also cause thermal effects in your body that have the same benefits as thermotherapy.

Simply put PBM is light therapy using specific frequencies and levels of energy to induce a physiological change in your body to improve healing, reduce pain, and relax muscles.

Come try it out today at an Athlecare facility for only $5!


1. de Andrade AL, Bossini PS, Parizotto NA. Use of low level laser therapy to control neuropathic pain: A systematic review. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Nov;164:36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2016.08.025. Epub 2016 Aug 31. PMID: 27639607.

2. Hamblin MR. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophys. 2017;4(3):337-361. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337. Epub 2017 May 19. PMID: 28748217; PMCID: PMC5523874.


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