Professional Athletes recovery routine

 

In this blog we are going to cover why England Rugby uses red light therapy.

 

  • Recovery Protocols
  • Benefits of Red Light Therapy
  • Experience and feedback
  • Conclusion

 

Recovery Protocols

 

Any professional athlete knows how important it is to recover properly, to be able to perform at the best possible level.

 

The English Rugby team and specially Jon Clarke, their strength and conditioning coach, puts a lot of effort and time into proper and individually tailored recovery sessions. 

 

An essential component of a proper athletic performance is overall health, that is why all players undergo recovery sessions throughout the week, where they not only have baths, saunas and massages but also active recovery protocols that keep them moving and improving.

 

In the words of Jon Clarke himself:

 

“We have a bespoke, individual outlook to recovery. The forwards – the engine room of the team – do so much work throughout the week, but we actually give them extra to do on their recovery day. Rather than that perfect passive recovery – that bath-and-massage day – we do quite an active one. It’s about pushing the boundaries of what traditionalists would say a recovery day should be. By doing so, the players understand the demands that will be put on them on game day.”

 

England Rugby, and many other teams around the world in all disciplines and sports, are constantly investing and searching for new ways to improve their athletes training and recovery sessions to ensure a great performance during the game. With that in mind,  just before the Autumn Internationals the RFU contacted Red Light Rising to add red light therapy sessions to their recovery protocols, with great results.

 

England rugby red light therapy recovery

 

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

 

As you already know, if you have taken a look at our blog and are familiar with red light therapy, it has a lot of different benefits.

 

The main ones that athletes benefit from are:

 

  • Pain and inflammation relief:

 

There are several studies on red light therapy that show: rapid recovery, less soreness, reduced fatigue, and decreased inflammation. Below we have selected a few of them. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

 

  • Enhanced performance

 

Using red light therapy before or after a workout can lead to different effects.

 

For instance, using your panel after a workout seems to have the most profound effect on lactate levels and inflammation.

Red light therapy before a workout, however, may lead to greater immediate increases in workout performance. For reducing fatigue during exercise, using red light therapy before a workout may also be superior.

In conclusion, if you have the time, we recommend a red light therapy session before and after your workout to maximise results.

 

  • Faster recovery time

 

Although players follow strict regiments that prioritise resting to allow the body time to recover, accidents do happen and injuries occur.

 

Red light therapy has been proven to increase the speed of recovery for tendon injuries, muscle sprains, injury pain and even bone repair.

 

It is a great solution to speed up the recovery process. Below is a list of some benefits and studies on the topic.

Tendon Injuries. (7, 8)

Muscle Sprains. (9, 10)

Injury Pain. (11)

Because of the benefits for muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, red light therapy it’s an amazing tool in the toolbox to help any football player recover quicker.

 

  • Better sleep

 

It is widely known that if you do not sleep well, you will not recover well. Far too many people underestimate the role of sleep in recovery processes.

Consistently getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is ideal but of course the quality of your sleep does matter.

 

Using red light therapy has been shown to make it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep longer, have deeper sleep and have less wake ups during the night.

 

Below are two studies that show how red light therapy can help you sleep better.

 

Melatonin increased after exposure. (12)

Insomniacs sleep better. (13)

 

England rugby red light therapy recovery

 

Experience & Feedback

 

Well, it is the second year in a row that England Rugby uses red light therapy so you can imagine it has become an important part of their routine.

You can actually see how the players use the lights in their YouTube Channel. 

Some of the videos are: 

MIN: 15:36

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ3XXJOyBEI

MIN: 09:08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RDSOkpyObY

 

Conclusion

 

Every year, not just professional teams, but also more and more athletes add red light therapy to their recovery and health routines. 

 

Among our list of users we can find Kris Gethin, Eddie Hall (The Beast), Roger Snipes, Abby Erceg, Laura Coombs and Jack Grealish, just to mention a few.

 

We are convinced this is just the beginning and as people keep seeing the benefits from themselves, it is going to reach teams and professionals all over the world. 

 

Finally, if you manage a team of professionals and are interested in red light therapy, do not hesitate to reach out! Book a FREE call with one of our founders and find out which red light therapy set up is best for you.

 

*Sources of information

 

  1. Effect of 830 nm low-level laser therapy in exercise-induced skeletal muscle fatigue in humans – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18649044/
  2. [Impact of low level laser therapy on skin blood flow] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27416624/
  3. Effects of pre- or post-exercise…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24456143
  4. Effect of low-level laser therapy…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24005882
  5. Effect of cluster multi-dio…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19731300
  6. Effect of low-level laser therapy…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20436237
  7. Low level laser therapy for sports injuries https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24155545
  8. Low level laser treatment of tendinopathy: a systematic review with meta-analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19708800
  9. Long-term effect of high-intensity laser therapy in the treatment of patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized blinded placebo-controlled trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24178907/
  10. Dose response effects of 810 nm laser light on mouse primary cortical neurons https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21956634/
  11. The effect of low-level laser on postoperative pain after tibial fracture surgery: a double-blind controlled randomized clinical trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25237637/
  12. Red Light and the Sleep Quality and Endurance Performance of Chinese Female Basketball Players https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499892/
  13. Effectiveness of Laser Acupuncture in Alleviating Chronic Insomnia: A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31312225