How Does Kineon’s Red Light Therapy Device Work? The Science Behind The Tool Elite CrossFitters Swear By

March 26, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Alex Trobough (@alextrobough)
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The majority of CrossFit enthusiasts can probably recall the moment Brooke Wells went to snatch 190 pounds during the 2021 CrossFit Games and her elbow collapsed, leaving her yelping in pain and audible gasps from the crowd. 

Fast forward and Wells is back on the competition field, but it isn’t without a number of tools such as the MOVE+ by Kineon that have aided in her recovery. She is one of several elite CrossFitters to back the red light therapy device that is making waves as of late.

  • Wells told Kineon in an interview she’s had tendonitis since 2016, but after dislocating her elbow at the Games she knew she needed to take care of things more preemptively. 
  • “Coming back from that, it’s made me really realize that I need to take care of injuries or nagging little things from the moment it starts so that it doesn’t get to that point,” said Wells, who has been using the MOVE+ for her elbow and other spots that are giving her trouble. 
  • “Using this device and enhancing my recovery so much is going to be a game changer in the sport,” she added. 

Whether you’re battling chronic pain, healing an injury, or trying to prevent an injury the MOVE+ could be a great option for you. The science behind the device is complicated, but important in understanding why this product is so successful. Below is a brief breakdown of the science behind why red light therapy can be so beneficial. 

For starters, what is red light therapy? Red light therapy, sometimes called photobiomodulation (PBM), is a type of light therapy that uses light in the visible to near-infrared spectrum to treat various conditions and stimulate healing on living tissue. 

This is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that has a significant amount of scientific evidence to support its use for a number of conditions such as reducing inflammation and pain, improved sleep quality, and increased energy levels. 

What does the science tell us?

One of the simplest ways to explain red light therapy is by understanding the primary mechanism. The way it works is PBM triggers the production of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), an enzyme located in the mitochondria that is involved in cellular respiration and energy production. PBM has been proven to increase the activity of COX, which has led to increased energy and to reduce oxidative stress. 

  • Forrest Smith, the CEO and Co-founder of Kineon said “It’s very surprising to see the low levels of adoption for this technology given the thousands of clinical trials and the powerful evidence of performance benefits.” 
  • He cites: decreased muscle damage markers increased time to exhaustion (Ferrarasi 2016), “improving muscular performance and reducing fatigue” (Vanin 2017), “improved performance in progressive cardiopulmonary exercise tests” (Miranda 2016).”
  • “Boosting recovery for muscle and joint tissue is a powerful tool and we’re already seeing massive differences in training programs as athletes take these on.” said Smith

While red light therapy has proven to benefit athletes in a multitude of ways, we want to break down how it can help reduce pain, inflammation, and injury, and then how it can enhance sport performance as well. 

How can the MOVE+ help with your pain, inflammation, and injury? 

If you started to search the internet for red light therapy research hundreds of studies would pop up. So how do you know which ones to trust? Kineon has your back. 

  • A study published in the National Library of Medicine concluded that red light therapy, commonly referred to as low-level light therapy, is “a promising tool in pain management.” 
  • “Our data indicate that low-level light therapy (LLLT) is effective at reducing the heat and mechanical pain threshold in a human pain model, pointing to a significant modulating effect on peripheral and central sensitization,” said the study, published in 2020. 

Another study looked solely at the effects of red light therapy on chronic foot and ankle joint pain— a common complaint from CrossFit athletes.

Researchers looked at 17 subjects that presented with chronic foot and ankle joint pain ranging in causes and severity. All but 2 of those patients showed improvement after being treated with a low-level light therapy device, according to the study. 

  • “The present study demonstrated that LLLT was an effective form of treatment for chronic foot and ankle joint pain, in conjunction with postural education during all activities of daily living,” said the researchers in the study. 

What about athletic performance? 

Many of us who are athletes are always trying to find ways to get better and to perform at a higher level. One proven benefit of red light therapy is on athletic performance and recovery. Kineon points to a number of scientific studies that show how tools like the MOVE+ can benefit you. 

  • In one study, researchers looked at the performance of competitive cyclists and the effects of LLLT. 20 male cyclists participated in a randomized trial where a dosage of LLLT or a placebo was applied at the quadricep muscle. 

The results found with the use of LLLT “increased time-to-exhaustion in competitive cyclists, suggesting this intervention as a possible non-pharmacological ergogenic agent in cycling,” read the study published in the National Library of Medicine. 

The bottom line: Kineon’s MOVE+ has proven benefits for you if you’re a CrossFit athlete. If the testimonials from elite athletes don’t sway you, the scientific evidence should. Get on the path to better performance now.

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