Regeneration of Tibialis Anterior Muscle With Infrared Mat

Regeneration of the Tibialis Anterior Muscle Using Infrared Mats

tibialis anterior muscle

Infrared therapy is something that is becoming increasingly popular as a way of treating injuries. The idea of using heat to treat wounds is something that is not new.

Even in ancient times, it was known that low body temperature could cause people problems. Today, we know that increasing the temperature of the body as little as 1.8 degrees can boost the immune system, and can support the production of hormones.

boosting immune system

We use hot springs, saunas and steam rooms to soothe and heal. These treatments are useful, but they’re not something that the average person can enjoy at home.

hot spring

Infrared mats are smaller, more portable, and more convenient, and they offer a non-invasive way of enjoying heat therapy. Many athletes are using infrared mats to heal sports injuries.

How Infrared Mats Boost Muscle Repair

infrared biomat

Infrared mats can be useful for athletes with sports injuries, or manual laborers who have occupational injuries because they promote healing.

The anterior tibialis muscle is located in the lower leg, and as such it has poorer blood flow than muscles in the core. This means that injuries can take longer to heal.

Infrared mats provide head to the muscle, which helps to reduce inflammation and promotes the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the damaged area. In the short term, the infrared mats can help to reduce pain, which may allow a person to perform their rehab exercises, increasing their range of motion and keeping the injured leg mobile. In the longer term, increased blood flow may support muscle regeneration.

Novel Techniques for Muscle Regeneration

Treating muscular injuries is challenging, and finding safe and effective ways to do so is something that researchers are still working on.

Researchers at the School of Health Sciences at the Methodist University of Piracicaba in Brazil investigated techniques for regenerating the tibialis muscle after injury and found that the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation was effective for promoting muscle regeneration[1].

However, the methods that they used, causing eccentric contraction, can be harmful to the muscle, so while they promote regrowth, there is the risk of additional injury as an external force elongates the muscle.

Another study which was published in PLoS One investigated red and infrared therapies and their effect on oxidative stress during the muscle repair process. The study focused on low-level red and infrared laser therapy rather than infrared mats; however, the results were promising, with a decrease in lipid peroxidation over the duration of the treatment. This suggests that infrared can help to modulate the activity of important antioxidant enzymes, reducing the stress on the body during the muscle repair process[2].

The Application of Infrared in Medicine

Infrared mats are a simpler and more cost-effective way of delivering infrared radiation, and their potential uses are promising. One study published in Photonics Lasers Medicine in 2013 shoed that far infrared radiation, delivered through mats or lamps, can have a therapeutic effect, reducing fatigue and also reducing the symptoms of muscle damage in athletes[3]. There are many potential medical applications for infrared radiation[4], and the tibialis anterior is just one example of a soft-tissue that could benefit from it.

biomat

One particularly exciting benefit of infrared therapy and how it pertains to the tibialis anterior is the relationship between that muscle and the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a major nerve which divides into two branches – the tibial and the peroneal nerve. Sciatic nerve damage is a common complaint in athletes and is also a common occupational health hazard. Damage to the sciatic nerve can result in mobility issues, pain, and even reduced motor function and later atrophy. Treating sciatic nerve injuries can help to regenerate and reinnervate the tibialis anterior[5], and far infrared therapies are the subject of study as a method of promoting nerve repair[6].

Home Use of Infrared Mats

Infrared mats are affordable and are generally considered to be safe. Many people are already using them at home as a way of managing common health complaints, ranging from fatigue and tightness to bloating and even sinus issues.

There are some occasions when infrared mats would be contraindicated, however. Those who have suffered from a recent traumatic injury should have the extent of their injury diagnosed and seek advice before trying infrared treatment. Heat in the immediate time after an injury could cause inflammation which may be counterproductive. The jury is still out on whether the PRICE protocol for injuries is the best choice, and it is best to seek advice from an expert about heat/ice or contrast therapy for your given circumstances. The use of infrared mats in conjunction with a good physiotherapy program could be the solution to muscle or even tendon or ligament injuries. However, the treatment should be applied at the right time, and with other precautions also in place.

Those who have hemophilia should be careful when using heat protocols because of the risk of internal bleeding. It is also unwise for those who are pregnant or who think they may be pregnant to use infrared treatments.

Surgical implants and silicone implants may be weakened by exposure to far infrared heat, so it is best to seek advice from a specialist before using such treatments.

Finally, there are some preexisting medical conditions such as MS which could be aggravated by increases in core temperature. Anyone with a preexisting medical condition should discuss their plans to use heat therapy with their own primary care physician or specialist.

happy after using infrared mat

Infrared mats are available to purchase from many medical device stores, and they are quite easy to use and generally safe as long as they are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Many people use them on their chairs as a modern version of an ‘electric blanket’ to keep themselves warm and to promote blood flow while they work or relax. Note that using infrared treatments in this way is no substitute for getting up and moving to promote healthy blood flow.

Sources

[1] http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1413-35552007000200003&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4833286/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699878/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5505738/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2000860/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4333284/

Microcirculation Therapy And Infrared Mat

infrared biomat

What is Microcirculation Therapy With Infrared Mats?

Microcirculation therapy is a new form of heat therapy which is designed to provide relief from joint pain, stiffness and muscle issues. It is proving particularly popular with people who are struggling with arthritis, strains or sprains, muscle tension and cramps or spasms. Many athletes use micro circulation therapy to help themselves to relax after training sessions and to improve recovery times.

joint pain

Why Does Microcirculation Matter?

Microcirculation therapy works by improving circulation to the area to which the heat is applied. The heat could come from a range of sources, with infrared mats being one popular option because the mats allow for the localized application of a controlled amount of heat.

infrared mat

Microcirculation therapy provides a temporary increase to the circulation, which occurs because the blood vessels in the skin and muscles dilate when they are exposed to heat.

Poor circulation to the extremities is a common problem in people with diabetes[1], and poor micro circulation is something which is common in people with hypertension, atherosclerosis, kidney disease and many other conditions. A large percentage of the population has micro circulation issues, and difficulties with the circulation cause a lot of chronic pain. Even some cases of pancreatitis are related to micro circulatory problems [2].

Indeed, one of the reasons that people report feeling better after exercise is that even light exercise such as yoga can help to improve the circulation in the short term. Of course, regular exercise would be the best way to improve your circulation, but not everyone is mobile enough or has the resources to get enough exercise to stay fit and healthy. For those who are bedridden, confined to a wheelchair or suffering from serious joint issues, something like infrared therapy could be the best option for improving their circulation.

Circulatory issues are a serious health problem, and it is essential that anyone who is concerned about numbness, coldness or mottled skin seeks immediate medical advice. Signs of poor blood flow can be related to heart issues or sepsis and should be taken very seriously[3].

Methods of Boosting Microcirculation

Conventional methods of improving micro circulation are drug-based, and these can have unwanted side-effects. Drugs that work as vasodilators may be beneficial for enhancing micro circulation; however, their effects are not targeted. Some trials have investigated the idea of using diuretics or blood-pressure altering drugs as a method of improving circulation, but these have so far not proven to have a consistent beneficial effect[4]. For this reason, experts have been looking at other, non-invasive and non-drug based ways of improving circulation.

prescription drugs

There are many medical devices available that can help to improve blood circulation, and they all tend to work on the same principles of directing heat towards a target area, enlarging the capillaries, and also warming the blood which can then help to improve the circulation in other areas of the body at the same time. What differs between treatment methods is how the heat is applied.

Small infrared lamps are a popular choice, however aiming the heat from these can be awkward, and they tend to heat just a limited area, which can be useful for very targeted pain relief but can also be painful and necessitate the patient sitting in awkward positions, or can make it difficult to treat the affected area accurately.

infrared lamp

Infrared therapy garments such as gloves and socks are favorite among people who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy or other similar conditions, who may benefit from better circulation to boost their wound healing. People who are suffering from Raynauds may also benefit from treatments that boost their micro circulation[5].

The Use of Mats For Broader Therapies

Using infrared mats is another option that can be beneficial for improving micro circulation in hard to reach areas or for more of the body overall.

Using mats means that the patient can lie down and relax and benefit from heat in a similar way to how they would if they were in a steam room or a sauna.

sauna

Mats can also be used for targeted heat therapy, by having the person wrap the mat around an injured limb to apply infrared energy directly to that limb.

Mats could be used as a body wrap to offer micro circulation therapy to deeper areas of the core. Care must be taken to ensure that heat therapy is properly managed and that the person does not overheat, or have too much heat applied directly to the skin. When used well, however, it can be very beneficial. Heat mats are a convenient, affordable, and easy to use solution to the issue of poor circulation.

Studies show that improving micro circulation can be effective for a lot of issues, not just Raynaud’s or wound healing. Indeed, it can even help to correct metabolic disorder in those with hemorrhagic shock[6].

The Growth of Microcirculation Therapy

Microcirculation therapy has been discussed in the medical community for decades, and interest in the therapy has been high throughout that time. There are numerous studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of the therapy, and its benefits are clear. Our circulatory system, quite literally, keeps us alive. It is our arterioles and capillaries which provide oxygen to our tissues[7]. Poor circulation means poor oxygen delivery, and this means that our tissues and organs cannot function as well as they should.

There are many things which can affect the flow of blood. Dehydration, clogged arteries, low blood pressure, and vasoconstriction can all cause issues with our circulation.

Some of those things are easy to treat; others require more intervention. It can be hard to diagnose the cause of poor circulation, too.

Older studies into micro circulation therapy looked at using nitric oxide as a way of promoting vascular cell relaxation. Some studies even investigated the role of carbon monoxide (although this substance can be toxic because it restricts the uptake of oxygen in the bloodstream). Infrared therapies are, in comparison to these therapies, a simpler, less invasive and far more accessible way of benefiting from improved micro circulation.

Relax and Unwind With Home Microcirculation Therapy

If you are an athlete or someone who is suffering from chronic pain for which the source has been diagnosed and is being properly managed, then you may want to consider trying micro circulation therapy. Spending a few minutes a day treating a sore area with an infrared mat should be enough to help promote wound healing or relax the affected muscles, and also help to relieve pain. Set a timer, and try not to fall asleep while you are enjoying the therapy.

infrared biomat

Microcirculation therapy is just one of many options for improving your circulation. Exercise, saunas, steam rooms and even a warm bath can all achieve similar results. It is a good idea to use as many options as possible. Gentle exercise has many benefits, not just for getting the blood flowing in the short term, but for long term cardiovascular health, as well as improving proprioception and muscle tone.

Before you try infrared mat therapy, be sure to consult your doctor. While this kind of therapy is safe and well tolerated for most people, it can be contraindicated for those with certain health conditions such as hemophilia. It is also not recommended for those who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant to use infrared therapy.

For those that can benefit from the use of infrared mats, however, the potential improvements to the quality of life and to chronic pain symptoms can be huge.

Sources

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25882659

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10481117

[3] https://annalsofintensivecare.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2110-5820-1-27

[4] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/hc3101.091158

[5] https://www.veturotherapy.com/blood-micro circulation/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14770036

[7] https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/42/3/600/282806

[8] https://www.jci.org/articles/view/1324

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