Techaeris recently took a look at the LumiWave and tested it on multiple points of pain. Here’s what they had to say:
This story originally appeared in Techaeris and was written by Justin Jelinek.
Sprains, strains, bumps, and bruises are all part of leading an active life. While nobody really looks forward to getting injured, we’d all love to have a way to help us get back on our feet as quickly as possible in instances when we get hurt. In this LumiWave review, we’ll go over how some infrared light and heat can help heal your injuries faster.
Therapeutic light emitting diodes (LEDs):
- Type: infrared gallium aluminum arsenide
- Number per pod: 49 infrared and 4 red
- LumiWave® Single: 196 (4 pods) + 4 red
- LumiWave® Double: 392 (8 pods) + 8 red
- Delivered energy: 20 J/cm2 (200 mW/cm2) per treatment
- Input voltage: 12 V AC adapter, 300 mA
- At room temperature: 880 nm
- At operating temperature: 90°
- Operating temperature: 106° – 108° F (41° C – 42° C)
- Controller: 4.5 in. x 1.5 in (11.5 cm x 4 cm)
- LumiWave® Single LED set (4 pods): 7 in x 2 in (18 cm x 5 cm)
- Strap: 12 in. (30 cm)
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
- LumiWave Single LED set
- Power adapter
The LumiWave single LED set consists of four LED pods connected via short flexible sections. The back of each pod is a black plastic with the LumiWave logo embossed while the front of each pod is a clear plastic where all of the LEDs are visible. Each end of the LumiWave has a small clasp where the included strap can be attached. At one end, the cord that connects to the controller sticks up and out from the device.
The controller itself is relatively straightforward. The cord from the LumiWave attaches to one end while the power cord attaches to the other. The controller has only two buttons, corresponding with the two suggested treatment lengths — a 3 dot down arrow for 10 minutes and 5 dot up arrow for 20 minutes. The entire device has a professional look to it, and while very light, the entire unit feels solid.
EASE OF USE
After connecting both the power cord and LumiWave to the controller, you simply need to place the LumiWave on an area causing you pain and press one of the buttons on the controller to start. When active, a red LED on top of each pod lights up, and the device emits a low humming noise. Since the LumiWave pods are already on a flexible mounting, you can easily wrap it around your wrist or ankle. You can use the included strap for knees, calves, biceps, triceps, etc. The strap itself stretches, and I was just barely able to get it to wrap around my upper leg to use the LumiWave on my quadriceps. I’m a big dude though, people with more normal proportions shouldn’t have any issue using the LumiWave on their extremities.
Not all pain is located in your extremities though, so in some instances you’ll need to get a bit creative. For shoulder pain, for example, I simply placed the first pod on top of my shoulder, and let the remaining three pods run down my shoulderblade with the combination of the weight of my shirt and the cord running to the controller keeping the pods in place. I also threw together a bit of an extended strap using my wife’s very thin belt.
For larger areas, such as back pain, or even with larger legs like mine, the LumiWave can be wrapped underneath an ACE Bandage, or some other sort of compression sleeve to hold the device in place. While the LumiWave does use light and heat to stimulate your muscles, it will not get hot enough to burn skin. It also includes internal temperature controls that will simply turn off the LEDs if they get above a safe temperature.
Any time you’re in pain, you really just want that pain to go away as quickly as possible. The LumiWave can help with that, but it’s not a miracle cure by any means. To be fair, it never claims to be, I just want to be sure and set reasonable expectations for what the LumiWave can, and can’t do. The LumiWave works using a combination of heat and specifically calibrated wavelengths of infrared light that warm the affected area and promote better blood circulation. Similar treatment has been used by sports medicine professionals for years to help athletes recover after minor injuries, the LumiWave simply gives you the option to bring those treatment methods home with you.
Minor pain or injuries such as muscle spasms, bumps, and bruises can be helped almost immediately with LumiWave. Its treatment works very effectively to combat these sorts of pains. My wife had some muscle spasms in her shoulder, and after only a few LumiWave treatments she felt significantly better and the spasms had stopped.
For moderate injuries — sprains, strains, etc. — the LumiWave can increase healing speed significantly. LumiWave’s documentation suggests that it can take up to three weeks of treatment to truly help with these types of injuries, though depending on what’s wrong that is a definite improvement.
Chronic pain can absolutely be helped with the LumiWave, though these sorts of injuries should be discussed with your doctor, and just know before starting that while the LumiWave can help, it will take time to do so. I’ve had problems with my knees and ankles for years. During my time with the LumiWave I did see some improvement after regular treatment, though it would take more time than I had with the device in order to have any permanent effect. LumiWave can be used in conjunction with with any treatment prescribed by your doctor though, and should help you see more rapid recovery.
There are definitely other important warnings to note. For example, LumiWave should never be placed on open cuts or sores. This is a device that works on muscles, tendons, and other subcutaneous issues. You also shouldn’t place the LumiWave over your eyes, or really even look directly at the LEDs while the device is on. You can read a complete list of the warnings on the LumiWave website.
The single LED LumiWave is available for pre-order at $299, with the double LED model (with eight total LED pods) priced at $449. That’s definitely not cheap, and may leave some wondering where the LumiWave would fit in their lives. My suggestion would be that this device would be perfect for those with an active lifestyle that need just a bit of help to recover from minor aches and pains. It would also work well for parents whose children play sports, and find themselves with the occasional sprain, or strained muscle. The LumiWave really works best in these sorts of situations.
For chronic injuries or more long-term pain your best bet will still be to work with your doctor on a treatment plan. Your doctor may suggest a similar sort of heat/infrared treatment with a physical therapist, and if so you could potentially save yourself some money with a LumiWave instead. That is a conversation you would need to have with your doctor though.
Nobody likes to be in pain, even if it’s just some general soreness. The LumiWave can absolutely help relieve pain as part of your recovery process, though it comes at a premium price. There are definite cases which I’ve outlined above where I feel that LumiWave would be of the most use. Though really if you’re willing to go through the treatment regimen for weeks or even months the LumiWave can also help alleviate more chronic pain too.