Blue lightning bugs for my spine

I have been suffering from lower back pain for about 3 years now. I have tried various treatments – conventional and alternative – but I have not experienced any significant improvement. Exposure to blue LED light is supposedly a natural alternative to painkillers, pain gel and heat patches, with anti-inflammatory effects being evident when used over a longer period. I was able to test this effect on my own body with the Philips BlueTouch pain relief patch.

My first impression of the product is that is has nice packaging and the instruction manual is clear and easy to understand. More detailed information on the effect of the blue LED light is not included in the kit but can easily be obtained via the internet and in the official press release.

The device itself is solid but light-weight with a high-quality look and feel. Two vests are provided with the device – one for the upper back and one for the lower back. The vest material is comfortable and washable. Inserting the BlueTouch device is fool-proof.

The device is not exactly small and has to be worn directly on the body. It cannot be covered by layers of clothing so it is not very practical when at work. This is a shame because my back mainly hurts at work when I am sitting at my desk.

The application time is, however, limited to 1 hour per day at the lowest intensity level. Most of us can probably find an hour to spare in the evening.

As I don’t really feel much of an effect at the low and medium intensity levels, I relax twice a day for 15 minutes at the highest intensity level. I have to recharge the device every few days. The battery lasts for up to 120 minutes of light therapy.

The device is easy to operate: you just switch it on, put the belt on and enjoy the comfortable warmth. I experience the best effect when I lie down but, in theory, I could also walk around whilst wearing the device. I have about 1 to 2 hours of pain relief after using the device. However, I still have to visit the orthopaedist or use other alternative treatment methods since there has unfortunately been no spontaneous recovery. The anti-inflammatory effect may take longer.

To sum up, the device is much more comfortable than gels or heat patches. It is portable, quick and easy to set-up and the battery has a long life. BlueTouch also dispenses with the need for pain killers. If the device was a little more streamlined, I would be able to wear it at the office.


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Johanna Mischke () is Editor-in-Chief at WT | Wearable Technologies – the pioneer and worldwide leading innovation and market development platform for technologies worn close to the body, on the body or even in the body. Besides being an expert for wearables and their broader ecosystem she is experienced in the startup world and international marketing. Johanna can be reached at j.mischke(at)