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Does infrared light therapy really work for pain?

Pain afflicts millions of people worldwide, negatively impacting quality of life. From acute injuries to chronic conditions, pain disrupts sleep, work, and relationships. Infrared light therapy is emerging as a promising option, but does infrared light therapy really work for pain? Let’s explore the evidence and mechanisms behind infrared light therapy for pain relief.

Does infrared light therapy really work for pain?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What is Infrared Light Therapy?

Infrared light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths longer than visible red light but shorter than microwaves. It is invisible to the human eye. Infrared wavelengths are often categorized into near, mid, and far infrared:

  • Near infrared: 750-1400nm wavelength. Used in LED light therapy devices. Penetrates skin and soft tissue.
  • Mid infrared: 1400-3000nm. Used in saunas. Penetrates up to 4cm into the body.
  • Far infrared: 3000-100,000nm. Felt as heat. Used in heat lamps. Penetrates up to 2cm into the body.

Infrared light therapy involves exposing the body to near and mid infrared wavelengths. These wavelengths penetrate the skin and are absorbed by cells. This stimulates cellular function and blood circulation.

Infrared therapy is applied using devices like infrared heating pads, saunas or targeted light panels. The light warms the body’s tissues several centimeters deep. This brings blood flow to the area, removing toxins and reducing inflammation and pain. Infrared therapy is also called photobiomodulation.

What is Infrared Light Therapy?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What Kinds of Pain Can Infrared Therapy Help?

Infrared light therapy shows potential for various chronic pain conditions and acute pain conditions:

Chronic Pain Conditions:

– Arthritis – Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis
– Fibromyalgia
– Neuropathic pain – Diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome
– Back pain – Herniated discs, sciatica
– Joint pain – Knees, hips, shoulders
– Muscle pain – Strains, sprains, injuries
– Neck and shoulder pain

Acute Pain:

– Post-surgical pain
– Dental pain – Tooth extraction, oral surgery
– Sprains and strains
– Menstrual cramps
– Headache and migraines

How Does Infrared Light Therapy Reduce Pain?

Infrared light energy is absorbed by cells, stimulating biological responses that reduce pain in several ways:

Infrared light energy is absorbed by cells, stimulating biological responses that reduce pain in several ways:

1. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a major cause of joint and nerve pain. Infrared light reduces inflammatory cytokines like IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha. It also increases anti-inflammatory cytokines like IL-10. This shifts the body into an anti-inflammatory state.

2. Eases Muscle Spasms
The heat and energy from infrared light relaxes tense muscles and eases muscle spasms. This alleviates associated pain.

3. Increases Circulation
Better circulation provides fresh oxygen and nutrients to tissues, removing accumulated toxins. Infrared optimizes blood flow, even in damaged capillaries. This nourishes tissues and nerves, reducing pain signals.

4. Tissue Repair
Infrared light enhances stem cell migration and activity. Stem cells help repair damaged tissue. It also increases collagen production and revascularization. This accelerates healing of injured nerves, cartilage, and other tissue. Faster healing equals less pain.

5. Releases Endorphins
Infrared exposure increases endorphins – the body’s natural pain relievers. It also blocks nerve signals that register pain. This modifies the pain response for symptom relief.

Through these mechanisms, infrared light therapy reduces pain and facilitates healing naturally. It carries minimal risks compared to medications. But proper protocols and equipment are vital for results.

Research Evidence on Infrared Light for Pain

Extensive research confirms the effectiveness of infrared light therapy for treating many types of acute and chronic pain. Here is a summary of some of the most promising findings:

  • M.R. Hamblin, principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, pointed out that red light therapy reduces inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are proteins released by cells involved in communicating pain signals in the body. Therefore, reducing inflammatory cytokines may lead to reduced perception of pain.[1]
  • A 2006 randomized controlled trial found that patients with bilateral Achilles tendonitis experienced significant improvements in inflammation and pain after receiving 904nm red light therapy.[2]
  • In a 2017 trial of chronic osteoarthritis, low-level laser therapy was found to be effective in reducing osteoarthritis pain and improving cartilage thickness after four and eight weeks of treatment.[3]
  • A 2019 randomized clinical trial found that deep tissue laser treatment significantly reduced pain and improved quality of life in older patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy compared with a control group.[4]

While there is still need for larger scale, high-quality studies, the existing research overall indicates infrared light therapy has significant pain-relieving effects. The results are especially impressive for musculoskeletal pain, as supported by meta-analyses. More evidence is still needed for some other pain conditions. But the therapy appears safe and promising.

Research Evidence on Infrared Light for Pain

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What Are the Best Infrared Light Therapy Device Wavelengths for Pain?

Infrared devices use LEDs or lasers to deliver light at specific wavelengths. But which wavelengths work best for pain? Near infrared wavelengths of 600nm to 1,000nm have been found ideal for pain relief. Some key wavelengths and their benefits:

  • 660nm – 810nm: Reduces inflammation and swelling, speeds cell growth
  • 810nm: Boosts collagen production, aids tissue repair
  • 880nm: Increases blood flow and oxygen supply to nerves and muscles
  • 905nm: Reduces pain sensitivity
  • 930nm: Relaxes muscles and eases muscle spasms/cramps

Higher, mid-infrared wavelengths penetrate deeper and aid with more severe, chronic pain:

  • 2,000nm to 10,000nm: Relaxes muscles and improves circulation
  • 5,000nm to 10,000nm: Reduces inflammation deep in joints and tissues

How to Choose an Effective and Safe Infrared Light Device?

If you want to try infrared light therapy at home, it’s important to choose an effective, high-quality device. RedDot LED makes medical-grade infrared therapy devices for home use. Their lights use multiple proven infrared wavelengths to provide natural, drug-free pain relief. Here’s why:

  • Dual wavelength 660nm/850nm penetrates tissue to 4 cm depth
  • Portable, lightweight and flexible design
  • Treat specific areas or whole body
  • 3-year warranty demonstrates quality
  • FDA-Cleared ensures safety and efficacy testing
  • Auto-off safety feature.

Thousands use RedDot LED’s infrared therapy devices to manage chronic back, joint and neuropathic pain.


So in summary, current evidence suggests that infrared light therapy can offer real pain relief benefits for many people, as part of an overall treatment plan. With the right device and protocols tailored to your needs, infrared photobiomodulation is certainly worth trying for difficult-to-treat pain.



[1]Michael R Hamblin. Can osteoarthritis be treated with light? Arthritis Res Ther. 2013; 15(5): 120.

[2]Bjordal JM, Lopes-Martins RA, Iversen VV. A randomized, placebo controlled trial of low level laser therapy for activated Achilles tendinitis with microdialysis measurement of peritendinous prostaglandin E2 concentrations. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Jan;40(1):76- 80; discussion 76-80.

[3]Gopal Nambi S, Walid Kamal, Julie George, Elbagir Manssor. Radiological and biochemical effects (CTX-II, MMP-3, 8, and 13) of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in chronic osteoarthritis in Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia . Randomized Controlled Trial Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Feb;32(2):297-303.

[4]Prasun Chatterjee, Achal K. Srivastava, Deepa A. Kumar, Avinash Chakravarty, Maroof A. Khan, Akash K. Ambashtha, Vijay Kumar, Luis De Taboada, Aparajit B. Dey. Effect of deep tissue laser therapy treatment on peripheral Neuropathic pain in older adults with type 2 diabetes: a pilot randomized clinical trial. – BMC Geriatr. 2019 Aug 12;19(1):218.”

Published by reddotled.com (Repost Tips)