Red Light Therapy for Natural Pain Relief, Healing, and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

joovv red light therapy pain inflammation

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers concentrated natural light to your skin and cells. Red light therapy has an anti-inflammatory effect, and has been shown in numerous clinical studies to reduce pain and improve the healing process.

Red light therapy treatments are quick and simple: you just sit or stand in the light for 5 to 15 minutes, ideally every day. This stimulates your mitochondria and gives your cells the natural light they need to make energy.

Joovv’s light therapy products are registered with FDA as class II medical devices for the treatment of pain, strain, and inflammation.

How Does Red Light Therapy Ease Pain and Inflammation?

joovv how does red light therapy work

Red light therapy reduces inflammation by increasing blood flow and circulation to damaged tissues.[1] Red light therapy also reduces oxidative stress and helps boost your ATP (adenosine triphosphate) cellular energy production. Producing more core cellular energy helps tissues regenerate and heal faster. [2] Numerous clinical studies have shown how red light therapy eases pain and reduces inflammation.

One of the main reasons red light therapy is so effective for healing joint, bone, and soft tissue may be the collagen boost many people experience with red light therapy.

See the full details on how red light therapy works here.

A Proven Roadmap to Natural Healthy Joints

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Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Red Light Therapy

Dr. Michael Hamblin of Harvard Medical School is one of the world’s leading photomedicine researchers, and a member of Joovv’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Hamblin has studied red light therapy at length and believes one of its most reproducible effects is “an overall reduction in inflammation, which is particularly important for disorders of joints, traumatic injuries, lung disorders and in the brain.” [2]

Dr. Hamblin says that wavelengths of natural red and near infrared light are “a very mild form of stress that activates protective mechanisms in the cells...for instance, when longer wavelengths or visibly red light hits the skin, it nudges mitochondria to make energy more efficiently and boost production of healing anti-inflammatories or disease-fighting antioxidants.” [2]

joovv benefits red light therapy for inflammation and pain

It’s no surprise people are looking for natural alternatives to treat inflammation and pain conditions. Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can have negative effects when overused. Chronic inflammation is typically treated with prescription drugs (NSAIDs) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which come with a host of side effects, like kidney and heart damage. [3]

Red light therapy is a natural anti-inflammatory that’s been shown to reduce swelling, soreness, and strain in numerous clinical studies. And all without significant side effects or health risks. [4]

Less muscle pain and exercise soreness with red light therapy: Many studies have shown light therapy’s natural ability to ease muscle soreness and exercise-related inflammation. People who do a red light therapy treatment before a strenuous exercise record less pain and inflammation after workouts. [5]  Red light therapy also helps prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). [6] 

World-class trainers use red light therapy for inflammation: Some of the world’s best trainers and fitness professionals use Joovv for clients struggling with inflammation. Jorge Cruise is one of Hollywood’s leading personal trainers. He says inflammation and joint pain is the #1 thing that keeps his clients from working out. Jorge recommends Joovv red light therapy to keep the swelling and soreness down before workouts and make training less painful.

Natural Pain Relief Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy is a proven natural pain relief treatment, and Joovv is registered with the FDA for pain management. Studies have shown that red light therapy treatments can ease chronic pain like back pain, muscle pain, and knee and joint pain, and improve healing outcomes after injuries and surgeries, without pain medication or other OTC remedies.

Unlike painkillers and over-the-counter pain medications, natural light treatments don’t include major risks, side effects, or dependency issues. And unlike natural pain relievers and popular herbal remedies like turmeric, curcumin, capsaicin, and boswellia, red light therapy treatments are backed by a large base of peer-reviewed clinical research.

Less pain and inflammation after surgery: Red light therapy treatments have been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation after surgeries, and enhance the post-op healing process. [7,8] Patients have also been shown to heal faster from plastic surgery, with less pain and inflammation. [8]

Red Light Therapy for Arthritis and Joint Pain

joovv red light therapy reduce joint pain

Red light therapy is used as a natural joint pain and arthritis treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis results: The best results in a major review of arthritis cases was found in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis pain. Patients’ pain was reduced by up to 70 percent with red light therapy treatments. [9]

Less morning stiffness: Red light therapy also reduced morning stiffness in participants by 27.5 minutes, and significantly increased hand flexibility. [9]

Improved hand osteoarthritis: Red light treatments were also shown to significantly reduced pain in women with osteoarthritis. This meta-analysis also documented extensive, positive results for the use of light therapy for arthritis in the knees, neck, back, jaw, and other areas. [10]

Relief from fibromyalgia joint pain: Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (aka Paleo Mom) is a biophysicist and New York Times best-selling author. Dr. Sarah says using Joovv has kept her joint pain at bay better than anything else she’s tried.

Read more about the joint pain benefits of red light therapy here.

This post gets into details about the bone health benefits of red light therapy.

Red Light Therapy for Back Pain

Red light therapy has shown promising results spinal injuries and low back pain. A 2016 study concluded that the combination of red light therapy and stretching decreased spinal pain more effectively than just placebo therapy. [11]

Gold medalist Dutch gymnast Sanne Wevers uses Joovv red light therapy for injuries and strain when she trains, especially for back injuries and back pain.

My back has always been one of my biggest concerns and it’s taken me years to get the pain under control so I can train at an elite level. Nothing has been as effective as using my Joovv. When I shine red light on my back for 10-15 minutes a day, I can clearly tell that my post-training recovery is faster and the pain is less noticeable
joovv Sanne Wevers

Sanne Wevers

2016 Olympic Gold Medalist*

Red Light Therapy for Knee Pain

In study after study, red light therapy has reduced people’s knee pain and increased their knee function. [12] A large base of research shows red light therapy reduces pain from knee osteoarthritis and improves patients’ quality of life. [13,14,15,16,17] Red light therapy treatments have also helped patients with meniscus tears avoid invasive knee surgery. [18]

Cartilage regeneration: Instead of simply numbing pain, red light therapy treatments address the root cause of injuries by increasing blood circulation and stimulating natural knee cartilage regeneration. [19]

Recover from Injuries with Red Light Therapy

Sports medicine pros use red light therapy to help athletes recover from injuries faster, with less pain and inflammation. Joovv is an official red light therapy provider of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and some of the world’s best trainers are using Joovv to get a natural competitive edge. You can read more about red light therapy’s fitness and training benefits right here

Leading PGA trainer Dr. Troy Van Biezen recommends Joovv red light therapy to his pro golfers (like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler) for strain, soreness, and inflammation. Dr. Ara Suppiah, another leading PGA trainer, also uses Joovv with PGA golfers like Phil Mickelson.

Joovv is also a go-to training tool in the pro sports world because of red light therapy’s muscle recovery benefits.

Healing Burns with Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy has shown great results for healing burns and reducing the pain and inflammation from burns. Red light therapy improves burns by reducing inflammation and  increasing new tissue formation. [20] A 2018 study also showed red light spurred development of new blood vessels, and stimulated fibroblasts (cells that aid in tissue repair). [21]

Almost every lab study on red light therapy and burn healing has noted a significant decrease in inflammation levels versus placebo and control groups. [20,21,22,23,24] Less inflammation means less pain and discomfort during the burn recovery process.

Other Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Emerging clinical research is also showing the potential for other red light therapy benefits, like skin rejuvenation, and better sleep and circadian rhythm. The initial research is also encouraging for brain and cognitive health, and mental health treatment, as well as for red light therapy and hormone health.

See all the health benefits of red light therapy on this page.

Side Effects and Risks of Red Light Therapy Treatments

Red light therapy has been tested and analyzed in thousands of peer-reviewed trials. The consensus among medical researchers and the clinical community is that natural light treatments are safe, well-tolerated, and produce little to no side effects. Research teams have concluded this in study after study.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School conducted a review of red light therapy in 2013 and praised its “noninvasive nature and almost complete absence of side effects.” [30]

Red light therapy does not use heat to induce a biological reaction like some therapies, and is not a heat risk to skin. People with specific photosensitivity concerns should check with their healthcare provider.

Check out Joovv’s FAQs for optimal red light therapy use to see details about other health concerns and potential risks.

Disclaimers and Considerations: The information on this page is meant to educate readers about the science and research behind the positive pain relief and anti-inflammation benefits of red light therapy. Consult a trusted health care professional for the diagnosis and treatment of specific medical conditions.

Joovv’s light therapy products are registered with FDA as class II medical devices for the treatment of pain, strain, and inflammation. Other health benefits mentioned in this article are for educational purposes only and not intended to support the safety or effectiveness of Joovv’s devices, and not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease. The information presented is based on peer-reviewed clinical research, including information about emerging studies and scientific inquiries.

A Roadmap to Beating Inflammation

Drop your email below and we'll send some good tips for naturally reducing inflammation
with red light therapy. As a bonus, we'll include a special promo code too!

Sources and References:

[1] Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation”. AIMS Biophys. 2017

[2] Brassolatti P, de Andrade ALM, et al. Evaluation of the low-level laser therapy application parameters for skin burn treatment in experimental model: a systematic review. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 July.

[3] “What Are NSAIDs for Arthritis?”  WebMD

[4] Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2013 March.

[5] Leal Junior E., Lopes-Martins R., et al. “Effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the development of exercise-induced skeletal muscle fatigue and changes in biochemical markers related to postexercise recovery”. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010 Aug.

[6] Douris P., Southard V., Ferrigi R., Grauer J., Katz D., Nascimento C., Podbielski P. “Effect of Phototherapy on delayed onset muscle soreness”. Photomed Laser Surg. 2006 June.

[7] Gál P,  Stausholm MB, et al. Should open excisions and sutured incisions be treated differently? A review and meta-analysis of animal wound models following low-level laser therapy. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Aug.

[8] Güngörmüş M, Akyol U. The effect of gallium-aluminum-arsenide 808-nm low-level laser therapy on healing of skin incisions made using a diode laser. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2009 Dec.

[9] Brosseau L, Welch V, et al. Low level laser therapy for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis. The Journal of Rheumatology. 2000 Aug.

[10] Fiório FB, Silveira L Jr. Effect of incoherent LED radiation on third-degree burning wounds in rats. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2011 Dec.

[11] Stasinopoulos D, et al. LLLT for the management of patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Lasers in Medical Science. 2016 Apr;31(3):459-69.

[12] Bjordal JM, Couppe C, et al. A systematic review of low level laser therapy with location-specific doses for pain from chronic joint disorders. The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy. 2003.

[13] de Paula Gomes CAF, et al. Incorporation of photobiomodulation therapy into a therapeutic exercise program for knee osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial. 2018 Oct.

[14] Paolillo FR, et all. Ultrasound plus low-level laser therapy for knee osteoarthritis rehabilitation: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Rheumatology International. 2018 May.

[15] Angelova A, Ilieva EM, et al. Effectiveness of High Intensity Laser Therapy for Reduction of Pain in Knee Osteoarthritis. Pain Research and Management. 2016.

[16] Fukuda VO, et al. Short-Term Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial. 2015 Dec.

[17] Alayat MS, Aly TH, et al. Efficacy of pulsed Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial. Lasers in Medical Science. 2017 Apr.

[18] Malliaropoulos N, et al. Low-level laser therapy in meniscal pathology: a double-blinded placebo-controlled trial. Lasers in Medical Science. 2013 Jul.

[19] S GN, et al. 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. Lasers in Medical Science. 2017 Feb.

[20] Silveira PC, Ferreira KB, et al. Effect of Low-Power Laser (LPL) and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) on Inflammatory Response in Burn Wound Healing. Inflammation. 2016 Aug.

[21] da Silva Melo, Alves LP, et al. LED phototherapy in full-thickness burns induced by CO2 laser in rats skin. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Sep.

[22] Fiório FB, Albertini R, et al. Effect of low-level laser therapy on types I and III collagen and inflammatory cells in rats with induced third-degree burns. Lasers in Medical Science. 2014 Jan.

[23] Fiório FB, Silveira L Jr. Effect of incoherent LED radiation on third-degree burning wounds in rats. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2011 Dec.

[24] Rezaei Kanavi M, Tabeie F, et al. Short-term effects of extremely low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field and pulsed low-level laser therapy on rabbit model of corneal alkali burn. Experimental Eye Research. 2016 Apr.