How LED Light Therapy Helps With Pain and Inflammation

How LED Light Therapy Helps With Pain and Inflammation

More than 50 million people in the US alone experience chronic pain. Some of these instances are related to excess inflammation, and often the treatments involve medications or more serious options like surgeries and constant, challenging hospital appointments. One of the latest skincare trends, LED light therapy, has also been shown to help with pain and inflammation.

LED light therapy is non-invasive, simple, and easy, and studies continue to show promising results for the impacts. For treating pain and inflammation, red is typically the color used. Red light therapy may seem futuristic but is grounded in proven technology that combines lasers and light therapy into a seamless and accessible treatment. In fact, you can purchase smaller red light therapy devices for convenient at-home use.

One of the key advantages of red light therapy is its effectiveness in addressing chronic inflammation and relieving pain in joints and muscles. Embracing this innovative approach can enhance well-being and improve quality of life.

LED Light Therapy Treatment

LED (light-emitting diode) light therapy is a versatile and effective treatment for addressing various skin conditions and concerns, including acne, fine lines, and psoriasis. This therapy encompasses different types, with red and blue light therapy being prominent options. Sometimes, these two types are combined to enhance their therapeutic effects. 

LED light therapy stands as a promising solution for promoting skin health and addressing various dermatological issues, making it a sought-after treatment option in the field of skincare. Red light therapy is the most common light therapy for treating pain and inflammation.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment renowned for its healing effects on various body parts, including the skin and muscle tissue. This therapy involves exposure to low levels of red or near-infrared light. While infrared light is a form of energy invisible to the eyes but can be felt as heat by the body, red light is visible to the human eye.

Red light therapy is also known by other names or connected to other light therapy treatments, falling under terms such as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), and photobiomodulation (PBM).

When you undergo red light therapy, your skin is exposed to a lamp, device, or laser emitting red light. The mitochondria, often referred to as the "power generators" of your cells, absorb this light and utilize it to produce more energy. Experts believe that this process aids in cell repair and enhances overall cell health, contributing to healing in the skin and muscle tissue.

It is crucial to note that red light therapy employs very low heat levels and is entirely safe, causing no harm or burns to the skin. Unlike the light in tanning booths, red light therapy does not expose the skin to damaging UV rays, making it a gentle and effective treatment option for various health and skin concerns.


Inflammation is not just a symptom developed from injury or another bodily issue. It is a complex process inherent in all living organisms. It can be best described as the body's programmed response to perceived threats. When faced with infections, germs, irritation, or cell damage, inflammation is among the first actions initiated by the immune system to protect against potential harm.

There are various causes of inflammation, ranging from physical factors like injuries, wounds, bruises, burns, and splinters, to biological factors such as infections and stress. Additionally, chemical irritants, toxins, alcohol, and environmental conditions like poor sleep, nutrition, dehydration, and excessive exposure to blue light and radiation can also trigger inflammation. These environmental factors may contribute to the development of chronic inflammation, which can have significant health implications.

Recognizing inflammation is essential, and it typically presents with five hallmark signs: heat, redness, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Pain arises from releasing chemicals like bradykinin and histamine that stimulate nerve endings, warning the body of potential danger. Interestingly, there is clinical evidence of a link between inflammation and depression, with inflammation sometimes triggering depression and vice versa.

Chronic vs. Acute

It's important to note that not all inflammation is detrimental. Acute inflammation is a healthy response that aids the body in recovery. In a well-coordinated process, acute inflammation appears promptly, clears pathogens, initiates repair, and eventually subsides. However, chronic inflammation may arise from frequent and persistent acute inflammation, viral infections, autoimmune reactions, or unresolved foreign bodies. Such prolonged inflammation can lead to significant pain and contribute to various conditions, including gum disease, hay fever, arthritis, and certain cancers. 

Understanding the nuances of inflammation can help us appreciate its vital role in the body's defense mechanisms and identify instances where it may require management to maintain overall health.

How LED Light Therapy Helps Inflammation

LED light therapy can help reduce inflammation, specifically when it is red light therapy, a treatment that has shown to be most effective at reaching cells and stimulating healing. 

Red light therapy helps address inflammation by delivering specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light into the skin. This therapy penetrates the cells and stimulates their energy production. As a result, oxidative stress is reduced, accelerating the body's natural healing process and alleviating inflammation.

The targeted wavelengths of red and near-infrared light trigger the cells to enhance their energy production, leading to increased functionality, faster healing, and reduced inflammation and pain. This therapy effectively combats chronic inflammation by promoting enhanced blood flow to damaged tissues and has shown promising results in various clinical trials for enhancing the body's antioxidant defenses.

Regular usage is essential to reap the benefits of red light therapy in reducing inflammation. Whether you seek relief from skin inflammation, acute or chronic inflammation, this treatment can effectively alleviate discomfort and pain while expediting the healing process. 

Professional athletes and medical practitioners have also harnessed the power of red light therapy to enhance recovery from sports-related injuries, witnessing outstanding results. Embracing red light therapy as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing inflammation can significantly improve overall health and well-being.

How It Helps Pain

When exposed to red light, each cell's mitochondria experience a surge of energy, tapping into their role as the powerhouse of the cell responsible for energy production. This increased function generates more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which serves as energy-carrying molecules found in all living cells. With this enhanced energy supply, cells gain the ability to function optimally.

Many proponents of red light therapy believe that the surplus energy bestowed upon cells enables them to undergo more effective repair and restoration processes, fostering healing in skin and muscle tissues. The accelerated regeneration and repair of cells lead to faster recovery from injuries.

Red light therapy has showcased its versatility in treating various types of pain, including chronic pain, joint pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, and more. Its targeted pain relief capabilities make it a valuable option for managing various conditions. This therapy is a promising, multifaceted approach to addressing pain and promoting healing in diverse clinical scenarios.


While more studies will help better understand the benefits of red light therapy, the current work shows great promise and current benefits, including treating pain and inflammation. Red light therapy and LED light therapy fall under photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy. This study looked at the anti-inflammatory impacts of PBM therapy and how it could benefit individuals searching for alternative treatments outside of relying on pharmaceuticals.

This study examined how red light therapy could help with pain and sensitivity related to spinal cord injuries. Thus far, results have shown that LED light therapy could provide a promising alternative for those seeking relief from pain and inflammation. It is especially helpful due to how easy and quick treatments can be. Smaller devices used at home allow people to access treatment without requiring constant doctor appointments, making treatment more efficient and cost-effective.

Lightening Pain And Inflammation

Many people dealing with frequent inflammation or chronic pain do not have the luxury of seeking constant treatment. Often those who suffer from chronic pain want options outside of consistent pharmaceutical use, which could lead to a level of physical dependency. LED light therapy may be a good fit for some of those individuals looking for relief. 

Red light therapy offers an accessible and cost-effective means of improving various conditions that may not respond adequately to conventional treatments alone. It is generally considered safe for most individuals and involves few, if any, side effects.

Discussing red light therapy with your healthcare provider could be beneficial if you are considering treatment options. Compared to alternative treatments, it may offer greater ease and affordability, with the added convenience of potential at-home application. Exploring red light therapy as a viable option could lead to a promising path toward enhanced well-being and potential relief from challenging conditions.

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