As you already know, chronic joint or muscular pain can be a nightmare to live with.
And if you’ve already tried a number of ways to manage your pain, it might be worth considering this type of pain therapy.
Also known as Cold Laser Therapy or Infrared Light, it has been clinically proven in reducing joint pain and alleviating arthritis.
In this article I will talk about the technology, how it works, and how it should be used.
I will also recommend some high quality red light devices that you can use at home.
Favorite Red Light Therapy Device
- Medical grade stainless steel materials
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- FDA cleared medical device
If you’re looking for a small, portable, and very comfortable red light therapy device, Tendlite’s Advanced Pain Relief model is a great choice.
It offers very effective pain relief and is quite easy to carry around and to use. It has a 1 minute timer which can be annoying during prolonged usage, but aside from that it’s a top-notch joint pain relief product.
What are customers saying?
The short timer seems to irritate some customers but even with it, the Tendlite RLT device is very easy and comfortable to use.
It’s “flashlight” design makes it easy to carry around and use discreetly, which a lot of people appreciate.
- This RLT device is exceptionally powerful and effective for its size.
- The comfortable design makes this a highly portable and easy-to-use item.
- Tendlite offers excellent customer service and honor their warranties.
- The 1 minute timer means that you’ll have to constantly restart the device if you want to use it for longer intervals.
Second Best Red Light Machine
- Medical grade LED with a 660nm therapeutic wavelength
- Medical grade stainless steel materials
- Deep-penetrating optics
For an alternative of Tendlite’s Advanced Pain Relief RLT device, Quantum Rejuvenation offers its own RLT model.
It’s quite similar both in effectiveness and in design, which are the main factors people are looking for in a RLT device.
This item also comes with its own protective glasses, but keep in mind that the advertised case is not included in promotional purchases.
What are customers saying?
The 1 minute timer seems to bother a few customers again. Additionally, some people seem displeased by the fact that the advertised case is not part of the package.
Aside from that, however, almost everyone is very happy with the device’s effectiveness.
- Very effective and fast-acting pain relief.
- The lightweight and easy-to-handle design makes this a very comfortable item to use.
- This RLT device comes with a battery charger and safety glasses.
- As with the Tendlite device, the Quantum Rejuvenation item has a 1 minute timer.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red Light Therapy (RLT) is known by a lot of different names such as cold laser therapy, low level light therapy (LLLT), photobiomodulation (PBM), biostimulation, low-power laser therapy (LPLT), and others.
It’s essentially low-level red wavelengths of LED light that are meant to treat various minor skin issues such as scars, wrinkles, etc.
RLT was initially used in the 1990s to stimulate the growth of plants in space. Once scientists noticed that RLT indeed promotes such growth they started looking for medical applications of RLT.
While there is definitive proof that RLT helps with some cosmetic skin issues, pain relief, and healing, there’s still more to learn about its full medicinal potential.
How Does It Work?
A lot of the mechanisms behind RLT are still theoretical but the leading consensus is that RLT stimulates the strengthening of our cells’ mitochondria by producing a biochemical effect.
As the mitochondria is what creates energy in cells, this biochemical effect causes our cells to function significantly better.
Unlike laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) therapies, red light therapy doesn’t cause any skin damage and simply promotes tissue regeneration.
Other Recommended Devices
- Low level laser therapy (LLLT)
- 4 energy treatments
- Static magnet field
For something a bit more versatile, the LaserTRX pain relief device combines Low level laser therapy, infrared therapy, static magnet field, and red light therapy in one item.
The 4-in-1 capabilities of this device make it a great pick for most home therapy needs. Keep in mind the significant price tag, however, as it’s not very budget-friendly.
- Effective cold laser therapy
- Comfortable and portable design
- Carrying case, protective glasses, and charge adapter included
The HD Max cold laser unit comes with a lot of quality-of-life additions – it has its own carrying case, a detailed guide book, and protective glasses.
It also sports a nice and comfortable design that makes it a joy to use. More importantly, it’s exceptionally effective against all types of back, neck, and joint pains.
- Purposeful design for knee and shoulder pain
- 4 carbon fiber heating sheets
- 3 air bags for air compression
If knee or should pain, in particular, is what bothers you, then instead of a handheld device you can use a cold laser knee massager such as this AUSPA device.
The comfortable design and secure straps allow it to be easily usable with the need of hand support. This model also includes air bags for air compression and heating sheets for thermo therapy.
- 12” x 6” treatment area
- 117 pcs medical deep penetrating infrared lights (52 red lights and 65 invisible infrared lights)
- Flexible and hands-free operation
For prolonged hands-free treatments on various parts of your body, this DGYAO item offers high effectiveness and excellent flexibility.
Its 117 red and infrared lights are evenly distributed on a soft mat that can be strapped anywhere on your body, from your neck and shoulders to your knees and ankles.
- 15 medical diodes for high effectiveness
- Class 3B Low Level Laser Therapy
- Money back guarantee
Another handheld option, this time from AUSPA, their cold laser therapy device is a very powerful option.
It’s equipped with three medical 808 nm diodes (150 mw per diode) and 12 650 nm diodes (5 mw per diode). These give it much higher effectiveness and power than most other similar handheld RLT devices can offer.
- 8” x 15.7” treatment area
- 300W bulb and a ceramic glass screen
- 15 minute timer
Beurer offers this infrared light heat lamp as a stationary option for RLT. The device offers 11.8” x 15.7” of effective area which makes it suitable for a lot of situations and body segments.
The recommended minimum distance is 12” to 16” as the 300W bulb offers quite a bit of power from behind its ceramic screen.
Red Light Therapy Research
There is still a lot that we don’t know about RLT and its potential applications. Most RLT devices or therapy procedures you’ll encounter are designed around what science has found out about RLT so far but there could be much more we still don’t know.
Here are some of the major medical application of RLT that are currently being explored and optimized.
Joint Pain & Arthritis
Arthritis is a problem that plagues millions of people in a myriad of different ways.
Unfortunately, it’s also not really a curable condition and pain management therapies are usually the way to go about it.
RLT alone is typically not enough to fully mitigate the pain from arthritis or other joint pains, but in combination with other physical therapies it is proven to have a help relieve pain, increase the motion range of the joint, and improve cartilage regeneration.
As with arthritis, there are more than a few studies that have investigated the effects of red light therapies on back pain.
So far, it seems categorically proven that RLT at wavelengths between 800 and 1200 nm have a considerably stronger pain relieving effect than placebos.
Additionally, it’s been shown that blood circulation and back pain healing times are also improved by RLT.
Neck pain seems to be no exception to other joint pains when it comes to the effectiveness of red light therapy.
Yes, this treatment alone is usually insufficient for a noticeable effect, but in combination with a proper physical therapy, RLT offers a substantial boost to pain relief and healing times.
Is It Safe?
Unlike most laser therapies, red light therapy is nearly 100% safe as it doesn’t damage the skin in any noticeable way.
The only way RLT can pose any danger is if the RLT unit is malfunctioning and applying a much higher wavelength than what it’s supposed to.
Another way you can potentially damage your skin with red light therapy is with prolonged exposure – there are some recorded cases of people falling asleep with a RLT unit in place and getting skin burns as a result of that.
Pointing a RLT unit in your eyes can cause certain discomfort or mild damage as well, but not as much as with a laser.
Nevertheless, if you follow the safety instructions of the RLT unit it should be completely safe to use.
How Often Should I Do It?
Depending on the ailment you’re trying to treat, your age, your skin’s condition, and other factors, red light therapy can reap positive rewards after anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks.
The initial therapy commitment should usually be 15 minutes, 3-5 times per week.
After that, depending on your physician’s advice and the improvement of your condition, treatments can drop to 2-4 times per week or even less later on.
Even though there’s still more we can learn about red light therapies, it’s quite clear that it has its place in pain relief and physiotherapy.
If you’re experiencing any kind of neck, back, knee or other joint pain, some of the devices we’ve listed here might be just what you need.