Updated July  11, 2018

At-home red and infrared light therapy devices are an increasingly common way for people to treat a variety of different conditions such as joint pain and arthritis. Infrared devices for use at home are affordable, convenient and are useable on many different parts of the body including the back, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs. They work by delivering infrared heat to the body that provides pain relief naturally. Using an at-home device means that you don’t have to schedule a doctor’s appointment and you can find pain relief when and where you may need it most.

Read More: The Best Topical Pain Relief Creams, Gels, and Rubs

At Home Infrared Light Therapy Devices for Pain

There are some easy to use at home devices that can help ease pain, stiffness and increase blood circulation. The following are some of the most popular products on the market:

1. Tendlite

tendlite

Tendlite is one of the most popular devices used worldwide that lets you perform self-administered red light therapy treatments that are painless and safe. Users love this device because you can use it in the comfort of your own home (or while traveling) and the sessions only take a quick 1 minute (2 to 3 times a day). The treatments can treat joint pain, provide anti-inflammatory action, help with muscle relaxation, as well as repair and regenerate tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. It is even safe to use on your pet. It uses a medical grade safe therapeutic 660nm LED Red Light. Tendlite is FDA cleared, and it comes with a 60 money back guarantee.

Check the price on Amazon

2. Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp for Muscle Pain and Cold Relief

beureril50
The Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp is an excellent option if you are looking for a device to treat more significant parts of the body like the back. It can also be used to treat bronchial congestion due to colds. The heat from the lamp can help improve blood flow, heal muscle pain, and reduce inflammation. The light itself is 11.8 inches x 15.7 inches, so it is quite large. To use it you position the lamp in the direction of the area that you wish to treat. The treatment time can be set to be from 1 to 15 minutes depending on the part that you are working on, and you would use it a few times daily. The lamp can be tilted so you can target various areas of the body including arms, legs, and shoulders.

Check the price on Amazon

3. DPL FlexPad Pain Relief System for Back and Knee Pain

dplflex

The DPL FlexPad delivers pain relief in the form of a neoprene therapy pad that you can attach to the area that you are treating such as the back legs, shoulder or arms. The pad has red and infrared LEDs that produce light and heat energy that can get deep into the tissue, and help repair cells and increase circulation. The DPL Flexpad can be used to treat arthritis, trauma, strains, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, and muscle spasms. The pad includes adjustable Velcro straps and is roughly 9.75″ x 5″ in size.

Check the price on Amazon

What is Infrared Light Therapy?

Infrared Light therapy or Phototherapy is the treatment of a condition by exposure to specific wavelengths of light using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for a certain amount of time. It has been researched and tested for over 40 years and has been proven to provide therapeutic benefits to living tissues and organisms. Specifically, red/IR Light emitting diodes (LEDs) can penetrate 8-10 mm (Red) or 30-40 mm (Infrared) into the tissue and stimulate the natural healing power in the cells of the body leading to effective pain relief.

Used in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and sports medicine for decades, the introduction of at home devices in recent years has helped increase the popularity of light therapy treatments. Red and infrared light therapy treatment is a simple, effective, natural alternative help manage pain, injuries, and inflammation. It is quick, works well, is affordable and easy to administer.

Side Effects

One of the best things about all the various types of light therapy is that there are no known side effects. Some people compare it to being as natural as sunlight to your skin (without the UV rays). If you have been dealing with chronic pain and worry about adverse reactions or have a fear of becoming dependent on a particular drug, light therapy is an option you should consider.

If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, or have cancer, you should avoid red/IR therapy.

Difference between Red and Infrared Light

The main difference between red (600-700nm) and infrared (700-100nm) light is the depth to which they can penetrate the skin; the higher the wavelength, the further into the tissue that the wavelengths can reach.  A visible red light device is generally effective for problems that are close to the surface like wounds, cuts, scars, trigger points, and infections, as well as arthritis of the hands and feet. The red light may be less effective in other areas where you need a stronger level of penetration into the tissue like the shoulder or larger joints. If you need a device that can penetrate problem areas concerning bones, joints, and deep muscle tissue, then you will want to consider an infrared device.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

Red or Infrared – The choice between red and infrared devices depends on the ailment that you are treating. If you need a product that can penetrate deep into your tissue, then look for an infrared device, if the problem is closer to the surface then look for a visible red light device.

Price– Generally the price for these types of products range from about $60-$200. The higher priced devices may have a faster treatment time or more features. They may also be more convenient to use.

Design or shape – One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a light therapy device is to look at the shape and think about the area that you are planning on treating. You can get handheld models, pad, wraps, panels, lamps, etc., so there are a lot of different types of design styles available. If you will be using it for traveling, then you will want something small and portable. For those who are looking for a device for a large area (i.e., the back), then you may want to look for a larger device. You also may want a device that is hands-free so you can use it while doing other tasks.

Size of treatment area – The size of the treatment area is another important consideration when finding the right product. Some models are tiny and can treat only a small area at one time, which means that you will have to spend more time on each session if you have a large area to go over.

Treatment time– Different problem areas will require different treatment times. Before purchasing any device ensure that it lists the treatment time for your particular ailment. Knowing how long to use your therapy device is important to make sure you are getting the best results.

Protective eye goggles -You may want to consider investing in protective goggles when using these types of devices. Red and infrared devices aren’t harmful as long as you don’t shine it directly into the eyes, but occasionally accidents happen and the light may be shined into the eyes, so it is worth having the extra protection.

Does it work?

Yes, it does work. The benefits have been studied over the last 40 years in over 4000 published medical studies. There have been numerous studies looking at pain treatment with both red and infrared light effect on arthritis and inflammation, and it has been determined that it is both safe and highly effective for pain relief. Studies have also shown that it is effective for muscle spasms, relieving stiffness, promoting relaxation of muscle tissue, and temporarily increasing blood circulation.

Benefits

There are many different benefits to light therapy; here are just a few:

  • Reduces inflammation and pain
  • Can increase circulation
  • Helps with the relaxation of muscles
  • Provides relief of muscle spasms
  • Relieves muscle and joint stiffness
  • Non-invasive
  • No downtime
  • Easy to use
  • No side effects
  • 100% natural
  • Drug-free
  • Chemical free
  • Non-ablative (does not damage the skin)
  • Painless
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Safe for all ages
  • Easily to self-administered in your own home

It can be particularly beneficial if you are dealing with any of the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Bone breaks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Foot pain (Plantar fasciitis)
  • Knee pain
  • Non-healing Wounds
  • Post-surgical procedures
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sprains
  • Torn ligaments
  • Tendonitis

Where can it be used?

You can use light therapy to treat most parts of the body. Any area that is experiencing arthritis or muscle and joint pain can be treated including fingers, ankles, shoulders, knees, etc.

How does it work?

The red and infrared therapy work by using a form of energy called “Photons” that allows the light to penetrate deep into the body tissue, during the process it can ease pain and help to repair damaged tissue. When the light hits the damaged cells, it stimulates a process called photobiostimulation. Photobiostimulation can increase the cellular metabolism rate, which is part of the process that helps repair the damaged cells while also being able to stimulate the immune, lymphatic and vascular systems. The photobiostimulation process also appears to reduce inflammation.

How to Use Red/IR Light Therapy

The at-home devices that are available make treatment extremely easy. It is as simple as powering up the product and pointing the light towards the area you wish to treat. You will have to have read the instructions for the device and follow the dosage amount times according to what you are addressing. In most cases, you will get some pain relief right away, but to get the best results you will need to continue the treatment consistently for an extended period.

Bottom Line

The ability to treat pain and arthritis with an effective at home device is a fantastic alternative to surgery or expensive professional treatments. These super convenient therapy devices can be used in the privacy of your own home, office, or while traveling. They are natural and chemical free, and you don’t have to worry about developing any chemical dependency that can often become an issue with pain management. Best of all, these types of products are affordable and accessible for everyone to use and there are many different designs and size to treat almost any problem area on the body. If you have struggled with finding an effective way to deal with a difficult, painful condition infrared therapy devices may be the right solution for you.