Many studies have been conducted specifically on red light therapy and knee osteoarthritis. More are coming out all the time. In 2018, two separate Brazilian studies concluded that red light therapy plus exercise or stretching was significantly more effective at treating osteo-related knee pain than just stretching or exercise alone [2,3] Researchers of one study concluded patient’s knees “showed reduced pain and increased physical functionality after 3 months of stretching plus [red light] therapy.”
Since 2015, a chorus of other studies in major journals have found that natural red light therapy significantly reduces knee pain from osteoarthritis.
European researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 2013 on pain levels in patients with meniscal pathology (meniscus tears). They concluded: “Treatment with light therapy was associated with a significant decrease of symptoms compared to the placebo group: it should be considered in patients with meniscal tears who do not wish to undergo surgery.”
A 2015 systematic review in Lasers in Medical Science found that red light therapy plus ultrasound showed strong results for treating hand osteoarthritis in women, with a major decline in pain. 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.
Recent research is also showing potential to treat spinal joint pain from conditions like Ankylosing spondylitis. A 2016 European study concluded that the combination of red light therapy and stretching exercises decreased spinal pain more effectively than just placebo therapy with stretching in patients with Αnkylosing spondylitis.
Conventional medicine manages arthritis symptoms, but doesn’t offer a cure. Emerging laboratory research in 2018 is showing that red light therapy has the potential to treat arthritis at a cellular level and address the root causes.
Photomedicine researchers in Brazil published a study in late 2018 showing that red light therapy decreased all cytokine levels after therapy and increased immune cell populations in mammals. Researchers concluded: “Our results indicate that light therapy could change the inflammatory course of arthritis, tending to accelerate its resolution through immune cells photobiostimulation.”
Red light therapy has been shown to improve blood flow, which is one of the big reasons it decreases inflammation and can speed the healing process for damaged tissues. Studies have also indicated that red light therapy helps tissues receive more oxygen and other nutrients—while also ridding themselves of toxic byproducts.
Red light therapy alleviates both acute and chronic inflammation by increasing blood flow to the damaged tissues, and it’s been found in numerous clinical trials to increase the body’s antioxidant defenses as well. This natural anti-inflammatory effect of red light therapy, shown in study after study, is a key to its skin healing and appearance-improving effects.