What is Red Light Therapy & How Can It Relieve Your Pain?

They say laughter is the best medicine, and I wholeheartedly agree, but if you are injured or in pain, it may be the last thing on your mind. We all face different health struggles, from pain to inflammation.

October 7, 2021

They say laughter is the best medicine, and I wholeheartedly agree, but if you are injured or in pain, it may be the last thing on your mind. We all face different health struggles, from pain to inflammation. Exercise is a great way to boost your health and prevent injury, but what about relieving pain, helping muscles recover, easing inflammation, and overcoming injuries? One solution you can do right at home is red light therapy!  In today's blog post, you'll learn about:

  • What red light therapy is
  • How it works
  • Benefits of red light therapy for pain, inflammation, and injury
  • How you can start trying red light therapy

Red light therapy is a useful technique, but not enough people know about the incredible benefits. It's time to change that!

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy (RLT) refers to treatments from LEDs that deliver wavelengths of natural red and near-infrared light. It can help your skin, muscles, bones, and other parts of your body to heal. It involves two types of light: red light and infrared light. Red light feels like heat, and you can see it; infrared light is the energy that your eyes can't see, but feels like heat! By exposing you to low levels of red (or even near-infrared) light, red light therapy can heal different injuries, relieve pain, and help with muscle and bone recovery. Red light therapy has become very popular, especially among athletes, to promote muscle and bone healing and recovery, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, all while helping to prevent injuries! The best part is it can be done right from the comfort of your own home!

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light therapy exposes your skin to red or infrared light through a lamp, device, or lightbulb. Red light naturally powers your cells through the mitochondria (you probably remember from middle school or high school that these are the "powerhouse of the cells"), where energy is created. When you give your cells red light, it triggers a chemical reaction in the mitochondria that helps boost energy production and regeneration. How does this work, though? Your mitochondria produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy-carrying molecule for all of your body's cells. Red light therapy increases your mitochondria's ability to make ATP! This helps your cells repair themselves, heal, and even function more effectively. [1]Red light therapy uses low-level heat and light that won't hurt or burn your skin. A common misconception about RLT is that it damages your skin like a tanning booth would—this isn't true! It's not the same type of light, and doesn't expose your skin to damaging UV rays. Instead, red light therapy directly stimulates your skin's regeneration process and goes deep into your cells without harming your skin or body! Your overall health and wellness is so important—that's why red light therapy's multitude of benefits makes it worth trying out!

Red Light Helps Relieve Pain, Inflammation, and Injuries

Now that you know what red light therapy is and how it works let's talk about some of the best benefits related to helping relieve pain, inflammation, heal injuries, and promote muscle and bone strength and recovery.

Benefits for Pain Relief

According to research, red light therapy effectively reduces both inflammation and pain, which means it can have a positive impact on those with chronic pain. In one particular study, there were no adverse side effects, and the participants all experienced lower pain levels after being exposed to red light therapy. [2]Whether you struggle with arthritis or other chronic pain, red light therapy can help you!

Reduces Inflammation

Many conditions are caused by inflammation, and red light therapy can help. RLT has anti-inflammatory effects locally (where the light is applied) and systemically (in other body tissues and organs). Red light therapy can reduce inflammation, especially in chronic inflammatory issues like obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, arthritis, and tendonitis, to name a few.

Recovery Quicker From Injuries

Red light therapy is becoming more popular among professional athletes, trainers, and sports medicine professionals. It helps people recover more quickly from injuries, all with less pain and inflammation. RLT aids in rehabbing injuries and speeding up muscle recovery. When you exercise intensely or frequently, you're more likely to experience muscle fatigue, muscle soreness, pain, and inflammation. This can lead to injuries and make you less likely to continue exercising. Red light therapy helps to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue. It also can really boost your muscle recovery! Preventing injuries is important, and luckily, RLT prevents and treats injuries by reducing pain and inflammation and increasing recovery speeds.

How to Use Red Light Therapy to Relieve Your Pain

Red light therapy is a valuable tool for overcoming pain, boosting your muscle recovery, easing inflammation, and healing injuries. R3bilt has red light therapy units available in our studio for working out in-person. We know that lots of you love a good at-home workout, so you can order yours online here and experience all of the same pain and inflammation-relieving benefits from the comfort of your home! Are you impressed by all of the benefits of red light therapy? We covered these important questions:

  • What is red light therapy?  
  • How does red light therapy work?
  • How does red light therapy treat pain, inflammation, and injuries?
  • Where can you try red light therapy for yourself?

Now that you fully understand red light therapy, it's time to give it a try if you've been looking for a solution to reduce pain or inflammation. Red light therapy is an effective technique that will have a positive impact on your health and wellness. Check out my favorite red light therapy tools to improve your pain and help you feel amazing. Enjoy!


[1] Cafasso, J. Reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN. (5 March 2020). Red Light Therapy Benefits. Healthline. Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/red-light-therapy#unproven-claims[2] Bjordal, J. M., Lopes-Martins, R. A., & Iversen, V. V. (2006). A randomised, placebo controlled trial of low level laser therapy for activated Achilles tendinitis with microdialysis measurement of peritendinous prostaglandin E2 concentrations. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(1), 76–80. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2005.020842


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