How to Treat Arthritis with Red Light Therapy

red light therapy for arthritis

In this presentation, you’ll learn what arthritis is, the mainstream approach to treating it and how red light therapy can help you live free from the pain and discomfort of this crippling ailment – quickly, inexpensively and with zero side effects.  Be sure to stick around until the end and I’ll show you the exact red light treatment time needed to achieve the greatest possible results.

Aching, Swollen, Painful – I’m describing the joints of the millions of people out there who suffer from arthritis.  Their hands feel sore, everything takes longer and even simple tasks like taking out your phone and texting somebody becomes challenging.

For the younger people listening to this who think it’ll never happen to them, listen up:  Arthritis used to be thought of as a disease of the elderly, but today it’s common among young people.  For example, in Brazil, 33% of people over the age of 25 have osteoarthritis[1].  It can happen to you and there’s a good chance it will.  Almost 55 million US adults (22.7%) were diagnosed with some form of arthritis between the years 2013-2015,[2] and tens of millions every year since then.

This amounts to hundreds of millions of people suffering from arthritis and yet as you’re about to find out, all the treatments a medical doctor can offer you suppress the immune system.  Even people who know nothing about health know that switching off the immune system is not a good idea.  It’s your first line of defense against disease and lowering it increases your risk of death from cancer and virtually all diseases.

In contrast with these damaging medical treatments, red light therapy is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can alleviate pain and help you live free from the pain and discomfort of arthritis.  Before we get to that, let’s take a look at how medicine treats patients with arthritis.

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What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease characterized by swelling of the joints.  It is usually associated with pain, restricted range of motion, muscle weakness, difficulties in daily living activities and impaired quality of life.

According to mainstream medicine, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related diseases.  The two most common types of arthritis include Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is said to be caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints and is the most common form of arthritis; about 10 times more prevalent than rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is said to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system goes into overdrive and begins attacking the body’s joints.  Mainstream medicine has no explanation as to why this is, but some suggest a viral infection.  (In a future article we will cover the concept of autoimmune disease and I’ll present a far more likely explanation with much better solutions.)

Mainstream Treatments for Arthritis

Currently there are hundreds of different medical drugs and surgeries used to treat arthritis.  Here are a few common types.

  • Steroid medications or injections

The administration of the stress hormone cortisol switches off the immune system, which reduces inflammation the short term but accelerates the disease process in the long term.  For osteoarthritis corticosteroid is injected directly into the joint, and for rheumatoid arthritis corticosteroid medications are administered orally.

  • DMARDs (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs)

These drugs also work by directly inhibiting the immune system and include the chemotherapy drug methotrexate.  Side effects can include heart disease, stroke, depression, infertility and cancer.

  • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

NSAIDs work by inhibiting the enzyme COX-2, which prevents the conversion of polyunsaturated fatty acids into the highly toxic prostaglandins.  This is a actually very effective evidence-based strategy for treating this issue, however, NSAIDs are highly toxic, which suppress the immune system and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. (Except aspirin, which your doctor probably won’t recommend).

To conclude this section, all treatments for arthritis offered by mainstream medicine are designed to suppress the immune system, increasing your chances of death from cancer and other diseases.  Decide for yourself if this is the route you want to take.  It’s your body and your decision.

Can red light therapy treat Arthritis?

Dr. Raymond Peat has a fairly infamous quote in which he provides anecdotal evidence of the idea that arthritis is caused by a deficiency of sunlight.

red light therapy arthritis treatment

“Many people who came to cloudy Eugene to study, and who often lived in cheap basement apartments, would develop chronic health problems within a few months.  Women who had been healthy when they arrived would often develop premenstrual syndrome or arthritis or colitis during their first winter in Eugene.”
– Dr. Raymond Peat

A large component of sunlight is in the red and near-infrared ends of the spectrum.  So anybody living in an environment which contains inadequate sunlight is also receiving inadequate red light.  If it’s true that red light is a major contributor to PMS, arthritis and colitis as observed by Peat, then research testing red light on patients with arthritis should reveal its benefit.

Nitric Oxide is Central to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Recent research has shown that nitric oxide plays a central role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

“NO-dependent tissue injury has been implicated in a variety of rheumatic diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”[3]

As it turns out, red light therapy reduces nitric oxide production by inhibiting the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. [4-5]  Reduced nitric oxide production, in theory, will reduce the damage that causes arthritis.

Based on the fact that red light reduces the factor that is central to rheumatoid arthritis, it seems likely that red light will provide benefit to people with arthritis, if not cure them. 
Let’s take a look at some studies to find out what the research has found.

Harvard Study on Osteoarthritis in Rats

Dr. Michael R. Hamblin, Harvard professor from the Department of Dermatology, published a study in 2013 titled Can Osteoarthritis Be Treated with Light? 

The study experimented with the application of near-infrared laser light (810nm) on arthritis in rats. “A single application of LLLT produced significant reductions in inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory cytokines 24 hours later.”  Put simply, a single treatment with near-infrared light significantly reduced inflammation in the rats. [6]

Red light Vs Osteoarthritis Review

36 Randomized placebo-controlled trials including a total of 2434 patients on osteoarthritis knee pain were reviewed.  7 treatments were tested in an intensive 2-4 week treatment regimen.

alternative treatments for pain

Ineffective for pain relief:

  1. Manual acupuncture
  2. Static magnets
  3. Ultrasound therapy

Effective for pain relief:

  1. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF)
  2. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  3. Electro-acupuncture (EA)
  4. Low level laser therapy (LLLT)

Interestingly, the positive effects of these treatments lasted at least 4 weeks post-treatment.

When researchers analyzed the therapies based on what appeared to be the most optimal doses, red light therapy came out on top as the most effective for short term pain relief.[7]

University of Ottawa Review on Red Light for Arthritis

In 2000, a review was conducted by researchers from the University of Ottawa.  Five placebo-controlled trials were included, all of which tested red light therapy on patients with Rheumatoid arthritis.  The following benefits of red light therapy were found:

  • Red light reduced pain by 70%
  • Red light reduced morning stiffness by 27.5 mins
  • Increased tip to palm flexibility by 1.3cm

Researchers suggested that future research should be focused on determining specific optimal treatment doses to get the maximum benefit from the therapy.[8]

Saudi Arabian Study in 2016 on Red Light for Osteoarthritis

Researchers from the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia experimented with two different doses of red laser light added to an exercise training program in older Osteoarthritic patients.  Patients were assessed for joint pain, joint stiffness, physical function, isometric muscle strength, range of motion of the knee and quality of life.

Osteoarthritic knee xray image

The protocol included 2 sessions of exercise + red light per week for 8 weeks, for a total of16 sessions.

  • Group 1: 6J/cm² dose
  • Group 2: 3J/cm² dose
  • Group 3: Placebo

All three groups experienced “significant reductions” in pain intensity, increased muscular strength and range of motion of the knee, as well as increased physical functional ability.  The greatest improvements were found in Group 1 who received a red light dose of 6J/cm².[9]

Dose and Treatment Times for At Home Red Light Therapy

In the previous study, pain intensity was decreased and muscular strength, range of motion and physical function were significantly increased after a dose of 6J/cm².  How long do you need to treat your knee with our handheld light to achieve that dose?

Treatment time for arthritis with red light therapy

Treatment time: Apply the light to your joints from a distance of 5cm for 30 seconds for a 6 Joule dose.

Follow the combined red light and exercise protocol two times per week for 8 weeks and you should achieve similar results to the people in the study.


Arthritis is a crippling ailment that affects hundreds of millions of people.  Anybody who chooses the mainstream approach to treatment will find relief in the short term, but in time they will realize their health and their symptomatology have only been made worse by the poison pills given to them by their doctor.

Buried within scientific journals are often the answers to the very diseases that modern medicine claims to be searching for.  Arthritis is no exception.  It is well known that nitric oxide plays a primary role in the pathogenesis of arthritis – and that medicines like aspirin and red light both work similarly to prevent nitric oxide production.

Many laboratory and clinical studies in both animals and humans have established that red light is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  The only remaining work is to fine tune the doses so we can achieve the greatest possible effects from the therapy.  So if you’ve got arthritis, be wary of toxic treatments that switch off your immune system and leave you wide open to diseases both infectious as well as degenerative types.  Instead, try turning on some brilliant bright red lights.

red light therapy is effective for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis


  1. Coimbra IB, Plapler PG, Campos GC. Generating evidence and understanding the treatment of osteoarthritis in Brazil: a study through Delphi methodology. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2019;74:e722.
  2. Arthritis-Related Statistics. Centers for disease Control and Prevention. Available: [August 20, 2017].
  3. Nagy G, Koncz A, Telarico T, et al. Central role of nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(3):210.
  4. Song S, Zhou F, Chen WR. Low-level laser therapy regulates microglial function through Src-mediated signaling pathways: implications for neurodegenerative diseases. J Neuroinflammation. 2012;9:219.
  5. Rizzi CF, Mauriz JL, Freitas corrêa DS, et al. Effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signaling pathway in traumatized muscle. Lasers Surg Med. 2006;38(7):704-13.
  6. Hamblin MR. Can osteoarthritis be treated with light?. Arthritis Res Ther. 2013;15(5):120.
  7. Bjordal JM, Johnson MI, Lopes-martins RA, Bogen B, Chow R, Ljunggren AE. Short-term efficacy of physical interventions in osteoarthritic knee pain. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2007;8:51.
  8. Brosseau L, Welch V, Wells G, et al. Low level laser therapy (classes I, II and III) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD002049.
  9. Youssef EF, Muaidi QI, Shanb AA. Effect of Laser Therapy on Chronic Osteoarthritis of the Knee in Older Subjects. J Lasers Med Sci. 2016;7(2):112-9.