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      LED Pain Relievers

      If you prefer not to take the pharmacological route to managing issues with joints or muscles, try one of these LED pain relievers instead. Using a combination of wavelengths from the visible and infrared light spectrum, they claim to be effective for relieving many conditions, including arthritis, without the risk of potentially harmful side effects.

      8 Best LED Pain Relievers

      Can Light Therapy Really Reduce Pain?

      Applying something as simple as an array of LED lights to a painful spot on the body and actually feeling relief may seem too good to be true. Hucksters and snake oil salesmen throughout history have made wild claims about the abilities of their products — often wild medical claims — that have left the majority of us extremely suspicious of their true intentions.

      It would be easy to write off LED light therapy as just another hippy dippy holistic treatment that provides little more than a placebo effect to its users. If I’m being entirely honest, when I initially set out to research the topic, I expected to find a litany of articles debunking the claims made by manufacturers about LED efficacy. What I found was the opposite.

      One study, for example, published through the National Institutes of Health, asked patients with at least six years spent suffering lower back pain to undergo LED treatment in the infrared spectrum for a treatment course of seven weeks. Twenty-one patients received the real therapy, while 18 others received placebo treatment (the devices in the placebo group still lit up, but did not produce infrared radiation).

      Patients were asked to rate their pain at the beginning and end of each treatment, as well as provide an overall assessment of their pain on a scale of one to ten on the first day and the last. The placebo group started out with an average pain rating of 7.4, which fell to a six by the end of the study — a 19 percent decrease in pain. Clearly, the placebo effect was present.

      The treatment group, however, began the study with an average pain rating of 6.9. By the end of seven weeks, that rating dropped to a solid three. That’s nearly a 57 percent decrease in pain, or three times the relief experienced by the placebo group.