4 Ways to Use Infrared Light Therapy for Arthritis (at Home)

Infrared light therapy for arthritis is one of the best natural pain-relieving tools you can have at home – to use any time you need it.

👉In this post, you’ll discover the  best ways to use IR therapy for arthritis , including the infrared lamp, heat therapy gloves, infrared foot therapy, infrared heating pads, and the infrared sauna.

infrared light therapy for arthritis

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Is Infrared Therapy Good for Arthritis?

light spectrum
Conceptual animation of the dispersion of light as it travels through a triangular prism. GIF by LucasVB
In a Hurry?
Jump to the 4 best infrared therapy devices for arthritis, and the best devices.

Does infrared heat help with Arthritis?

Well, yes, and It’s quite simple:

Infrared light is the heat you feel when you’re out in the sun. This powerful heat penetrates deep into your tissues – all the way through your muscles to your nerves and bones.

In technical terms, infrared therapy uses light between 600 – 1000nm in wavelength, which is invisible to the human eye. Your body experiences infrared energy as a gentle radiant heat that can penetrate up to 1.5 inches (almost 4 cm) beneath your skin!

Infrared waves go deep in your body and naturally raise your body’s temperature, which quickly speeds up your blood circulation.

The result:

1. Fast pain relief – via pain-reducing components in your blood

2. Inflammation reduction – via healing components in your blood.

Infrared light therapy is a 40-year science-backed method to relieve pain and reduce inflammation throughout the body, frequently used by doctors (the good ones), physical therapists and professional athletes.

The light is emitted either through LED bulbs (in infrared lamps/handheld devices/panels) or through natural jade/Amethyst stones (infrared heating pad).

Is Infrared Therapy Proven to Help Arthritis?

Many clinical human studies have proven that Infrared light therapy (also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy) is more effective than NSAIDs in relieving pain and healing inflammation.

Here are a few examples:

1. FIR therapy was proven to significantly reduce pain and inflammation of Osteoarthritis over a 24-hour period

2. In patients with RA, relative to a separate control group, LLLT reduced pain by 70% relative to placebo and reduced morning stiffness by 27.5 min (95% CI -52.0 to -2.9), and increased tip to palm flexibility by 1.3 cm (95% CI -1.7 to -0.8).

3. FIR treatment was demonstrated to provide greater movement in the joints, increased connective tissue flexibility, and increased endorphins level in the bloodstream, resulting in greater pain relief.

These are only some of the studies. There are many more (some are listed at the end of the post)

✅ The 4 Best Infrared Therapy Devices for Arthritis

infrared therapy home devices for arthritis

Luckily, these days you can own an infrared home device, and use it any time you need it, for as long as you need it.

All infrared home devices for arthritis are easy to use. You just plug them in and relax for the next few minutes.

No traveling to a treatment center, no waiting until the morning or next week for a doctor’s appointment.

How Long is Treatment Time for Arthritis?

Treatment time ranges between 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of your pain.

The treatment is painless, and you can enjoy the gentle heat while reading a book, watching TV, or better yet – just closing your eyes and resting.

Here are the best options:

1. Infrared Heat Lamp 

An infrared lamp – recommended if your inflammation areas are few and small (Hand arthritis/knee/elbows, etc.)

infrared heat lamp for arthritis
Beurer Heat Lamp – see the best price here

Most brands recommend 10-15 minute sessions a time a few times a day. There is no proven benefit to doing it longer than that. Set your infrared heat lamp about 12-24 inches from the joint or area you are targeting.  Make sure to also pull your clothes away from the area, so the heat lamp can get to the skin easier.

👉 You can also make your own infrared lamp – click the link to see instructions.

2. Heat Therapy Gloves 

More than a few studies have proven that Laser treatments are helpful for Osteoarthritis in the hands and feet, including reducing pain (by 1.10 points on a scale of 1-10) and morning stiffness duration (by 28 minutes!).

IR therapy is also proven to improve range of motion, function, swelling, and grip strength – in the long term.

The best treatment would be simple FIR therapy gloves for arthritis, with temperature control, and to use them for at least 30 minutes a day.

👉 Here’s one of our top choices for 2021:

savior far infrared gloves for arthritis
Savior Battery Operated Heated Gloves – check price on Amazon
👉 See the 6 BEST Infrared Heated Gloves – of 2021!

The Savior heated gloves are made with soft and comfortable cotton material and have 3-level temperature control.

The fully charged batteries will stay hot for 3 hours and 45 minutes on the medium setting and about 30 minutes on the high setting. They are also waterproof and work even in sub-zero temperatures!

3. Infrared Heating Pad 

You can use an infrared heating pad – for larger pain areas (spinal arthritis, etc.), or use knee heating pads (braces) for arthritis knee pain.

infrared heating pad for osteoarthritis
UTK Infrared heating pad – use our 15% coupon code on Amazon

Knee heating pads are also very helpful for knee arthritis, and an added benefit is that you can move around with them.

infrared knee wrap for knee arthritis
Thermedic knee heating wrapsee on Amazon

4. Infrared Sauna 

An infrared sauna for arthritis is our #1 recommendation for Arthritis pain relief and healing – the natural way.

(As always, this is backed by science)

👉 You may be surprised to find that just one 40-minute session in a far infrared sauna can give significant muscle pain and stiffness relief – more than all the massages, acupuncture, physiotherapy, TENS, and ultrasound treatments together.

infrared therapy health benefits

Sitting in a wooden box, sweating like you never sweat before, can detox your body and loosen all your muscles in a way that feels like being born again – when you come out.

The only side effects (if you hydrate properly) are clearer skin and better sleep.

👉 See the top 4 infrared saunas, made with non-toxic materials – for the money. 

If your budget won’t allow having your own FIR sauna, you can go for an infrared sauna pod/tent – for half the price (and lower) of an infrared sauna.

The home devices are just as effective as medical devices/beds/saunas.

The only difference is the treatment area size they can treat.

  • If you suffer from Arthritis in most or all your joints/spine, you’ll need a full-body treatment via a large infrared heating pad or sauna.
  • If your pain is local (elbows, knees, hands, feet) – all you need is a high-quality infrared home device to save a ton of money on doctor appointments, physical therapy, and NSAIDs.

Over time, the investment in the device will pay for itself. Both in the short and long term it is a wise investment.

How to Choose the Best Laser Light Therapy for Arthritis

I’ve linked the best products in the above section, but here’s how to choose the best IR home device for your needs:

1Treatment area

2. FIR Heat Emitting System

Infrared heat is emitted either through LED bulbs or through jade/amethyst stones (which are heated electrically).

Infrared heating pads use natural stones to emit FIR rays, while hand-held/2-panel devices use LED bulbs.

Jade/amethyst stones are a great healing bonus since they alone are considered therapeutic.

The most famous (yet expensive) Amethyst infrared pad is the full-body Biomat

biomat full body FIR heating pad
Me on my Biomatclick here to see where I got it

It’s my #1 recommendation, but we wouldn’t recommend starting out with it.

Try a relatively low-cost device first, to see how it works for you.

3. EMF radiation

Always look for devices with low/no EMF radiation. The best devices clearly state how much EMF (if at all) they radiate.

4. Timer

The high-quality devices have a built-in timer, so you won’t have to continuously time your treatment sessions.

Conclusion

infrared light for pain relief infographic

Infrared light therapy for Arthritis is one of the most powerful, proven, and drug-free ways to relieve arthritis pain and heal joint inflammation in the long-term.

It can replace your pills, it can save you money, and it can work fast.

Having your own infrared home device makes this natural Arthritis treatment available to you 24/7 and can be used to treat many skin problems you may have as well.

It’s non-invasive, safe, and easy to use.

(Read: How to use infrared therapy for Arthritis knee pain)

There are more than a few high-quality infrared home devices for pain relief, and our current #1 recommendation is the DPL Light therapy system.

What about you? Have you ever tried infrared therapy? What’s your experience? Share it with me in the comments below.

To your health and happiness,

Meital

Studies

Oosterveld, F.G.J., Rasker, J.J., Floors, M. et al. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Clin Rheumatol 28, 29 (2009).

Jean Stelian, MD, et al. Improvement of Pain and Disability in Elderly Patients with Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Knee Treated with Narrow‐Band Light Therapy

Hamblin, M.R. Can osteoarthritis be treated with light?. Arthritis Res Ther 15, 120 (2013).

Meital James
Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

12 thoughts on “4 Ways to Use Infrared Light Therapy for Arthritis (at Home)”

  1. As someone who has osteoporosis & osteoarthritis & taking Alendronic Acid tablets for the bone disease. Is Infrared treatment advisable? The main site of the pain is in the feet & ankles

    Reply
  2. I sprained my thumb really bad and nothing was working after I stopped NSAID’s. Did not want to use the prescribed NSAID’s very long, although they did take away the pain which was debilitating . Tried a small 880nm. LED unit with no luck at first. I got so frustrated I taped it to the palm of my hand where the pain was and left it there for four hours. I thought that had failed too but when I woke up the next day I was astonished to find the pain was reduced by 80 to 90%! Probably not the proper way to use the device, but it sure did the trick for me. Amazing.

    Reply
  3. My husband has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over a year now. We’re looking for alternatives so that he can reduce or wean off some drugs that have caused many negative side effects. We’re looking at LLLT therapy and very confused with the array of products that are available.
    I’ve read your blogs and wonder what you think of products like Leanne Venier’s REDjuvenator, Joovv, BioFlex P120, RedLightMan? Panel vs. flexible band?
    What’s the difference between NIR and FIR?

    Reply
    • According to NASA studies, the best wavelength for pain relief and healing is 880nm. I believe the products you mentioned are 630nm – the red light wavelength and not the infrared wavelength – which is what you need.
      NIR and FIR are both infrared, however, NIR is nearer to red light wavelength.
      I would suggest that you start with a near infrared heat bulb. It’s a low-cost option, and it can be very effective.

      Reply
  4. My senior horse has arthritis … Is the pad safe to use to help her ? How often would I need to do it ? I have a FIR portable sauna at home and it works wonders, of course, I can’t put her in the sauna 😉 Thanks !

    Reply
  5. Qi am looking for a heat lamp. I have arthritis. In the lower back area. As well as my hands can’t close them

    Reply

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