Benefits of light therapy for Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. It can become more common as we age, however it can also seriously affect young people. This is because there are many different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and septic arthritis. The three most common kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.  

Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis condition, and the one people generally refer to when they talk about arthritis. Some people also call it degenerative joint disease, or “wear and tear” disease. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, knees and back, although it can happen anywhere, and is more likely to develop after an injury or trauma.  

Interestingly, recent research is suggesting that osteoarthritis is a lot more than just “wear and tear”. Scientists are beginning to explore the inflammation associated with this condition, and linking it to metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance. In other words, while family history, age, gender, and previous history of trauma are still closely linked with developing osteoarthritis, gut inflammation and metabolic disease may also play a very important role in determining who goes on to develop this condition with age or after trauma.  

Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory arthritis conditions, that can also often be linked to autoimmune conditions. They commonly affect the smaller joints, including the hands, feet, and sacroiliac joints, which can become extremely inflamed and painful. These conditions typically have a much younger onset, usually from the late 20’s or early 30’s, however can also originate in teens and children. Often, due to the autoimmune link, people with these conditions also have gut issues, such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. People with skin psoriasis are also 30-50% more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis.  


How does light therapy help? 

There is already a large body of evidence proving light therapy to be helpful for arthritis conditions. Not only can it help reduce pain, but light therapy also reduces inflammation to promote healing and tissue repair.  

When red or infrared light is shone at specific wavelengths on the body, it stimulates the cell’s mitochondria to produce more energy, known as ATP. This energy is used by the cell for healing, growth, proliferation and repair. There is also a release of nitric oxide, which improves blood flow and circulation, as well as cAMP, a powerful anti-inflammatory, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which reduces oxidative stress. All this means that, when light therapy is applied to the joints, the joints are able to naturally heal and repair.  


Which device to use? 

One of the most important things when it comes to deciding which light therapy device to purchase is ensuring that it’s a listed device. This means that it’s been rigorously safety tested, and has been proven to do what it says it does. When it comes to treating arthritis, ensuring the correct dose is very important. Not enough light won’t have any effect, and too much light can over-stimulate the nervous system. This is why you may not get the same effects of using an infrared sauna or sitting in front of a salt lamp as you will using a more specific, targeted laser device such as the SYMBYX PhysioCare or DermaCare laser! 

SYMBYX devices are ARTG-listed and CE-listed to help reduce pain and inflammation and promote tissue repair. This means that they can safely be used by people with arthritis to decrease their pain and improve their symptoms.

  1. The DermaCare is the recommended device for arthritis of small joints, in the hands and feet.
  2. For larger joints, such as in the knee, back, or hip, the PhysioCare is recommended, as it can provides a deeper penetration.
  3. The DuoCare 904 is for those with arthritis around the body, and can be used on both small and large joints. The DuoCare 904 is also rechargeable and comes with 4 different depth settings, so you can be extremely specific when treating different body parts, such as your hands, or your back.

If you are unsure which device is best for you, you can always contact our team of international clinicians by emailing them at They provide ongoing clinical support to all our customers and can help provide individualised protocols and recommendations for those using a SYMBYX laser.  

For best results, we recommend a combinational approach, that incorporates exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress management, and light therapy into your health and wellness regime.  



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