Red Light Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - Review Of Scientific Studies

Multiple Sclerosis has a severe impact on the quality of life of patients, and a hefty price tag for healthcare costs. Recent studies found that red light therapy for multiple sclerosis, also called photobiomodulation or low level laser therapy, can be an effective treatment option.

“Investigations showed that besides current treatment strategies, LLLT could be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of MS.” [Hossein-Khannazer N, Kazem Arki M, et al.]

In this article, we will explore the benefits of red light therapy for multiple sclerosis, the scientific evidence supporting its use, its effectiveness compared to other treatment options, and a recommended treatment protocol.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation, is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that utilizes low-intensity red and near-infrared light to stimulate healing and reduce pain. Here are some of the key benefits of red light therapy for Multiple Sclerosis:

Protecting Nerve Cells

Myelin is the protective covering of nerve fibers. When this protection is damaged through auto-immune reactions (e.g. MS), diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), certain medications or infections, it can lead to a variety of neurological issues, such as vision loss, pain, numerous muscular problems, mood disturbances, sensations of tingling, and impaired mobility, among others. 


Red light therapy protects this protective covering in 2 ways:

Promoting the reproduction of Schwann cells which insulate nerve cells with a myelin sheath. This supports the maintenance and repair of the peripheral nervous system.

Certain harmful cells, like T-cells in Multiple Sclerosis, are drawn to specific areas of the central nervous system by proteins known as cytokines. By diminishing cytokines, RLT can reduce harm to Myelin.

"Laser therapy is a non-invasive method that contributes to pain relief and reduces inflammation, parallel to the enhanced healing and tissue repair processes." [Dompe C, Moncrieff L, et al.]


"Our results demonstrate that low level laser therapy stimulate human schwann cell proliferation and NGF gene expression in vitro." [Saeed Oraee Yazdani, Azadeh Fahim Golestaneh, et al.]

What does this mean?  In individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system targets and harms myelin. By reducing cytokines, red light therapy can lessen the damage to nerve fibers and alleviate MS symptoms. This helps prevent loss of vision, pain, and muscular dysfunctions.

Inducing Growth Factors

Red light therapy has been shown to induce the production of growth factors in cells. These are proteins that play a crucial role in cell proliferation, differentiation, and tissue repair. Growth factors promote the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins, leading to increased cellular activity and enhanced healing processes.


This means accelerated wound healing, tissue regeneration in nerves, joints, muscles & the nervous system, and overall cellular rejuvenation. Additionally, the induction of growth factors may contribute to improved collagen production, aiding in skin health and the reduction of wrinkles. 

"Moreover, low-level laser radiation enhanced the production and release of various small molecules and growth factors, including TGF-β, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), platelet-derived growth factor, and glial-derived neurotrophic factor." [Dompe C, Moncrieff L, et al.]


"In this study, LED irradiation improved nerve regeneration and increased antioxidation levels in the chamber fluid. Therefore, we propose that antioxidation induced by LEDs may be conducive to nerve regeneration." [Ishiguro M, Ikeda K, et al.]

What does this mean?  By inducing growth factors, red light therapy can reduce the autoimmune effects in multiple sclerosis patients, slowing down the progression of the disease.

Reduction Of Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or irritation, and it often involves the release of chemicals that can cause pain. Inflamed tissues can also restrict movement, cause stiffness and compress surrounding nerves leading to further discomfort.


Red light therapy has been found to activate anti-inflammatory responses in the body, which helps reduce pain and inflammation. It works by inhibiting the inflammatory signaling pathway. 


This means that red light therapy can help decrease an excessive and uncontrolled inflammatory response in the body such as swelling. This is especially beneficial for older adults who may experience chronic inflammation.

"Laser therapy is a non-invasive method that contributes to pain relief and reduces inflammation, parallel to the enhanced healing and tissue repair processes." [Dompe C, Moncrieff L, et al.]


"A single application of LLLT produced significant reductions in inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory cytokines" [Hamblin MR]

What does this mean? Multiple Sclerosis is characterized by chronic inflammation. By reducing inflammation, red light therapy can boost nerve conduction, healing symptoms of numbness, tingling, pain and muscle spasms.

Pain Relief

Red light therapy can help alleviate pain by modulating pain-signaling pathways in the body through the release of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, such as endogenous opioids and serotonin. These substances help to inhibit pain transmission and modulate pain perception.


Additionally, better microcirculation promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and the warmth of the red light relaxes the muscles. Thus, red light therapy offers a non-invasive and drug-free method to manage and reduce pain for older adults.

“In addition to the demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, LLLT may have benefits provided by its ability to act on nerves by reducing pain transmission and activating endogenous opioid receptors” [Hamblin MR]

What does this mean? Less pain allows people who suffer from MS to engage more fully in their daily activities and sleep better. Chronic pain can have significant emotional consequences, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Pain relief contributes to better emotional well-being, positively influencing mental health and mood.

Increased Blood Flow

Another significant benefit of red light therapy is its ability to improve blood circulation. The light energy stimulates the formation of new capillaries, enhancing blood flow to injured areas. This increased circulation delivers vital oxygen, nutrients, and immune cells necessary for efficient healing. By allowing for better delivery of essential resources, new capillaries expedite the healing process.


Improved blood flow also aids in removing waste products and toxins from affected areas, and creates an optimal environment for tissue repair and regeneration. Thus, further supporting the body's natural healing mechanisms.

"A significant increase in blood flow was noted in the treated group" [Frangez I, Cankar K, et al.]


"The results indicated that LLLT accelerated collateral circulation and enhanced microcirculation" [Ihsan FR]

What does this mean? Better blood flow creates a healthier environment around nerve cells to support the overall healing process, reducing pain and contributing to better symptom management. Through endorphins, MS patients will experience an analgesic effect and a more positive mood.

Scientific Evidence for Red Light Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis

Numerous scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of red light therapy for multiple sclerosis. While research in this area is ongoing, several studies have provided promising results:




Multiple Sclerosis

Investigations showed that besides current treatment strategies, LLLT could be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of MS.

Autoimmune Diseases

Together, our results suggest the use of LLLT as a therapeutic application during autoimmune neuroinflammatory responses, such as MS.

Multiple Sclerosis

PBM may be a promising complementary treatment for the management of MS.

Autoimmune Diseases

The autoimmune and neurodegenerative processes culminating in pathogenesis led us to hypothesize that photobiomodulation may be an effective treatment strategy for MS.

Multiple Sclerosis

This is one of the first clinical trials involving photobiomodulation in the sublingual region and along the spinal cord, which could help establish a promising new form of nonpharmacological treatment for autoimmune diseases.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

To receive the maximum benefits of red light therapy for pain management, it is recommended to follow these treatment protocols:

Follow a consistent treatment schedule: Red light therapy works best when used consistently over a period of time. Aim for daily treatments or as advised by your healthcare provider.

Positioning: To be effective for pain management, the light source should be as close to the skin as possible for deep tissue penetration. A wrap/ belt product provides significant advantages over panels

Be patient and persistent: Red light therapy takes time to show its effects, so it's important to be patient and persistent with your treatments. Results may vary depending on individual factors and overall health condition.

Side Effects & Risks

Red light therapy is considered safe to use, especially for older adults. It has virtually no risks or serious side effects.


Some people with light or skin sensitivities may experience mild side effects like skin irritation. These side effects are typically mild and temporary and should subside within a few hours of treatment.


To ensure the safety and effectiveness of red light therapy, it is crucial to choose FDA-approved devices. FDA approval indicates that the device has undergone rigorous testing and meets certain standards for safety and performance.

Choosing the Right Red Light Therapy Device

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a red light therapy device to relieve chronic pain:

FDA Approval: Look for devices that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness.

Wavelength of Light: Consider devices that emit a combination of red and near-infrared light, as these wavelengths have been shown to be most effective in reducing pain and inflammation.

Ease of Use: Look for devices that are user-friendly, easy to operate, and come with clear instructions for use.

Treatment Protocols and Frequency: Consider devices that offer recommended treatment protocols and frequency guidelines based on scientific research and clinical studies.

Cost: Compare the cost of different red light therapy devices and consider your budget. Keep in mind that medical-grade devices may be more expensive but can offer better results.


Red light therapy is an increasingly popular and natural approach to manage symptoms of multiple sclerosis. With its ability to reduce pain & inflammation, protect nerves, and promote tissue repair, it offers a promising addition to traditional treatment plans.


If you're struggling with multiple sclerosis, it's worth exploring red light therapy as a potential solution to improve your quality of life and regain pain-free mobility.

Targeted Treatment For Specific Areas

While red light therapy proves to be highly effective, not all red light therapy devices are created equal. Pads are designed to target specific areas of the body, while panels emit light over a much broader area.


Red light therapy for this condition requires deep penetration, which is why a red light therapy belt is far more effective than a red light therapy panel. You can put a red light therapy belt closer to your skin, and don’t have to stand bare naked in front of a panel for 20 minutes.


By focusing the therapy on specific areas, you maximize its benefits outlined above and reduce pain more effectively.


Consistency is one of the most important variables to the effectiveness of red light therapy when it comes to pain relief, so ease of use should be a major criteria for consideration. Red light therapy belts are convenient and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. They are portable, which means you can wear them while pursuing other activities, or even take them on your next trip.

The All New Cura ProWave Deep Healing Pad™ Is Now Available!

We've made our bestseller even better. Enjoy ground-breaking features for the most effective home therapy yet.

Multi-Wavelength Technology

Feel your pain melt away with our new multi-wavelength technology incorporating the 2x most bioactive wavelengths for photobiomodulation: 660nm and 850nm.

Pulsing+ Technology

Recover faster, boost performance, and treat specific symptoms with Pulsing+ Mode.

Triple Chip Medical LED Diode

Supercharge your cellular energy with an extra large treatment area, 120 LEDs and 360 light chips with an irradiance over 140 mW/cm2.


Enjoy a soothing experience, optimal results, and superior hygiene with a detachable, flexible pad that isolates sweat and oil on the skin.