Red Light Therapy For Osteoporosis - Review Of Scientific Studies

Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that shows promise in addressing osteoporosis, a disease affecting millions of older adults worldwide. This article explains why red light therapy for osteoporosis has gained popularity as an effective treatment option for osteoporosis. We look at the scientific research to examine its benefits and discuss how red light therapy can be incorporated into current treatment approaches.

Understanding Osteoporosis and Light Therapy Mechanics

Understanding Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak and fragile, increasing the risk of fractures. It can be caused by various factors such as hormonal changes, lack of calcium and vitamin D, aging, or certain medical conditions. When someone has osteoporosis, even a minor fall or bump can result in a broken bone.


The most common symptoms of osteoporosis are:

Bone fractures

Back pain

Limited mobility

Stooped posture

Loss of height

Understanding Red Light Therapy

Deep healing red light therapy works by exposing the body to low levels of red or near-infrared light, which can penetrate the skin and stimulate cellular processes.


Similar to how our bodies use sunlight to produce Vitamin D, scientific research shows that our bodies have the ability to absorb red light photons to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the cellular energy powering metabolic processes.


By increasing the ATP production in our cells, deep healing red light therapy enhances cellular performance and promotes tissue repair and regeneration. This means red light therapy addresses the root cause of pain for many age-related diseases.


In a nutshell, deep healing red light therapy restores our body’s innate healing processes so our body can heal itself from within.

Benefits Of Red Light Therapy For Osteoporosis

By increasing cellular activity, red light therapy stimulates multiple biological processes that promote bone regeneration and strengthen bone health over time.

Improving Bone Density & Bone Health

By increasing the activity of osteoblasts (the cells responsible for building new bone tissue), red light therapy accelerates bone formation and bone remodeling. Furthermore, this therapy stimulates cellular metabolism, promoting protein synthesis and enhancing overall bone regeneration.

"LLLT can accelerate bone formation by increasing osteoblastic activity." [Kazem Shakouri S et al.]


“The results demonstrated that the increasing rate of bone mineral density was higher in the laser (L) group than in the control (C) group.” [Kazem S, Soleimanpour J, Salekzamani Y, Oskuie MR]

What does this mean? Research shows that through these processes, red light therapy is able to prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis, and improve bone quality and structure. As a result, the risk of bone fractures in patients with osteoporosis can be reduced. The risk of falls also decreases with stronger bones. As a result, injuries and other complications are less likely to make matters worse.

Repair Of Degenerative Changes

Scientific studies also show that red light therapy supports the repair of degenerative changes in tendons, cartilage, and bones. This is achieved by 2 mechanisms:

Enhancing cell proliferation that activates signaling pathways to up-regulate growth factors.

Increasing the production of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSC).

"These low doses of light have demonstrated the ability to heal skin, nerves, tendons, cartilage and bones." [Cotler HB, Chow RT, Hamblin MR, Carroll J.]


“LLLT can enhance the viability and proliferation rate of healthy and especially osteoporotic autologous BMMSCs” [Fallahnezhad S, Piryaei A, Tabeie F, Nazarian H, Darbandi H, Amini A, Mostafavinia A, Ghorishi SK, Jalalifirouzkouhi A]

What does this mean? Degenerative changes in osteoarthritis patients often lead to back pain and limited mobility. Through deep healing red light therapy, patients can reduce symptoms of back pain and limited mobility considerably and retain a more active lifestyle to prevent muscle weakness which otherwise would further compromise bone health.

Accelerate Tissue Repair & Healing

Deep healing red light therapy has been shown to restore normal mitochondrial functioning through a process known as photobiomodulation.


This is because red light therapy stimulates the production of cellular energy, called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Cellular energy naturally slows down as we age, and by restoring our cellular energy through the use of red light photons, our cells can function better.


As a result, our cells can repair and replace damaged tissue faster allowing our body’s innate healing processes to work at their optimal level to keep our body pain-free.

“The photons are absorbed by mitochondrial chromophores in skin cells. Consequently, electron transport, adenosine triphosphate nitric oxide release, blood flow, reactive oxygen species increase, and diverse signaling pathways are activated. Stem cells can be activated, allowing increased tissue repair and healing.” [Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, Vecchio D, Pam Z, Pam N, Hamblin MR]

What does this mean? Patients suffering from osteoporosis often end up in a downward spiral where pain and the fear of fractures lead to less physical activity, which leads to weaker muscles and further compromises bone health. By improving healing processes at the cellular level, patients can break this cycle and achieve a better quality of life.

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? Osteoporosis patients are less likely to end up in a stooped or hunched posture, which otherwise often leads to back pain and/ or difficulty breathing.

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? People suffering from osteoporosis often lose their independence because they need help in daily activities from family or caretakers. By maximizing their innate healing processes, patients can stay independently for longer.

Review Of The Science

Red light therapy for osteoporosis has been studied in plenty of clinical trials and scientific studies. The science is clear that regular and consistent use of red light therapy can help slow down or even reverse the progression of osteoporosis in multiple ways:

Red light therapy improves bone health by increasing Bone Mineral Content or BMCs

Red light therapy supports bone regeneration by promoting the activity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)

Red light therapy has been shown to influence osteoclastogenesis, contributing to enhanced bone remodeling and improved bone density.





LLLT can possibly be used as a good alternative local treatment strategy with minimal side effects and superior outcome, as it can improve bone strength by faster bone deposition and higher calcium content.

Resorptive Bone Diseases

Overall, 635-nm LED therapy may play a pivotal role in regulating bone remodeling, and it may prove to be a valuable tool to prevent bone loss in osteoporosis and other resorptive bone diseases.

Fracture Healing Process

LLLT can accelerate bone formation by increasing osteoblastic activity.

Improving Bone Quality

investigators have successfully used LLLT to restore autologous osteoporotic MSCs in vitro.

Bone Repair

LLLT improves bone repair in the tibia of osteoporotic rats as a result of stimulation of the newly formed bone, fibrovascularization and angiogenesis.

Osseointegration and Bone Graft

LLLT stimulates cellular metabolism, increasing protein synthesis and subsequent bone regeneration. A high dose combined with low power or a low dose combined with high power appears to produce a positive effect.

Senile Osteoporosis

LLI can effectively improve osteoporosis, increase BMD, improve bone structure and improve bone biomechanical properties

How To Maximize Effects Of Red Light Therapy For Osteoporosis

Red light therapy is an effective treatment for osteoporosis but should be used in conjunction with traditional methods of managing the condition.

Enhancing Effectiveness With Weight-Bearing Exercises

Combining red light therapy with weight-bearing exercises and/ or physical therapy can be a powerful strategy in the fight against osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or lifting weights, help strengthen bones by putting stress on them. When paired with red light therapy, which has been shown to stimulate bone growth and reduce inflammation, these exercises can further enhance the effectiveness of treatment.

Promising Combination Therapies

Studies have shown that combination therapies involving red light therapy along with other modalities hold promise in enhancing treatment outcomes for osteoporosis. For example, combining red light therapy with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) has demonstrated significant improvements in bone density and fracture healing. Similarly, combined treatments using red light therapy alongside vibration platforms or electrical stimulation have shown positive effects on bone health. These findings suggest that integrating different therapies may offer synergistic benefits for individuals living with osteoporosis.

Red Light Therapy For Osteoporosis Against Other Treatment Options

As discussed above, red light therapy is a fantastic non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatment option for osteoporosis. Unlike surgery or medication, it offers a safe and easy-to-use alternative that can alleviate pain and discomfort from home.




Red Light Therapy


Stimulates bone growth & reduces pain long-term.



Increases bone density short-term, but comes with side-effects.

Exercise and Physical Therapy


Improves balance, and strengthens muscles. Requires commitment & resources.

Calcium and Vitamin D


Supports bone health, prevents deficiency.

Dietary Changes


Provides essential nutrients for bone health.

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.


In conclusion, red light therapy is a great, non-invasive and effective treatment alternative for osteoporosis. The understanding of the mechanics behind light therapy and its benefits in promoting bone health has been supported by scientific research and clinical studies. Red light therapy has been shown to stimulate bone formation, reduce bone loss, and improve bone density in individuals with osteoporosis.

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.

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.

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