The concept of using narrow band near infrared (IR) energy from light emitting diodes (LEDs) to relieve pain was initially researched and developed by NASA for the Space Shuttle program.
Because infrared light is:
Over 40 years of independent research worldwide, light therapy has been shown to deliver powerful therapeutic benefits to living tissues and organisms. Both infrared and visible red light have been shown to affect at least two dozen different positive changes at a cellular level.
Visible red light, at a wavelength of 630 nanometers penetrates tissue to a depth of about 8-10 mm and can be beneficial in treating problems close to the surface of the skin. Visible red light can affect healing of wounds, cuts and scars; and is especially effective in treating infections.
Infrared light, at a wavelength of 904 nanometers, penetrates the epidermis to a depth of approximately 30-40 mm, which makes it more effective as a treatment for deep muscle, joint pain and more.
Different cell and tissue and types in the body absorb light at specific wavelengths and in unique ways. The outer skin layers, because of their high water and blood content, absorb red light easily, while the bones, containing phosphorus and calcium, can only absorb light at a different wavelength. While both infrared and red wavelengths can penetrate various depths and affect tissues differently, their beneficial effects are similar. In conclusion, LED light therapy benefits are valid and demonstrable.