Comparison of two infrared devices in their effectiveness in reducing symptoms associated with RLS

Physiother Theory Pract. 2011 Jul;27(5):352-9. doi: 10.3109/09593985.2010.502210. Epub 2010 Oct 16.


This study was conducted to assess whether two kinds of near-infrared light devices, using different wavelengths and frequencies, impact symptoms associated with restless legs syndrome (RLS) differently. A recent randomized controlled study showed that symptoms associated with RLS can be diminished with near-infrared light treatment for a limited time. We wanted to assess whether different wavelengths and frequencies had an impact on its effectiveness. Twenty-five volunteers with symptoms of RLS were randomly assigned to either Anodyne® or HealthLight™ treatment. Both groups underwent 12 treatments with near-infrared light, three times a week for 4 weeks. A validated RLS rating scale was used to track changes. The two groups were not different in reported symptoms at baseline (p=0.37) and after 4 weeks of treatment (p=0.88). There was a significant improvement of symptoms between week 0 and week 4 (p<0.001); the difference in change indicated virtually the same improvement between the two groups. Although the two near-infrared light devices used different wavelengths and frequencies and one device used additional red light, they both produced significant improvement in the symptoms associated with RLS after 4 weeks of treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phototherapy / instrumentation*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Utah