Osteoarthritis is becoming more problematic as the population ages. Recent reports suggest that the benefit of anti-inflammatory drugs is unimpressive and the incidence of side effects is worrying. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) is an alternative approach with no known side effects and with reports of substantial therapeutic efficacy in osteoarthritis. In this issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Alves and colleagues used a rat model of osteoarthritis produced by intra-articular injection of the cartilage-degrading enzyme papain to test 810-nm LLLT. A single application of LLLT produced significant reductions in inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory cytokines 24 hours later. A lower laser power was more effective than a higher laser power. However, more work is necessary before the title question can be answered in the affirmative.