Celluma for Joint Pain

Colin Cook

When we talk about photobiomodulation (PBM) around here, we usually mean whole-body PBM, which uses a PBM bed. Celluma, on the other hand, is a portable PBM device. With it, we can focus the photobiomodulation on a particular part of your body, such as a joint. That’s what makes Celluma so effective for joint pain.


Some people find Celluma easier to experience than lying in the PBM bed, so a session is usually twice as long as a full-body PBM session. It may be better than the PBM bed for pain confined to a particular joint. This is because the Celluma session is longer, and because the light source gets closer to the surface of the skin. 

The Relevance of Arthritis

“Joint pain,” incidentally, is almost synonymous with arthritis, which is defined as inflammation of a joint. So the main study I cite in this post appeared in an arthritis journal. Whether or not arthritis is involved, this post is about pain in the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, or hip. Any of these is an excellent target for Celluma PBM because each is usually the right size for the Celluma device.


A 2015 paper in Arthritis Research and Therapy provided a systematic review of clinical studies of PBM for low back pain. More than 70% of the studies found that PBM works significantly better than placebo. While the authors were unable to explain how PBM achieves this small miracle, they offered five hypotheses to explain the mechanism by which PBM alleviates pain.

      1. Increases the internal production of opioid neurotransmitters.
      2. Raises the pain threshold and enhances blood circulation.
      3. Causes the cellular mitochondria to increase their oxygen consumption.
      4. Increases the production of anti-inflammatory proteins.
      5. Stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within cells.

But do you really need to know why PBM alleviates pain if it just does the job?

The Celluma Experience

Here’s how it works. Unlike full-body PBM, there is no need to disrobe for this one. While you relax in a private room with low ambient lighting and soft music, your Peak recovery technician will check to make sure the joint in question is free of makeup, clothing, or anything else that may deflect light. Making sure you are in a comfortable position (usually reclining or semi-reclining), the recovery technician places the Celluma as closely as possible to the target area. The device then shines on your pain for 30 minutes. It may be slightly warm, but there is no discomfort. Many clients fall asleep during the session.

Celluma for Joint Pain

Your cells absorb the photons from the Celluma. This causes them to boost ATP production and accelerate healing. The process may also produce some of the other pain relief mechanisms listed above. In any case, Celluma is FDA-cleared, and dozens of clinical studies and thousands of applications have shown it is non-toxic, non-invasive, safe, and painless. It requires no recovery time.


If you find yourself troubled by stubborn joint pain, consider booking a few sessions of Celluma at Peak Recovery & Health Center.