BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Light Emitting Diode (LED) Therapy


Light emitting diode (LED) therapy utilizes a device (e.g., Anodyne Therapy System, Pain-X-2000, BioScan, Light Force Therapy) that delivers light to targeted tissue. This is done through multiple LEDs located on a flexible pad that is in contact with the skin. LED therapy may also be referred to as infrared energy therapy, infrared light therapy or infrared heating pad system.

LED therapy devices use one (monochromatic) or two wavelengths of infrared (invisible) light with or without red (visible) light. The light is measured in nanometers, with a higher nanometer number denoting a greater depth of tissue penetration. Treatment is administered several times a week over a period of weeks to months. LED therapy can be provided in an office or home setting.

LED therapy is being proposed for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, lymphedema, non-healing wounds and pain. Treatment is based on the premise that LED therapy may cause an increase in nitric oxide concentrations that may lead to increased blood flow and promote vasodilatation.




Scientific evidence in peer review literature is lacking regarding the use, safety, improvement or effectiveness on health outcomes for light emitting diode therapy.


BlueCross BlueShield Association. Medical Policy Reference Manual. (12:2013). Skin contact monochromatic infrared energy as a technique to treat cutaneous ulcers, diabetic neuropathy, and miscellaneous musculoskeletal conditions. (1.01.22). Retrieved July 10, 2014 from BlueWeb. (15 articles and/or guidelines reviewed)

Diabetes Care. (2008, February). Does anodyne light therapy improve peripheral neuropathy in diabetes a double-blind, sham-controlled, randomized trial to evaluate monochromatic infrared photoenergy. Retrieved July 10, from

Diabetes Care. (2014) Standards of medical care in diabetes - 2014. Retrieved July 2010 from

U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (2005, August). Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Device listing database. Retrieved February 22, 2006 from




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