The light emitted from a particular type of laser has a therapeutic effect on the tissues of the body. These type of lasers are termed low level or cold lasers because the intensity of the light beam that is produced does not cut or burn the tissues that it is directed at. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is remarkably safe, painless and effective in speeding up healing, especially in stubborn and persistent chronic conditions.
The laser light penetrates into the body where an interaction between cells and photons takes place causing a photochemical reaction, which is known as photobiomodulation. This process is similar to photosynthesis when plants absorb light energy from the sun but instead it is the cells of the body that are stimulated producing physiological activity by changing cell membrane permeability. The photons are absorbed by the mitochondria which are like the power houses of the cell.
Therapeutic benefits of laser therapy
- Anti- inflammatory action to reduce swelling and decrease pain.
- Increased vascular activity with vasodilation in blood vessels and increased blood flow, bringing oxygenated blood into the tissues and flushing out metabolites.
- Accelerated cellular activity leading to faster healing of tissues
- Laser light stimulates fibroblast development and collagen synthesis in damaged tissues
- Reduction in fibrous tissue formation resulting in less scar tissue, which produces more complete wound healing, with less chance of weakness and re-injury
- Stimulated nerve function to produce a pain killing, analgesic effect
- Improves joint mobility
- Increased output of specific enzymes, cellular communication and immune response
Conditions treated using laser therapy:
- Acute soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains of joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons
- Back and neck pain
- Wounds and diabetic foot ulcers
- Some skin conditions such as eczema & shingles
- Plantar heel pain and heel spurs
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Patella tendinopathy
- Shoulder pain caused by adhesive capsulitis
- Myofascial trigger points in the neck and shoulders