Laser Therapy is the application of red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve wound/soft tissue healing and give relief for both acute and chronic pain. It is now officially referred to as (Low-Level Laser Therapy) LLLT.
Laser Therapy is used to:
* Increase the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
* Give pain relief
* Resolve inflammation
* An alternative to needles for acupuncture
The red and near-infrared light (600nm-1000nm) can be produced by laser or high intensity LED.
The intensity of LLLT lasers is not high like a surgical laser*. There is no heating effect.
The effect is photochemical (like photosynthesis in plants)
Red light aids the production of ATP thereby providing the cell with more energy which in turn means the cell is in optimum condition to play its part in a natural healing process.
*LLLT devices are typically delivering 5mW -1000mW (0.2 -> 1.0 Watts).
How long are the treatments?
Treatments can vary in time from seconds to minutes depending on the condition. Your doctor from your chiropractic clinic will advise you the recommended treatment. Research studies show that there may be a dose-dependent response, so it may be more effective to treat at lower doses at multiple intervals than to treat a single time with a high dose.
Laser Therapy is commonly used for:
* Pain Relief (muscles, joints, nerves)
* Plantar fascitis
* Wound Healing
* Migraine headaches
* Lower back pain
* Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
* Fibromyalgia/Myofascial Pain
* Sprains and strains
* Post-operative pain
* Post-operative wounds
* Knee, foot, ankle pain
* Tennis Elbow
* Golfer’s Elbow
* Soft tissue injuries
* Pressure Sores
* Herpes simplex
* Rotator Cuff Injury
How does LLLT work?
Like photosynthesis – the correct wavelengths and power of light at certain intensities for an appropriate period of time can increase ATP production and cell membrane perturbation could lead to permeability changes and second messenger activity resulting in functional changes such as increased syntheses increased secretion and motility changes. Red and near-infrared light seem to be the ideal wavelengths.
Red light and near-infrared light acts on the mitochondria and at the cell membrane. In in-vitro and animal LLLT wound healing studies comparing wavelengths, red consistently is more effective. Shorter wavelengths are not as good and are more expensive to produce and have poor penetration; overall, they are a poor choice. Near-infrared light, while not quite as good, do penetrate better than the red wavelengths and are available in higher powers and at low prices. According to live in-vivo experiments at Uniformed Services University Bethesda Maryland (a US military research center) 810nm is the best penetrating wavelength. It also happens to work well in LLLT nerve regeneration studies they are doing.