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Laser therapy has been successfully used around the world for over 25 years, with no reported long-term or irreversible side effects.
What is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)?
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is a painless, sterile, non-invasive, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of pain syndromes, injuries., wounds, fractures, neurological conditions and pathologies. LLLT can be used any time a patient requests or needs a drugless procedure for the control of pain, when conventional therapies have been ineffective, or when the acceleration of healing from injuries is desired.
The theory for the creation of laser light was proposed by Albert Einstein in 1917, but was not developed until 1960. It was in the late 1960's that Professor Endre Mester of Budapest, Hungary, first reported his experience sing laser light to treat non-healing wounds and ulcers in diabetic patients. Mester's 70% success rate in treating these wounds lead to the development of the science of what he called "laser biostimulation".
Around the world, LLLT is rapidly becoming a medical therapy that can heal wounds and fractures up to 60% faster and also reduce the cost of treatment for many conditions. In the U.K., low level laser therapy has become the treatment of choice for sort tissue "whiplash" injuries and for the treatment of painful post-hereabouts neuralgia (shingles pain).
How Does LLLT Heal?
Healing with the use of light is not new. LLLT was reported to be effective for many conditions by Hippocrates. With the development of the laser and its special properties, using light as a treatment has gained more popularity. This is because we can now use specific wavelengths of light and jive accurately measured doses of energy directly to the appropriate treatment site, which was not possible with other light sources
Low-level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin's layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wave lengths in the visible range. However, light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum. Then low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood. This has both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effects throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.
Almost everyone knows that Vitamin D is called "the sunshine vitamin". We all know the difference between a suntan and a sunburn. Unlike surgical lasers, LLLT units do not produce heat or damage tissue. The light from the laser, however, is absorbed by special cellular components or modulates biochemical activity within the body to produce its beneficial effects. In much the same way that plants in photosynthesis use light, humans and animals also have the ability to take advantage of the healthful effects that light has to offer.
What to Expect During a LLLT Session
For most people, LLLT quite passive. There are no creams, gels or ointments that need to be applied prior to treatment. No pulsating shocks are felt as in forms of electric stimulation. The most notable sensation is the pressure of the probe head of the laser as it comes in contact with the skin.
Some patients (3-5% of those undergoing light therapy) have reported a slight tingling or tapping in a nerve or along a nerve pathway. Some have noted that they are able to sense a slight feeling of warmth. But for the most part, the treatment, which may last from 2 to 20 minutes, is not noticed at all.
Following (and even during) a LLLT session, approximately 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present.
Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4-5 or 10-18 treatments. Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. There are some conditions that will never completely resolve but can be helped and maintained with laser therapy. If your condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived.
The Physiological Effects of LLLT
Biostimulation including improved metabolism & increase of cell metabolism
Improved blood circulation and vasodilatation
Anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects
Stimulation of wound healing
Benefits of LLLT to Users
Relieves acute and chronic pains
Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
Increases blood supply
Stimulates the immune system
Stimulates nerve function
Develops collagen and muscle tissue
Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
Applications of LLLT
According to published Medical Reports, many acute and chronic conditions may be improved or eliminated with laser use including:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Heel Spurs/Plantar Fascitis
Nerve Root Pain