Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the use of therapeutic (or cold) laser light to provide relief from pain, eliminate inflammation (swelling) or to repair damaged tissues. LLLT is entirely non-invasive and has a wide range of applications, from neural muscular skeletal conditions to wound healing to acupuncture treatments. Rather than destroying tissue, as with surgical (or hot) lasers, LLLT uses low intensity laser light energy to stimulate cells through a number of known cellular pathways in order to encourage tissue healing.
How Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Works
• Laser light is delivered in the therapeutic window by monochromatic laser light in wavelengths ranging from 600 to 950 nm
• Light particles also known as photons penetrate up to 10 cm into tissue
• Photons are absorbed by electrons in photosensitive compounds, known as chromophores and cytochromes residing in the mitochondria increasing the rate of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP) production. ATP is the basic food source of cells derived from the phosphorylation of glucose in the mitochondria.
• ATP fuels the cells and actuates the healing process – more ATP equals faster healing
Benefits of Laser Therapy
• Easy to apply with no side effects
• Non-toxic and drug free
• Decrease/eliminate pain
• Reduce inflammation
• Promote new blood vessels and tissue growth
• Promote nerve axon growth
• Faster wound healing and closure
• Virtually painless
• Highly effective for patient (>90% efficacy)
• Drug free
• Extremely safe
• Easy to apply
• Cost effective for practitioner and patient
• Superior alternative to analgesics, NSAID’s,
other medications and other modalities
• Virtually no contraindications
• Rapid Cell Growth – Accelerates cellular reproduction and growth.
• Faster Wound Healing – Stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
• Increased Metabolic Activity – Higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and nutrient loads for blood cells, greater production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and reater ability to remove waste products.
• Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation – Reduces the formation of scar tissue following damage from cuts, scratches, burns or surgery and allows the reabsorption of fibrotic tissue already formed through biostimulation of collagen during the remodeling phase of healing.
• Anti-Inflammatory Action – Reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints for enhanced joint mobility.
• Increased Vascular Activity – Induces temporary vasodilation, increasing blood flow to damaged areas and removal of waste products
• Stimulated Nerve Function – Speeds the process of nerve cell reconnection to prevent or stimulate recovery from nerve damaged areas (“dead” limbs or numb areas).
Laser Therapy Applications for Humans
Neuromuscular Skeletal conditions are common in all of us. We can all experience sprains, strains and pain that just won’t go away resulting from repetitive strains in our work place or from trauma in our everyday lives. Pain and inflammation are things we’ve grown to accept as something we probably will just have to live with. Medical practitioners across North America have discovered a modern medical technology that heals injuries safely and effectively on a cellular level. This medical technology is the Theralase line of therapeutic medical laser systems.
The Theralase superpulsed laser system can penetrate up to 4 inches into tissue, to promote cellular regeneration at the source of injury. Laser energy helps to repair damaged cells by accelerating the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Depending on the severity of the injury, your patient can return to an active lifestyle pain-free within a few weeks versus months or years of life altering pain.
The Theralase superpulsed laser has over 24 clinically proven pre-programmed treatments for human applications.
• Pain Management
Pain is believed to originate from an ionic differentiation of potassium (K+) and sodium (Na+) ions across a cellular membrane. Theralase 905 nm super-pulsed laser technology increases cellular membrane permeability and causes a reabsorption of sodium and expulsion of potassium molecules, removing the gradient and thus the pain signal at source.
No clinically tested modality is proven to be more effective for arthritis. While arthritis is a chronic condition without a cure, Theralase therapeutic laser treatments can provide substantial relief from symptoms by reducing inflammation of the joints, eliminating pain, increasing range of motion of the joints and improving immune cell production and efficiency.
• Wound Healing
Laser treatments accelerate each of the three phases associated with the natural healing of wounds: inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. The result is a reduction in pain, inflammation reduction, increased stimulation of connective tissue (granulation tissue) and increased capillary production (angiogenesis) leading to improved blood flow during proliferation.
• Addiction Rehabilitation + Weight Loss
Therapeutic lasers provide effective treatment for smoking, drug and alcohol addictions, as well as weight loss, through stimulating specific points in the ear causing the brain to release neurotransmitters (such as endorphins and dopamine) that help to break the addiction cycle. Theralase combines treatment with behavioural modification addiction counseling and nutritional guidance to create programs with a very high rate of success.
Theralase advanced anti-aging system is designed for facial rejuvenation and the treatment of various dermatological conditions. This non-invasive system erases years of lines and wrinkles without surgery or painful recuperation time. By combining laser/acupuncture facial points and both near infrared and visible red light, treatments optimize skin health and appearance through the production of collagen and elastin, both essential to healthier more youthful skin.
Why and how is cold laser therapy effective?
Much of the safety and effectiveness of cold laser therapy lies in its ability to trigger the body to heal itself. Penetrating into targeted tissue, laser light stimulates mitochondria in target cells to produce additional ATP, which fuels cell repair and regeneration. The laser simply jumpstarts the healing process and since the laser used operates within a specific wavelength range that is non thermal (the “therapeutic window”), there is no risk of tissue damage or other complications.
A wide variety of studies on the safety and effectiveness of cold laser therapy have been conducted by medical professionals from across the globe. Theralase also regularly conducts research and clinical trials to support the use of and discover new applications for laser technology.
Some recent topics include:
• Laser Therapy in the Management of Chronic Myofascial Pain of the Neck
• Action of Diode Laser in Orthopaedics and Traumatology
• Effects of Laser Therapy in the Management of Lateral Epicondylitis
• Acute Cervical Pain Relief with Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Laser Radiation
• Efficacy of Low Level Laser Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Why use LLLT?
Many LLLT systems are portable, and treatments can be done virtually anywhere there is a trained technician. LLLT systems are comparatively inexpensive and provide solutions to a wide range of clinical conditions with a single device. LLLT has been proven to work more quickly and often at an earlier stage than conventional surgery or therapy; thus, reducing treatment and recovery times.
Put simply, LLLT offers better health care for patients at reduced costs.
Is LLLT safe?
LLLT is painless and is well tolerated by patients of all ages and conditions. During more than 35 years of clinical use, it has never resulted in a serious side effect.
Therapeutic laser systems are athermic (no heat) and therefore incapable of causing tissue damage. As well, cells have a natural ability to resist over-stimulation, meaning it is not possible to harm tissue by overdosing, as long as you use a therapeutic laser that is used in the therapeutic window and remains below the Maximum permissible Exposure (MPE) of tissue.
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