Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy is a term that describes the therapeutic application of light to the body. First developed in 1967 by Endre Mester in Hungary, low-level laser therapy involves placing a light source near to or on the skin, allowing the photons to move through the tissue and interact with cells in the body. Mester first developed this method after finding that it improved hair growth and stimulated wound healing in mice. Shortly after his initial development of the treatment method, Mester explored the therapy’s ability to aid in the healing of skin ulcers in 1972.
Low-level laser treatment doesn’t involve the use of the high-powered lasers that most people are familiar with. Instead, low-level lasers, LEDs and broadband lights are used to emit red and near infra-red light with wavelengths of 632 nm to 1064 nm at 1 to 1000 mW. These low-power light sources do not generate heat, so they do not burn the skin during the therapeutic process.
Since the development of the process, the benefits of applying laser therapy treatments have been explored at length. The photochemical changes that occur in cells as a reaction to the application of light can help accelerate wound healing and tissue regeneration, increase circulation, reduce inflammation and even help manage pain. (Erchonia. Nov. 2020)
Orthopedic pain: Low-level light therapy has had pain-reducing effects on patients recovering from sprains, whiplash, muscular pain, cervical or lumbar radiculopathy, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. It has also shown positive effects on individuals with chronic conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis. It’s may even bee effective at treating post-surgical pain, and one study showed that low-level light therapy was an effective tool in managing pain for patients recovering from total hip arthroplasty surgeries.
Neuropathic pain conditions can be treated effectively with photobiomodulation, including various types of neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy.
Laser therapy treatment has been widely regarded as an effective way to manage and reduce inflammation in a variety of applications.
Athletic programs commonly use low-light laser therapy to help reduce inflammation and promote muscle recovery for training or injured athletes. Additionally, medical practices have used laser therapy as a way to manage inflammation for patients recovering from various injuries. One study showed that low-level light therapy effectively reduced post-surgery inflammation for patients recovering from total hip arthroplasty surgeries.
The primary mechanism by which light therapy helps reduce inflammation is vasodilation. In vasodilation, small arteries and lymph vessels increase in size, allowing inflammation, swelling and edema to move away from injury sites. Not only does this mechanism reduce inflammation, but it also improves the healing process overall.
Do Low-Level Lasers Actually Work?
Though low-level laser treatment is a relatively new field of medicine, the results speak for themselves. As the studies mentioned above show, patients recovering from injuries, surgeries and more can expect excellent results from low-level laser therapy.
(Erchonia. Nov. 2020)