What Is Low Light Laser Therapy?
LLLT is a painless, sterile, non-invasive, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of pain syndromes, injuries, fractures, neurological conditions, and pathologies. Laser therapy can be used any time a patient requests or needs a drug-less procedure for the when control of pain when conventional therapies have been ineffective or when the acceleration of healing from injuries is desired. Laser therapy can heal wounds and fractures up to 60% faster and also reduce the cost of treatment for many conditions. It is a preferred treatment choice in the U.K. for whiplash injuries and painful post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain).
How Does Laser Light Heal?
Laser light has gained popularity because we now use specific wavelengths of light and give accurately measured doses of energy direction 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 at all wavelengths in the visible range. However, light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum. When the low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune response of our blood. This has both anti-inflammatory and immunostimulate effects.
Effects and Benefits of LLLT
The four main effects of LLLT specifically are wound healing, anti-inflammation, antalgic (anti-pain), and immunoregulation.
Wound Healing: Natural healing of a wound can be divided in 3 phases: inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. LLT assists in all three areas by increasing fibroblasts, speeding up angiogenesis – which causes temporary vasodilation, and by speeding up the reabsorption of a swollen area. LLLT is also very helpful for burns.
Anti-Inflammation: LLLT has an antioedemios effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system (drains swollen areas).
Antalgic (Anti-Pain): Due to less inflammation, there is less of an edema and thus less pain. Because LLLT stimulates vasodilation and lymphatic drainage, which increase the reabsorption of pain-causing products.
Immunoregulation:LLLT has a direct effect on our immunity status by stimulation of immunoglobines and lymphocytes.
Other benefits and effects of Low Light Laser Therapy:
- Improved metabolism & increased cell metabolism
- Improved blood circulation & vasodilation
- Analgesic effect
- Anti-inflammatory & anti-edematous effects
- Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
What LLLT is used to treat?
- Back Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis / Heel Spurs
- Migraine Headaches
- Nerve Pain, Whiplash, Nerve Root Pain (i.e. sciatica)
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
What to Expect?
Laser therapy is quite passive. The only noticeable sensation is the touch of the probe head of the laser, as it comes into contact with the skin. Very few patients have reported a slight tingling in a nerve or along a nerve pathway and some have noted that they are able to sense a slight feeling of warmth. However, for the most part, the treatment which may last anywhere between 2 to 20 minutes, is not noticed at all.
Following a session,, 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This depends primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present. If your condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived.