What is Laser Therapy
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the application of red light and near infrared radiation over injuries or lesions to stimulate healing and relive pain without sensation or side effects.
It is popularly used for the treatment of sports injuries, several different chronic pain syndromes and non-healing wounds such as venous and diabetic ulcers.
Many new applications for this treatment are being investigated including nerve regeneration for spinal chord injuries, and muscle atrophy for astronauts on long-term space missions.
The new official technical term adopted by NASA and US military scientists is Photobiomodulation (PBM).
Sunlight ( many different colours)
LED: one colour (monochromatic) and waves not in phase (non-coherent)
LASER: One colour (monochromatic) and waves in phase (coherent)
How Does It Work?
Tissue regeneration via improved cellular function. To paraphrase NASA research:
Low-energy photon irradiation by light in the far-red to near-IR spectral range with low-energy lasers or LED arrays has been found to modulate various biological processes in cell culture and animal models. This phenomenon of photobiomodulation has been applied clinically in the treatment of soft tissue injuries and the acceleration of wound healing. The mechanism of photobiomodulation by red to near-IR light at the cellular level has been ascribed to the activation of mitochondrial respiratory chain components, resulting in initiation of a signalling cascade that promotes cellular proliferation and cytoprotection.
A growing body of evidence suggests that cytochrome oxidase is a key photoacceptor of light in the far-red to near-IR spectral range. Cytochrome oxidase is an integral membrane protein that contains four redox active metal centers and has a strong absorbance in the far-red to near-IR spectral range detectable in vivo by near-IR spectroscopy.
Moreover, 660–680 nm of irradiation has been shown to increase electron transfer in purified cytochrome oxidase, increase mitochondrial respiration and ATP synthesis in isolated mitochondria, and up-regulate cytochrome oxidase activity in cultured neuronal cells.
LED photostimulation induces a cascade of signalling events initiated by the initial absorption of light by cytochrome oxidase. These signalling events may include the activation of immediate early genes, transcription factors, cytochrome oxidase subunit gene expression, and a host of other enzymes and pathways related to increased oxidative metabolism.
In addition to increased oxidative metabolism, red to near-IR light stimulation of mitochondrial electron transfer is known to increase the generation of reactive oxygen species. These mitochondrially generated reactive oxygen species may function as signalling molecules to provide communication between mitochondria and the cytosol and nucleus.
Therapeutic photobiomodulation for methanol-induced retinal toxicity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 2003 Mar 18; 1 00(6):3439-44.
PBM Clinical Research
Why PBM is a Valid Means of Treating Acupoints
Acu-points / trigger points are traditionally deactivated via massage, ischaemic pressure or acupressure techniques, ice and stretch
PBM is an increasingly accepted form of non-invasive stimulation of acu-points particularly in patients where risk factors (HIV, nervousness, the young or blood conditions) restrict the use of invasive techniques
PBM stimulates ATP, affects membrane permeability and calcium ion concentrations. Simons and Trevell’s trigger point model suggests that PBM can therefore also be used as an alternative form of stimulation or deactivation of acu-points.
Soft Tissue Injuries
- Acute Back / Neck Pain
- Sprains & Strains
- Capsulitis, Bursitis
- Tendonitis, Tenosynovitis
- SI Joint Pain
- Small Bone
Chronic Pain / Dysfunction
- Lumbar and Cervical Spondylosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bells Palsy
- Trigemminal Neuralgia
- Carpal / Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Shin Splints
- Frozen Shoulder
- TMJ Syndrome
- Phantom Limb Pain
POST OP – SKin Grafts
- Tendon Repairs
- Non-Healing Wounds
- Post Op Oedema
- Post Op Pain