Laser therapies are medical treatments that use focused light energy in a non-invasive way to stimulate a photochemical response. Laser treatment of damaged or dysfunctional tissue can be used to relieve pain, repair tissue and enhance cell function. Other laser therapy treatments and applications include viral disinfection, anti-aging and weight management.
The term laser is actually an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) utilizes low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LED’s) which emit a single wavelength of light without any heat, also known as cold lasers, so the therapy is photochemical rather than thermal. This is different to high powered lasers that are used in laser surgery such as eye surgery or treating varicose veins.
The wavelength of light effects not only the color of the laser light but also the depth of penetration. Red and near infrared light allow for deeper tissue penetration. Deep tissue laser therapy using class IV lasers has been FDA approved since 2003 and is used for many different applications.
Low-level laser therapy increases blood flow which provides an optimal environment for healing, relieves pain and improves many of the bodies natural functions. Increasing blood flow speeds up the healing process by delivering oxygen, platelets, growth factors and the nutrients required for healing. Light therapy also stimulates collagen production aiding skin rejuvenation.
Therapeutic Effects of Laser Therapy
There are a number of therapeutic effects of laser treatment. The benefits of laser therapy are wide ranging including wound healing, pain management, reducing inflammation, anti-aging applications and weight management.
LLLT for Musculoskeletal Pain
Musculoskeletal pain affects the tendons, ligaments and muscles as well as the bones and joints. It includes chronic pain as well as acute pains. Neck pain, low back pain and shoulder pain as well as chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel and arthritis are all common examples of musculoskeletal pains and inflammation.
Tissue damage results in inflammation and pain that can be treating in a number of different ways. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) can be applied directly to damaged tissue to speed up the healing process of both acute conditions as well as promoting tissue repair in patients with chronic pain and inflammation. Laser therapies can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments including physical therapy, massage therapy, and drugs for pain management.
The benefits of laser therapy for musculoskeletal pain have been well documented in a number of randomized controlled trials showing it to be an effective therapy for pain. Deep tissue laser treatment has been shown to be effective for many conditions including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and other sports related conditions and is a popular therapy for athletes.
Light therapy stimulates the release of nitrous oxide into the blood stream from hemoglobin, which in turn improves blood flow. This stimulates a number of other reactions in the body and is one of the main benefits of laser therapy.
Increased blood flow can reduce pain by delivering more oxygen and other nutrients to the cells, it also reduces inflammation and promotes tissue repair and wound healing. Photons delivered by the therapies laser are absorbed by the mitochondria stimulating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. This means cells have increased energy to perform natural healing functions.
Anti-Aging Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy
As well as being an effective treatment to reduce pain, the tissue repair and regeneration that occurs with the use of class IV laser therapy also has a number of anti-aging applications including reducing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Light photons from the laser beam are absorbed by the cells mitochondria.
The mitochondria are responsible for producing ATP, the energy molecule as well as producing collagen and proteins and stimulating healing. As we age our skin loses its regenerative capacity resulting in wrinkling, drying and pigmentation, low powered lasers do not damage the skin but instead boosts the regenerative capacity of the cells.
Therapeutic Laser Treatment for Weight Management
The application of low level laser therapy also extends to weight management. Light therapy when used for weight management can breakdown cellulite and help get rid of stubborn areas of fat. Sometimes known as laser lipo, instead of removing the fat cells surgically, laser therapy utilizes the bodies lymphatic system to drain fat cells. In the same way that laser therapy improves localized blood flow it also improves lymphatic function.
The benefit of laser treatment for weight management is that it is non-invasive and can be used alongside exercise and a healthy diet.
Laser Therapy Information
Although laser therapy is FDA approved and there have been a number of control trials carried out on it’s effectiveness, including a randomized controlled trial looking at lower back pain, and others focusing on carpel tunnel syndrome and other conditions there is still a large amount of ongoing research as laser therapy has such a broad scope for promoting the healing process.
Testimonials from patients and practitioners show that this non-invasive therapy has wide ranging benefits without the side effects that can come from taking medications.
Low level laser therapy lllt also has other applications. Veterinary laser therapy is a growing area and you may well find laser treatments available at your local animal hospital. Low level lasers are also used in dentistry, to prevent oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing radio therapy or chemotherapy and for their anti-viral properties.
Compare our lasers with others on the market and you’ll understand the Genesis One difference. With higher-powered lasers that are more cost effective, find out if they’re right for your practice.