What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Low Level Laser Therapy is a form of physiotherapy procedure that utilizes low intensity light in order to assist in the relief and healing of a number of musculoskeletal issues. It’s also called cold laser therapy because unlike other treatments involving lasers which can heat skin and tissue up, Low Level Laser Therapy does not, making treatments mostly painless.
How does Low Level Laser Therapy work?
Low Level Laser Therapy works by having a device power a low intensity infrared or LED light and directing the light towards a targeted area. The wavelength of light used depends on the depth of the targeted tissue. Shorter wavelengths at 700 nanometers and under are used for surface skin, while longer wavelengths between 750 and 900 nanometers are used to deeper tissue.
This low intensity light is meant to stimulate the cells it targets, encouraging healing in the cells and easing inflammation of the affected area. When cells are damaged or stressed, the mitochondria releases Nitric Oxide, which causes the cells to inflame. A low level laser hitting one of these cells breaks down the nitric oxide and allows more oxygen into the cell, easing the damage to the cell.
Does Low Level Laser Therapy hurt?
Unlike other laser procedures, the light used in Low Level Laser Therapy devices do not generate adequate heat to cause pain to the skin. In fact, the procedure is largely painless and there is no threat of burns or scarring. There may be however, some mild discomfort or pain within 24 hours of the treatment.
How long does it take for Low Level laser Therapy treatments to take effect?
Generally, it takes multiple sessions of Low Level Laser Therapy to achieve results. Sometimes, you may feel an improvement after a few sessions. But depending on the type of condition being treated and its severity, it can take anywhere from a couple of sessions a week for a few weeks.
What can Low Level Laser Therapy treat?
Low Level Laser Therapy is utilized in a number of different physiotherapy applications. Some of these include treatment for:
– Minor muscular injuries: LLLT can be used to ease the pain of tendonitis, sprains in the shoulder, back, ankle, etc.
– Inflammations: this treatment can also be used to help reduce inflammation in muscles and joints.
– Chronic pain: If you’re suffering from pain caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the like, this procedure may be for you.
– Dermatological problems: Cold laser therapy has current uses for assisting in the treatment of severe acne, psoriasis, edema and other skin problems.
– Wound healing: LLLT has been used in conjunction with other methods to accelerate the healing of difficult wounds.
Can Low Level Laser Therapy treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The use of Low Level Laser Therapy has been proven to show marked improvement in many cases of rheumatoid arthritis. The low intensity laser assists greatly in reducing the inflammation of affected areas caused by arthritis by encouraging the flow of oxygen and breaking down nitrous oxide buildup in cells which causes the inflammation in the first place.
Can Low Level Laser Therapy help reduce scars?
At least one study has concluded that Low Level Laser Therapy has positive effects on at least the outward appearance of scar tissue on the body, stating that it showed visible reduction in the thickness of the scar. However, further studies are needed in order to verify this.
What are potential risks of Low Level Laser Therapy?
While Low Level Laser Therapy for the most part a safe, non-painful, non-invasive procedure, there are a number of things to look out for when planning to use this type of therapy.
The effects of LLLT on an unborn child is currently unexplored and thus completely unknown. As such, the procedure is not recommended if you are currently pregnant. Laser therapy can also affect thyroid function so using it for this purpose is inadvisable.
Same with any form of strong light, do not make use of LLLT on your eyes, and wear protective eyewear when using a Low Level Laser Therapy device as looking directly into the light can damage your retinas.
Lastly, and most importantly, do not use Low Level Laser Therapy on lesions that you may suspect as cancerous. There is a chance that these lesions could worsen.
How effective is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Low Level Laser Therapy has proven to be effective in alleviating minor pain and injuries, as well as inflammation. The procedure is primarily done in conjunction with other forms of physiotherapy in order to ensure full effectiveness.
It has also been shown to be able to assist in the healing of some skin blemishes such as pimples and the like. Furthermore, there have been some results that suggest that LLLT can assist in the healing of wounds, however, further studies are still being conducted regarding this use of the technology.
Can Low Level Laser Therapy cause cancer?
Low Level Laser Therapy by itself has not been proven to cause cancer by itself, however, studies have found that the light may aggravate already existing skin cancer. As such, it is not advised that the treatment be used on patients suffering from any form of cancer, as the results may be detrimental to their health.
Can Low Level Laser Therapy be used at home?
There are home-use Low Level Laser Therapy devices available for purchase but these are weaker than the ones used in actual professional therapy sessions. It’s advised that you seek proper physiotherapists when looking into cold laser therapy to deal with your condition.
Magne-tec is a leading provider of Low Level Laser Therapy devices and other physiotherapy equipment to a wide number of physiotherapy clinics throughout Canada. Our devices are all FDA approved and follow international standards. For further inquiries on providing equipment for your business practice, contact us.