What is Therapeutic LASER?
Light has been used therapeutically for thousands of years to promote healing. LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a form of light therapy that involves the application of monochromatic light. Light is applied over biological tissues to elicit a change or modulate the biological responses within the tissues. Therapeutic LASER or Low Level LASER Therapy (LLLT), as it is commonly called, is a form of light that promotes bio-modulation.
How does LASER work?
When laser is applied to the tissue the energy that is transferred modulates the responses or biological process of the tissue. The result is dependent upon the amount of energy delivered. Higher doses of LASER have been shown to inhibit responses. This may be helpful in acute conditions, for example, when the treatment goal is to decrease microcirculation, swelling and pain. Lower doses may then be indicated when the objective is to stimulate tissue repair and promote healing.
How many treatments are necessary to get results?
It is most ideal to initiate LASER treatments as early as possible after an injury or surgery. Benefits of laser may be observed after the first few treatments. Depending upon the condition being treated, multiple sessions are usually necessary to get desired outcomes.
A comprehensive rehabilitation program is essential to get the best outcome when managing acute conditions, such as injuries or surgery, and with chronic conditions. Therapeutic Laser may be an important component to the success of a rehabilitation program.
Indications and Benefits of Therapeutic LASER
LASER has been show to be beneficial in the treatment of but not limited to the following conditions:
• Tendonitis, Bursitis, Capsulitis
• Tendon/Ligament injuries
• Musculoskeletal Pain
• Muscle Spasm
• Open wounds
• Surgical incisions
• Lick granulomas
• Contractures/Scar tissue
• Nerve Pain
• Herniated Discs
Physiologic effects of LASER include:
• Enhanced ATP production and synthesis, which contributes to cellular repair, reproduction and functional ability.
• Opens Ca 2+ channels
• Vasodilation via Histamine, Nitric Oxide and Serotonin release resulting in reduction of ischemia and improved perfusion.
• Increase prostaglandin synthesis which has a vasodilating and anti-inflammatory action with some attributes similar to Cox-1 and Cox-II inhibitors.
• Reduction of Interleukin 1
• Enhance lymphocyte response
• Increase collagen synthesis
• Increase myofibroblast activity
• Altered pain threshold
• Stimulates mitochondria
• Increases macrophage activity
• Improves angiogenesis
• Can alter electrically evoked potentials