What is laser therapy?
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is the application of low-power light energy, within the visible red and near-infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum, for therapeutic purposes. The acronym L.A.S.E.R. stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
How does laser therapy work?
Theralase lasers work by supplying the body with billions of photons of light at very specific wavelengths. The body absorbs this laser light on a cellular level and transforms it into chemical energy, which the body then naturally uses to repair its own tissue. The bio-stimulating effect of laser therapy causes decrease in both pain and inflammation, and an increase in tissue regeneration and accelerated healing.
What conditions can be treated?
Non-thermal laser therapy can be used safely and effectively to treat a wide range of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Theralase is FDA and Health Canada approved for adjunctive use in the temporary relief of pain associated with knee disorders. Nonthermal laser therapy can also be used to promote wound healing, improve postexercise muscle recovery and delay fatigue, and accelerate tissue healing in numerous nerve-related conditions.
What are the benefits of laser therapy?
- Rapid Cell Growth
Accelerates cellular reproduction and growth.
- Faster Wound Healing
Stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged
- Anti-Inflammatory Action
Reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints to provide enhanced joint mobility.
- Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation
Reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from: cuts, scratches, burns, or post-surgery.
- Increased Metabolic Activity
Produces higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells and thus greater production of the basic food source for cells:
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
- Increased Vascular Activity
Induces temporary vasodilation increasing blood flow to damaged areas.
- Stimulated Nerve Function
Speeds up the process of nerve cell reconnection to bring the numb areas or “dead limbs” caused by slow recovery of nerve function in damaged tissue back to life.
Research references and studies
Over 3,000 clinical studies worldwide have proven the effectiveness of laser therapy.
EFFICACY OF LOW-LEVEL LASER THERAPY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF
NECK PAIN: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF
RANDOMIZED PLACEBO OR ACTIVE TREATMENT CONTROLLED TRIALS
Roberta Chow et al. The Lancet, November 2009
Sixteen randomized controlled clinical trials were identified for analysis totalling 820 patients. In acute neck pain, results of two trials showed a relative risk (RR) of 1.69 for pain improvement for LLLT versus placebo. Five trials of chronic neck pain showed a RR for pain improvement of 4.05 using LLLT. Eleven trials reported reductions in pain intensity when measured using the Visual Analog Scale. Seven trials provided follow up data for 1 to 22 weeks and saw short term pain relief persisting in the medium term using LLLT. Side effects from LLLT were mild and not different from those of placebo.
Study Conclusion: LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and
for up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.
EFFECTS OF 904 NM LOW-LEVEL LASER THERAPY IN THE MANAGEMENT
OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
Lam and Chein. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, April 2007
The study evaluated the effectiveness of 904 nm Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the management of lateral epicondylitis. Thirty-nine patients with lateral epicondylitis
were examined and treated with pain levels determined by the Visual Analog Scale. The study revealed that LLLT in addition to exercise is effective in improving the grip
strength and subjective rating of physical function of patients with lateral epicondylitis.
Study Conclusion: LLLT is highly effective in treating lateral epicondylitis.
EFFICACY OF 904 NM GALLIUM ARSENIDE LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF CHRONIC MYOFASCIAL PAIN IN THE NECK: A DOUBLE BLIND AND RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
Ali Gur, MD et al. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 2004
A prospective, double blind, randomized and controlled trial was conducted in patients with chronic myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) in the neck to evaluate the effects of infrared low level 904 nm Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) laser therapy (LLLT) on clinical and quality of life. Results showed that the laser group experienced a significant
improvement in pain at all outcome measures (p < 0.01) over the placebo group.
Study Conclusion: LLLT is highly effective in treating Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome