Low Level Laser Therapy ( LLLT )


Low Level Laser Therapy ( LLLT ), also known as Photobiomodulation, is a form of phototherapy or light therapy.
It involves the application of low power light to areas of the body in order to stimulate healing.
Photons, which are particles of electromagnetic energy, are emitted from the low power laser. These particles enter the tissues and are absorbed in the mitochondria, which are tiny structures within the substance of each individual cell. The energy is converted to chemical energy within the cell. The permeability of the cell membrane changes which in turn produces various physiological effects. These physiological changes affect a variety of cell types including macrophages, fibroblasts, endothelial cells and mast cells.

Clinical applications

Low Level Laser Therapy has a variety of uses in rural, field and military conditions, schools, sport centers, industrial enterprises and correctional facilities.

Some of its applications are:
  • Soft tissue injuries, including sprains and strains, tendonitis and haematomas
  • Joint conditions, including arthritis, tenosynovitis and capsulitis
  • Chronic pain, including trigeminal neuralgia and chronic neck and back pain
  • Wound management, including skin ulcers, pressure sores and burns
  • Skin infections, including cold sores, warts, verruca
  • Adjunctive use in the relief of hand and wrist pain associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Muscle spasm
  • Relief of stiffness
  • Promotion of muscle relaxation
The laser may also be focussed on acupuncture points to assist with smoking cessation and the relief of short or long-term pain.

Effects of Laser Therapy

Low Level Laser DeviceLow level laser therapy (LLLT) is believed to enhance tissue growth and as a result, to have other beneficial effects such as resolve inflammation, relieve pain and boost the immune system.
The exact mechanism to produce these effects is still being studied, but it is agreed that the mechanism is photochemical rather than heat-related.

In any case, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has demonstrated the ability to significantly accelerate and enhance the body’s natural defense and repair components in the presence of injury, inflammation and certain disease processes.
By modifying the effects and limiting the duration of inflammation as well as enhancing specific repair and healing processes, LLLT is consistent in providing pain relief, reducing injury damage and loss of function, in addition to facilitating more rapid repair and stronger healed tissue structures.

Several clinical studies have noted the following results of LLLT:
  • Increased collagen production
  • Enhanced nerve regeneration
  • Increased vasodilation
  • Reduced inflammatory duration
  • Increased cell metabolism
  • Increased pain threshold
  • Increased cell membrane potential
  • Reduced edema magnitude
  • Increased microcirculation
  • Increased tissue and bone repair
  • Increased lymphatic response
  • Increased enzyme response
Observed biological and physiological effects include changes in cell membrane permeability, up-regulation and down-regulation of adenosine triphosphate and nitric oxide.

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