What Is Low Level Laser Light?
Low-level laser light is compressed light of a wavelength from the cold, red part of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. It is different from natural light in that it is one precise color; it is coherent (it travels in a straight line), monochromatic (a single wavelength) and polarized (it concentrates its beam in a defined location or spot). These properties allow laser light to penetrate the surface of the skin with no heating effect, no damage to the skin and no known side effects. Rather, laser light directs biostimulative light energy to the body's cells which the cells then convert into chemical energy to promote natural healing and pain relief.
The History of Laser Therapy
The word "laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The theory was first described by Albert Einstein (1879-1955) who paved the way for the development of the therapeutic laser.
The first low-level therapeutic laser was developed in 1962. By the end of the 1960's, Endre Mester in Hungary was reporting an improved healing of wounds through low-level laser radiation. Since then, scientists and doctors around the world have been using laser light to treat conditions that can affect all age groups.
High Power vs. Low Power Medical Lasers
There are two types of medical laser: high power and low power. High power lasers are used to cut through tissue. Low-level lasers, on the other hand, are used to stimulate tissue repair through a process of bio-stimulation.
What Is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Low-level laser therapy is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries or wounds to improve soft tissue healing and relieve both acute and chronic pain. Low-level therapy uses cold (subthermal) laser light energy to direct bio-stimulative light energy to the body's cells without injuring or damaging them in any way. The therapy is precise and accurate; and offers safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions. The energy range of low level laser light lies between 1 and 500 mW (milliwatts), while for surgical lasers the energy range lies between 3000 and 10000 mW. The Microlight 830 we use is a 90 mW unit.
How Does Low Level Laser Therapy Work?
Low-level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin's layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wavelengths in the visible range. However, light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum.
When low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood. This has both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effective throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.
The Physiological Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy
- Improved metabolism
- Increase of cell metabolism
- Improved blood circulation and vasodilatation
- Analgesic effect
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects
- Stimulation of wound healing
How Does Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Benefit Users?
- Relieves acute and chronic pain
- Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
- Increases blood supply
- Stimulates the immune system
- Stimulates nerve function
- Develops collagen and muscle tissue
- Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
- Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
- Reduces inflammation
Low-level laser therapy does not require constant, ongoing treatments, as is often required with traditional chiropractic or physiotherapeutic remedies.
Is Low-Level Laser Therapy for You?
- Do you suffer pain from an old or new sports injury or accident?
- Do you suffer from repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome?
- Do you suffer from lower back pain?
- Do you suffer from migraine headaches?
- Do you take pain medications more than three times a week?
- Do you ever wake up in the night with pain?
- Do you suffer from skin ulcers, bed or other pressure sores?
- Do you suffer from acne or rosacea?
- Do you have potential scarring from a recent surgery?
- Do you suffer from herpes simplex (cold sores)?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, low-level laser therapy may be for you.
Many acute and chronic conditions can be improved or eliminated with laser use, including: