The advantages of low intensity laser therapy:
• Redaction of pain
• Highly effective
• Cure rate 95%
• No known negative side effects
• The immune response is stimulated
• Increase in mobility and range of motion
• Reduce need for pharmaceuticals
• Improve quality of life
Some of the physiological effects of low intensity laser therapy:
Short Term Effects
* Production and release of beta-endorphins (these are morphine like substances produced by various cells in the body that inhibit the sensation of pain)
* Cortisol production is increased (cortisol is the precursor of cortisone). This enables the body to combat the stress associated with trauma or the disease process
* The short-term effect is significant in 5-10% of cases during or after the conclusion of the initial treatment, but is not as important as the long term or cumulative effect
Long Term Or Cumulative Effect
* ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production is increased resulting in improved cellular metabolism
* DNA (deoxyribonucleicacid) production; protein building block of tissue is substantially increased
* Neurotransmission is facilitated due to elevated levels of serotonin and aceytylecholine
* Mitochondrial activity is stimulated resulting in cell replication etc. (i .e. replacement, regeneration and repair of abnormal cells)
* Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells
* Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels)
* Regulates cell membrane potential, essential in Na, CI and K ion transfer (electrolyte balance)
* Cytokines and other chemicals enhancing cellular communications are released
* The immune response is stimulated
* Lymphatic drainage is improved
* The histamine response is positively altered
* Production of growth hormone is increased
* The body’s natural healing processes are enhanced
The beneficial physiological changes noted above are the result of tissue regeneration and cellular stimulation. Many other positive activities are modulated including the humoral and cerebral spinal fluid effects which are highly significant and are currently under investigation in research laboratories to accurately delineate the scientific aspects of this process.
Thermal versus Low Intensity Laser Therapy
High power, or thermal, lasers can produce a substantial amount of heat. This destructive potential makes high power laser a key player in industrial applications such as cutting and welding. Because thermal laser combines power and precision, it also has many beneficial uses in modern medicine.
In surgical anti-tumor treatments, for example, the heat emitted by high intensity laser beams can be used to selectively destroy tissue. Incisions produced by the laser are antiseptic and hemorrhage is controlled.
Unlike the thermal lasers, the low intensity laser beam is “soft power” and does not produce heat. Red and infra-red lasers with power outputs in the range from 10-2000 mW belong in this category.
Low intensity laser energy initiates general stimulation and activation of the metabolism, in turn promoting the occurrence of multiple physiologically beneficial effects in the repair of human cells. It is widely used in the medical and cosmetic fields, principally because it is non-destructive to the target tissue.
There are two types of diodes used in laser therapy. 1) Super Luminous Diodes (SLD) are designed for the treatment of a large surface area. These are less powerful than laser diodes and can be safely applied in larger numbers over a wide area. 2) Laser Diodes (LD) have higher power output and narrow beams, making them ideally suitable as “laser probes” for deeper penetration and for targeting localized pathology.