What Is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the use of light to create beneficial physiological change. Laser is used because it defracts through translucent material (such as flesh) less and therefore reaches deeper into the body. Laser light is physiologically no different in its effect to ordinary light, but even ordinary light has a remarkable effect on cellular function.
The target for LLLT is mitochondria within the cell, specifically cytochrome C oxidase. But don’t worry, you won’t need to know anything about how LLLT changes cellular function for it to work for you. Basically, depending on the amount of light, LLLT either inhibits function (which if you have neurons transmitting pain signals can be very useful) or increases cellular function (which if you want healing can be very useful also).
There is a wide range of applications for laser technology.
LLLT does four major things clinically:
It INHIBITS PAIN, and sometimes it resolves it completely. It works exceptionally well on whiplash neck pain, low back pain, sciatica and radicular pain due to intervertebral disc lesions or “slipped disc”. I have used on patients rehabilitating from failed back surgery syndrome. In fact it is my first option for any of the pain syndromes or chronic pain, including diabetic neuropathy.
It TURNS OFF myo-fascial trigger points associated with many musculoskeletal diseases.
LLLT does some wonderful things that might not be obvious from reading the summary above. For instance, it protects and resolves oral mucositis which is a side effect of chemotherapy for cancer. Harvard University have found excellent results in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (or concussion) using transcranial LLLT.
LLLT is being used increasingly to treat musculoskeletal problems around the world: