Low Level Laser Therapy
What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and expedite the healing process. Laser Therapy is often used on patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions in order to help eliminate pain and swelling, reduce spasms, and increase functionality.
How Does Low Level Laser Therapy Work?
The hand held cold lasers used for Low Level Laser Therapy are often no larger than the size of a flashlight. The laser is positioned directly above the area that is being treated and remains there for a time period of 30 seconds up to several minutes, depending on the size of the area and the dosage being applied.
During the time that the laser is being applied to the treatment area, non-thermal photons of light are emitted from the laser and pass through the layers of skin. Once the light energy of the laser passes through the skin, it is absorbed and interacts with the light-sensitive elements of the cells. When the energy is absorbed by the cells, it begins a series of events within the cell that can result in restoring damaged or injured tissue thus resulting in a reduction in pain, inflammation, and overall healing time.
Cold laser therapy is effective in stimulating all types of cells including muscles, ligaments, nerves, cartilage, etc., making the treatment effective in treating a wide range of conditions. Some examples of conditions which can be treated by Laser Therapy include:
How Effective is Low Level Laser Therapy?
The use of cold lasers is not a new concept in the medical community. Since 1967, there have been over 2,500 clinical studies conducted on the use of cold lasers as a treatment option. Many of these double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies have concluded cold lasers to be an effective treatment for pain relief.
American College of Physicians Recommends Laser Therapy
In March of 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) published new guidelines for the treatment of low back pain, expanding their nonpharmacological focus. The ACP’s recommendation for treating low back pain urges physicians to exclude the use of medications in the initial stages of treatment and instead use options such as exercise, acupuncture, and low level laser therapy. The ACP stated in their guidelines that treatments such as these have been found to be much more successful in relieving back pain than the use of prescription medications.
Potential Advantages of Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure, meaning that it does not require a surgical incision. This means that there is no prolonged recovery time.
Laser therapy also does not involve taking any medications, something many patients prefer to avoid. Studies thus far have found that cold laser therapy does not have any side effects when used properly by a doctor.