Laser Therapy uses specific wavelengths of light that have a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-edema effect on tissues that are exposed to the laser. Painful conditions accompanied by swelling or inflammation benefit from this technology.
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
This new generation of light therapy devices can be divided into three categories: 1) low-level laser
(cold laser, with the power between 500 and 1000 milliwatts); 2) Average-power laser (with the power between 1000 and 5000 milliwatts); and 3) high intensity laser, (with the power more than 5000 milliwatts).
The use of high intensity lasers is well known in the fields of surgery for precise procedures throughout the body. However low intensity lasers do not have the ability to heat skin tissues enough to burn or cut through them. But working with high intensity laser needs more care.
What does laser do?
When tissue cultures are irradiated by Lasers, enzymes within cells absorb energy from laser light. Visible (red) light and Near Infrared (NIR) are absorbed within the mitochondria and the cell membrane. This produces higher ATP levels and boosts DNA production, leading to an increase in cellular health and energy. Several studies have documented the ability of laser therapy to induce axonal sprouting and some nerve regeneration in damaged nerve tissues. When applied as treatment, therefore, Lasers have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation as well as stimulate nerve regeneration, muscle relaxation and immune system response.
The overall effects of lasers, specially, high intensity lasers, are
1- Photochemical effects: Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has a photochemical effect. One of the main mechanisms of action occurs in the mitochondria (the cellular power plant inside every cell). The primary effect occurs when light is absorbed in cytochrome c oxidase a protein within the mitochondria. It also modulates enzymatic activity, affects intracellular and extracellular pH, and accelerates cell metabolism. LLLT promotes the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and RNA and increases the production of proteins.
2- PHOTOMECHANICAL EFFECTS: Pulsed lasers can also cause photomechanical effects. Sudden heating causes sudden thermal expansion that produces stress waves, including acoustic and/or shock waves. The stress waves can rupture or increase permeability of cell membranes and Stimulates cell proliferation.
3- Photo thermal effects: At a temperature of 40-42 ° C, anti-inflammatory anabolic effects of lasers are appeared.
Indications for laser therapy
1. Anti-inflammatory effects
2. Analgesic effects
3. Anti-edema effects
4. Biostimulating effects
These effects are used in treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders.
These disease and disorders include:
1. Radiculopathy a condition caused by compression of a nerve in the spine.
2. Healing of wounds such as diabetic ulcers
3. Any pain from tendinitis and tendon sprains
4. Joint pains such as arthritis
5. Rheumatic pains Such as rheumatoid arthritis
6. Traumatic and postoperative pains