High Intensity Physical therapy laser
LASER AND HIGH INTESITY LASER LIGHT THERAPY
LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission or Radiation
A laser is a device that emits a beam of coherent light through an optical amplification process. There are many types of lasers including gas lasers, fiber lasers, solid state lasers, dye lasers, diode lasers and excimer lasers. There are many applications for lasers including the following:
• Information Processing (DVDs and Blu-Ray)
• Laser Range Finding
• Bar Code Readers
• Surgical and Dermatological Lasers
• Holographic Imaging
• Laser Spectroscopy
• Laser Material Processing
- Surface Modification
All these laser types share a basic set of components.
WHAT IS LASER THERAPY?
Laser therapy is a medical treatment that uses focused light to stimulate a process called photo biomodulation and photomechanical effects to significantly speed up tissue healing and regeneration.
During this process, photons enter the tissue and interact with the Cytochrome-C complex within the mitochondria. This interaction triggers a biological cascade of events that leads to an increase in cellular metabolism and DNA production, decrease in pain, reduction in muscle spasm, and improved microcirculation to injured tissues.
Laser therapy has been successfully used to treat a broad range of medical conditions, including musculoskeletal problems, arthritis, sports injuries, post-surgical wounds, diabetic ulcers, and dermatological conditions.
Laser therapy is used in the treatment of acute inflammatory conditions bringing pain under control quickly, accelerating healing and decrease inflammation. It is also useful in combating chronic persistent pain and promoting circulation to damaged tissues. Laser therapy can be a powerful, non-pharmaceutical solution to help reduce pain without the side effects of medications
Laser light therapy is divided into two depending on the power level: High Intensity Laser Therapy (HLLT) have a power rating > 0.5 watts and can penetrate deep into the tissues up to a few centimeters, while Low Intensity Laser Light Therapy (LLLT) also referred to as “Cold Lasers” have a power rating of >0.5 watts and can only penetrate up to a few millimeters below the skin surface. Both types of laser therapy work on the same known principle of action of LLLT. HLLT is a class IV laser while LLLT is a class III laser.
HOW DOES LASER THERAPY WORK?
Both types of laser therapy provide patients with a non-invasive and non-pharmacological alternative to pain relief. Unlike many pharmacological treatments that mask pain or only address the symptoms of disease, Laser therapy treats the underlying condition or pathology to promote healing. This means that the treatments are effective, and the benefits of laser therapy are long lasting.
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF LASER THERAPY
• Treatment is painless
• Highly effective for many diseases and conditions
• Eliminates pain
• Reduces the need for pharmaceuticals
• Restores normal range of motion and physical function
• Easily applied
• No known adverse effects
• No drug interactions
• Often makes surgical interventions unnecessary
• Provides a treatment alternative for patients that have not responded to the conventional therapies.
BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LASER THERAPY
• Anti-Inflammatory effects
Laser therapy has an anti-inflammatory effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system (drains swollen/edematous areas). As a result, there is a reduction in swelling and edema caused by inflammation.
• Anti-analgesic effects
Laser therapy has a high beneficial effect on nerve cells which block pain transmitted by these cells to the brain and which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to less inflammation, there is less edema and less pain.
• Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth
Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. The laser light increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take on nutrients faster and get rid of waste products.
• Improved vascular activity
Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue that speeds up the healing process, closes wounds quickly and reduces scar tissue.
• Increased metabolic activity
Laser therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells.
• Stimulation of trigger and acupuncture points
Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing musculoskeletal pain relief.
HIGHT INTENSITY LASER THERAPY, CLASS IV LASER
High intensity laser therapy (HLLT) can penetrate deeper into the tissues. HLLT also causes photomechanical waves which stimulate free nerve endings thereby blocking pain pathways in the nervous system and bringing immediate pain relief.
BENEFITS OF HLLT
- Accelerates tissue repair — No other therapies can penetrate through bone, soft tissue, and muscle while delivering healing energy to the body’s cells.
- Softens scar tissue — Scar tissue (or fibrous tissue) is less elastic, has poorer circulation, is more pain sensitive, and is more prone to re-injury.
- Minimizes swelling and edema — Provides anti-inflammatory effect after trauma, stress, overuse, or systemic conditions.
- Blocks pain pathways — increases production of the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals: endorphins and enkephalins.
- Resets the chronic pain cycle – suppresses the nerve signals that transmit the sensation of pain to the brain through photomechanical effects.
- Improves blood flow — Speeds up healing process in damaged tissue by bringing in more blood flow and nutrients to the affected tissues.
- Increases metabolic activity — Creates higher outputs of specific enzymes needed for healing. Stimulates DNA synthesis and the manufacture of repair proteins.
- Improves nerve function — Accelerates nerve cell regeneration.
Common indications for HLLT include:
- Patella tendinopathy
- Achilles tendinitis
- Shoulder Pain
- Neck and Back Pain
- Sciatica and Pinched Nerve
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome