The application of near infra-red light over injuries or lesions is called Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). It is applied to heal wound and soft tissue damage, while reducing the inflammation and providing relief for both acute & chronic pain. Low Level Laser Therapy or Cold laser uses low intensity, coherent light in specific wavelengths to penetrate the damaged tissue without hurting or heating the skin.
How does it work?
The effects of LLLT are photochemical (similar to photosynthesis). When a specific intensity and time is used, infrared light reduces oxidative stress and increases ATP production (a molecule which is important for cell energy). This improves cell metabolism and reduces inflammation. These effects can be further enhanced with pulses.
The treatment also reduces inflammation by increasing production of nitric oxide that increases the width of the blood vessels and brings oxygen and other molecules while metabolising the injured tissue and promoting cell health.
It provides great pain relief by stimulating the body’s own production of endogenous opioids, serotonin and other pain reducing molecules. It also has an inhibitory effect on pain receptors.
What are the conditions treated through LLLT?
Soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains, muscle strains and muscle trigger points
Tendinopathy/ Tendinits (Achilles, Peroneal etc)
Post-surgical healing and pain relief
Joint conditions e.g. synovitis
Arthritis – like osteoarthritic joints
Neuropathic (nerve) pain – like diabetic neuropathy
Wound healing like chronic ulcers
Is the treatment safe?
Low-level laser therapy has been in use since the 1960’s and there have been over three thousand published trials on its effectiveness and benefits. Upto this day, there is no published evidence to say that LLLT is harmful or that it caused any kind of injury to a person from using or receiving treatment from it. Low level laser therapy is painless, drug free as well as non-invasive.
LLLT is really a superb treatment without any side effects. It is important to know that eyes and thyroid gland are the only area on the body where this treatment is not applied. Also, pregnant uterus or over carcinomas are avoided when it comers to treatment with low level laser therapy. Caution needs to be exercised over tattoos and hairlines because the tattoo dye and hairlines can absorb more laser light turning the area too hot.
For a significant amount of people in Perth who are suffering from various ailments, especially from foot injuries and deformation, low level laser therapy is a highly beneficial remedy.