Low level laser therapy, or LLLT, is a rapidly growing medical field that uses low-power laser light to stimulate human tissue. Low level laser therapy is a radically different method of using laser light in that it does not rely on the laser’s well-known thermal properties. Instead, LLLT focuses on the non-destructive capabilities of laser light to stimulate cellular functions.
The procedure is known as photobiostimulation and it has been proven effective in the treatment of various types of chronic pain, including neck pain, back pain, tendonitis and joint pain. Though it is still considered an “experimental” field by the scientific community, LLLT has in the past decade gained a greater degree of acceptance thanks to the FDA approval of various LLLT procedures and the research and development of more advanced low level laser equipment.
How Does Laser Therapy Work To Relive Pain?
The use of laser therapy for pain relief relies on the ability of low-power lasers to penetrate tissue and stimulate certain kinds of cellular functions. This, in turn, helps to increase the production of naturally-occurring chemicals in the body, such as serotonin and beta-endorphins, which function as muscle relaxants and pain numbing agents. The degree to which low level laser light works to alleviate different kinds of pain varies. The effectiveness of some treatments remains in dispute, while others (such as the LLLT treatments for muscle and neck pain, tendonitis and arthritis) have received official FDA approval.
The effects of low level laser light on tissue depend on the type of laser being used and the ability of its light to penetrate through the skin. Level of penetration varies with:
- the wavelength of the laser light used,
- the laser’s power level,
- whether the laser is pulsed or continuous,
- and the operator’s technique in using the laser instrument
Usually, lasers with higher infrared wavelengths penetrate deeper, reaching as much as 3 cm into a tendon. Once a wavelength goes to above 950 mm, however, the water in human tissue begins absorbing the light, reducing penetration and causing heat.
Laser Therapy As Acupuncture:
Many studies have shown that low level laser light is effective in treating pain when applied directly over the body’s acupuncture points. Laser acupuncture has been growing in popularity in recent years, appealing in particular to those who would like to experience the benefits of acupunctures but are not too inclined towards needles.
Benefits Of Laser Therapy As Supplemental Treatment:
The use of laser therapy for back pain, neck pain, arthritis and other ailments does not necessarily take the place of conventional treatments, but it has been shown to help with inflammation and pain and to stimulate healing. When done in addition to other treatment methods, LLLT can help enhance and accelerate the healing process. Some patients prefer LLLT over pain medication as a method of pain relief, as it does not induce grogginess and other side effects associated with many types of medication.
Do You Have Any Other Method To Alleviate Pain?
Are you or somebody you know suffering from chronic pain? If so, let’s hear what types of procedures you’ve tried to alleviate your neck, back or joint pain. Have you or anybody known to you has tried laser therapy? What has worked, what hasn’t and what are you thinking about trying next?
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