What is low-level laser therapy?
Also known as cold laser, low-level laser therapy is a form of photo-therapy used to stimulate tissue healing and provide pain management. The laser uses focused red and infrared light to stimulate tissue at and below the surface of skin to enhance the body’s natural healing processes.
The biological effect of the low-level laser increases the production of cellular energy and thus;
1) promotes cellular regeneration,
2) promotes collagen production for tissue repair,
3) increases blood flow for improved circulation.
Light from the low-level laser also encourages production of the body's natural pain-relievers.
How does low-level laser therapy work?
First of all, the acronym for L.A.S.E.R is “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Laser technology has been around since the 1960’s and has many different applications in different industries.
At Brio Health Centre, we use the Bioflex Professional low-level laser therapy system approved by Health Canada and the FDA. This system is the safest and most effective low-level laser therapy system in North America. Our treatment methods provide a non-invasive, non-toxic and highly effective way to regenerate cells quickly, heal wounds, reduce pain, and restore normal cellular function.
When the body sustains an injury or develops arthritis, cells in that area begin to function poorly. Low-level laser therapy assists these injured cells by providing “photon energy” to stimulate normal cell function. Inside each of our cells is a power plant, called mitochondria,
that produces energy to fuel cell function. One such function is tissue repair, which requires a significant amount of energy.
At the site of injury, most cells are busy fighting inflammation and infection, leaving little energy for repair if the mitochondria are working at their usual rate. This is why certain tissues take a long time to repair on their own.
Low intensity light stimulates the mitochondria into hyperactivity so that they generate more energy than usual for cells to repair themselves. With the extra boost of energy, cells perform better, faster and more effectively. The result is enhanced and quicker wound and injury healing. The ability to combat infection and to restore blood circulation at the injury is also increased.
What conditions are most often treated with low-level laser therapy?
Low-level laser can be used to treat a myriad of conditions from wounds to sports injuries It is an amazing therapy for musculoskeletal injuries, soft tissue injuries (sprains and strains) and arthritis. It also helps to release tight muscles, stimulate nerve regeneration, reduce inflammation and aid in pain management.
Low-Level laser therapy is the treatment of Choice for the following ailments:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow
- Repetitive Stress Syndrome
- Rotator cuff injury
- Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Ligament and tendon tears
- Fractures with associated soft tissue injuries
- Bulging and herniated discs
- Plantar fasciitis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Bone spurs
- Spinal Stenosis
5) Other Applications
- Wound Healing (acute & chronic)
- Dermal ulcers caused by trauma, diabetes or poor circulation
- Dermatological: Eczemas, Acne, Psoriasis, Herpes
- Bell’s Palsy
- Peripheral Nerve Damage
- Dermal scars (Keloid scars)
How can I benefit from low-level laser therapy?
If you sustained an injury, undergone orthopedic surgery, or suffer from arthritis or other painful conditions, you may be a candidate for low-level laser therapy. The low-level laser not only speeds the healing process but affects the overall quality of the repaired tissue. Muscle, tendon and ligament injuries require increased collagen production for successful healing and the low-level laser stimulates this function. The light also increases vascular growth and dilation for improved circulation in joints that may have limited movement. The biochemical effect of the low-level laser boosts the body's production of endorphins. Low-level laser therapy is another great way to treat the source of the pain, thereby making it less likely that you will need additional pain reducing medication.
What is the history of low-level laser therapy in healthcare?
The first low-level laser was developed in 1960 and early testing showed an increase in the speed and overall success of the healing process when it was used. Originally used for wound repair, clinical trials done throughout the 1970's showed the applicability of the low-level laser in therapy to be more widespread than previously thought. The 1990's came with the invention of more powerful and effective versions of the cold laser, eventually increasing its popularity in the field of rehabilitation.
How successful is low-level laser therapy?
Because low-level laser therapy has a cumulative effect, for best results treatments should be done at the frequency recommended by your health care team at Brio Health Centre. Low-level laser therapy is often recommended in conjunction with other modalities, such as
acupuncture and massage, to provide the best outcome.
How safe is low-level laser therapy?
Low-level laser therapy is very safe when done properly. To ensure that laser therapy is done only in cases where it is appropriate, an exam is first done by a physician at Brio Health Centre. The physician will then provide the specifics for the application of the cold laser. Although the term "laser" may conjure up images of the high-powered version sometimes used in surgical settings, the low-level laser causes no temperature change to the patient during or after the treatment and there is no risk of burning. Protective eye wear is required during application of the low-level laser and one should not look directly at the laser light. Laser therapy should not be used in certain patients with that are pregnant or that have cancer, as it stimulates cell growth and does not differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells.
How Long does a treatment take?
Treatments are typically 30 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the condition being treated.
How many Treatments are Required?
The average number of treatments required by patients is 8, but it varies from 3 to 20 treatments depending on the severity of the injury.
Are there any side effects?
Unlike most pharmaceutical solutions and other therapeutic options, laser therapy is non-toxic and non-invasive. No significant adverse effect have been noted in over 1 million individual treatments.
Can low-level laser therapy be combined with other types of treatments at Brio Integrative Health Centre?
Low-level laser therapy can be, and often is, combined with other types of modalities. Because low-level laser decreases pain and enhances circulation, your health care practitioner may choose to use the cold laser in conjunction with other forms of therapy to enhance the benefits of those therapies. Our experience shows that treatment outcomes are significantly improved when acupuncture, massage and the use of specific supplements are combined with low-level laser therapy. In general, low-level laser therapy integrates well into a treatment plan that utilizes either traditional or alternative forms of medicine.