Low Level Light Therapy

Low level light therapy (LLLT), also known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), is the application of non-invasive and non-toxic red and near infra-red light over injured tissues of the body. The use of LLLT, like trigger point therapy, is to improve soft tissue healing, give relief for both acute and chronic pain, and restore homeostasis within muscles.

What is Low Level Light Therapy?

Low-level light therapy (LLLT), which includes cold lasers and LED devices, has been proven to be very safe, pain-free, and effective in treating various kinds of chronic pain and acute injuries. The cold laser is an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and is also effective in treating other “difficult-to-treat” conditions, including various forms of back and neck pain, arthritis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), plantar fasciitis, and other muscle and joint pains.

Low level light therapy benefits include:

  • Eliminate trigger points within muscles
  • Provide joint pain relief
  • Reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Help alleviate headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and so much more!

I was introduced to cold laser therapy for months of tension headaches

and after just three sessions I’m headache free! I highly recommend

Elements of Bodywork for better health-body & mind!

Patty

I have been having cold laser treatments by David on my leg that was severely damaged in an

auto accident. It has been 5 years since the accident and my leg now feels the best since that

injury occurred. My balance and muscles spasms have improved. I am very happy!

Cheley

I love the cold laser therapy!! My knee feels great and the

seemingly permanent swelling in my right ankle is almost

completely diminished today!

Kristen

Brief History of Low Level Light Therapy

Laser Therapy has been used around the world for more than 30 years, treating more than 150 different physical conditions. It has only been recognized as a therapeutic treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome in the United States since 2002, following its FDA approval. Lasers, specifically Class 3B cold lasers, are effective tools for manual therapists for treating trigger points found within muscle tissue. What makes the cold laser unique in the treatment of trigger points is that it is pain-free, unlike most manual therapies. The application of a cold laser on a trigger point can still cause a client to feel some slight referral sensations, similar to the referral sensations of manual compression, which usually dissipates within a few seconds.

The benefits of laser therapy do not stop at just increasing circulation and reducing tension in muscles. It’s effects at the cellular level are extremely beneficial for healing. Lasers increase the production of a cells mitochondrial products, including the main energy source of a cell, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This increase of mitochondrial activity, or cellular metabolism, enhances tissue healing and pain control, while stimulating the vascular, immune and lymphatic systems.

Our LLLT devices use non-ionizing wavelengths between 660nm and 840nm (nanometers). The 660nm wavelength penetrates the body’s tissues up to one quarter inch, reducing myofascial pain, and increasing vascular circulation. The 830-840nm wavelengths penetrate tissues approximately 2 inches, and is best used for deep muscular work due to its high absorption rate.

LLLT is more effective when used in conjunction with bodywork. After receiving a treatment, the area is manually treated for additional benefits. Clients are informed to stretch the treated area(s) and to apply moist heat to prolong the therapeutic effects of their treatment.

Clinical Effects of Laser Therapy

What conditions can be improved with cold laser therapy?

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Golfer’s Elbow

  • TMJ Dysfunction

  • Sciatica

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome

  • Headaches

  • Post-operative Pain

  • Back Pain

  • Piriformis Syndrome

  • Nerve Pain

  • Soft-Tissue Pain

“Laser Therapy (LLLT) reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.” – Chow et al Dec 2009 LANCET

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Laser Therapy Safe?

Yes, and very safe. Over 3,000 studies have been conducted to validate the safety and effectiveness of laser therapy. And the most important safety precaution is to avoid directly pointing any laser device into the eye. LLLT devices, such as our class 3B cold lasers, can be used around any type of metal joint replacement implants, screws or prosthesis. The cold laser has been FDA-approved for the temporary relief of muscle and joint pain, stiffness and muscle spasm through adjunctive therapy. It is also safe for all ages. And, unlike class 4 lasers, class 3B lasers do not produce enough heat to burn you.

Can Laser Therapy Cause Cancer?

No, and cold lasers are now actually being used to treat many side-effects of cancer treatments. The wavelengths used in cold lasers and LLLT (630 nm to 1000 nm) are not in the ionizing range of the electromagnetic spectrum and therefore will not cause cancer. Excess exposure to UV rays (10 nm to 400 nm) can cause harm to the body, and are never used in LLLT devices. And X-rays are in the ionizing range of the electromagnetic spectrum, thus can cause cancer.

Are There Any Negative Side Effects?

Unlike most pharmaceutical solutions and other therapeutic options, laser therapy is non-toxic, and non-invasive. In millions of individual treatments, no significant adverse effect has ever been noted.

How many treatments are required?

Based on the genetic makeup of the cells, an individual’s response to laser will vary to some degree. Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4-5 or 7-12 treatments to see a marked change.

A recent clinical review, including 1,000 consecutively treated patients, reveals the average number of treatments to be 9.4. Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. If your condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived.

What to Expect During a Laser Therapy Treatment?

For most people, laser therapy is quite passive. Treatment is different than electronic stimulation, as no pulsating shocks are felt, and different from ultrasound, as it does not produce any heat. The most noticeable sensation is the touch of the probe head of the laser coming in contact with the skin.

Following (and even during) a laser therapy session, roughly 80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present. A chronic or hypersensitive condition can have more sensations than an acute injury.