Low Level Laser Treatment (LLLT), also known as Photobiomodulation Therapy, is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries to increase the speed, quality, and strength of tissue repair, resolve inflammation, and relieve both acute and chronic pain.
The wavelength of the red and near infrared light used in LLLT is 600nm-1000nm, which can be produced by either laser or high intensity LEDs, neither of which produce any heat. Like photosynthesis in plants, the effects of the LLLT is photochemical, so that when the correct intensity and treatment times are used, the red and near infrared light reduces oxidative stress and increases ATP–the available energy for the cells. As a result, Low Level Laser Treatment improves cell metabolism and reduces inflammation, an effect that can be increased with pulsed
beams; however, when analgesia is required for pain relief, a strong continuous beam is applied.
Low Level Laser Treatment is commonly used for the treatment of soft tissue injuries, back pain, joint pain, arthritis, neuropathic pain, and non-healing leg and pressure ulcers.
A meta-analysis of the use of LLLT for chronic neck pain published in the The Lancet found that it was effective at reducing acute neck pain immediately after treatment and for up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment.1
1 Chow, R. T., Johnson, M. I., Lopes-Martins, R. A., & Bjordal, J. M. (2009). Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials. The Lancet, 374(9704): 1897-1908.
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