What is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT/LED)?
Low level laser therapy uses either red LED light waves or near infrared laser beams to reduce pain and promote healing within any damaged cells in your body.
LLLT can stimulate repair of tissue, reduce inflammation and relieve pain in musculoskeletal disorders.
For over forty years, low level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) and LED (light emitting diode) therapy (also known as photobiomodulation) has been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling, induce analgesia, and promote healing in a range of musculoskeletal pathologies.
LLLT/LED for soft tissue injuries
All the healthy cells in your body produce their own energy using oxygen and some other cellular markers in a process called ATP synthase. However, when a cell becomes unhealthy, for example when they are injured, diseased or maybe just ageing, this process can stop working correctly. When this happens, nitric oxide displaces the oxygen needed for cells to make their energy, which reduces the production of ATP, putting the cell under oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause toxic effects through the production of peroxides and free radicals that damage all components of the cell, including proteins, lipids, and DNA.
Low level laser, when applied to the damaged area at the correct wavelength and density, dissociated the nitric oxide which allows the cell to take oxygen back in, therefore restoring the normal process of energy production. Once this normal function is restored by LLLT, the cells metabolism improves and the patient gets better more quickly.
What can LLLT / LED therapy treat?
- Acute soft tissue injuries e.g. sprains/strains
- Back and neck pain
- Chronic pain syndromes e.g. RSI, frozen shoulder, chronic low back pain
- Fractures and non-union fractures
- Nerve pain (Neuropathic pain) e.g. from disc injuries
- Post-operative care: Post-operative pain, tendon repair, post-mastectomy lymphoedema, infected wounds, Burns
Risks and Benefits
Benefits: There are no known side effects of LLLT when used properly. User guidelines include:
- Never receive LLLT over your thyroid—LLLT can compromise thyroid function.
- Wear protective eyeglasses during LLLT—looking directly at the light can damage your retinas.
- Do not receive LLLT if you are pregnant—the laser’s effects on a fetus are unknown.
- Do not laser potentially cancerous lesions—LLLT can stimulate proliferation of existing cancer cells.
The dose delivered during a treatment session should be based on the energy density rather than the power. Energy density is essentially the same as light intensity, but there are lots of other calculations required to work out the correct dose.
Lower energy doses, or low intensity laser is generally used for more acute (recent) injuries or soft tissue lesions as the more damaged tissue is more energy sensitive. The more chronic the problem, the more energy us required to penetrate the tissue to have the desired effect, so higher density energy is used.
Treatment costs vary from clinic to clinic. At the Back Pain Centre, we like to pride ourselves on our effective yet affordable ways to ease your pain. As such, price for treatment as follows;
Individual treatment – £20
If you are already a chiropractic patient receiving care and your Chiropractor feels that LLLT/LED is appropriate, this will be included in your treatment charge.