Low level laser therapy as a treatment for chronic pain
Chronic pain has been described as pain that persists for longer than 12 weeks. Low level laser therapy affects the healing process at a cellular level. Chronic inflammation is said to be reduced when compounds related to pain and inflammation are reduced by the laser therapy, while healing and new tissue generation are stimulated at the same time.
How does low level laser therapy work?
Cold lasers are handheld devices used by the clinician and are often the size of a flashlight. The laser is placed directly over the injured area for 30 seconds to several minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated and the dose provided by the cold laser unit.
During this process, the non-thermal beams of light that are emitted from the laser, pass through the skins layers. This light has the ability to penetrate 2 to 5 centimetres below the skin. Lasers and LED’s produce intense beams of light at specific wavelengths. When the right wavelength at the right intensity is used at the correct anatomical location for the right amount of time, you can ultimately stimulate repair, resolve inflammation and reduce pain.
Does low level laser therapy work?
The use of low level laser therapy is growing in traditional medical practice and as an alternative therapy. Under the care of a doctor or qualified practitioner, low level laser therapy is considered to be very safe. Another benefit of the laser is it’s non-invasive. It’s also painless so there’s no need for medication and there are generally no proven or reported side effects.
One of the drawbacks may be time. While each session only takes a few minutes, it may take a series of treatments before you can gauge its effectiveness. Ultimately, yes, low level laser therapy has been proven to be effective in most cases. Whether this has been used in conjunction with other methods and therapies it does have a proven success rate for those who are willing to put in the time and undergo a number of treatments.