Low level laser is an FDA approved laser for treating pain and increasing range of motion on the market. It has been found to be extremely beneficial for enhancing and accelerating wound healing and reducing acute inflammation.
The research has been done and more is planned. With over 200 clinical studies – many of which are double-blind, placebo-controlled – and in excess of 2000 published articles on LLLT (low level laser therapy), this innovative new technology has a well-documented research and application history. Having grown far beyond its distant Institutional Review Board (IRB) and experimental treatment status, LLLT is now being considered a therapy of choice for difficult pain management challenges such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain.
Its positive effects are many and well-researched. For example, research demonstrates that the laser increases oxygen, healing and tensile strength of healed tissue. It reduces swelling, increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, increases cellular metabolism and repair, promotes collagen formation, and much more.
But how does it work? If you are like most people, when you first see a demonstration of the laser you might find yourself thinking, “How is this possible? All you are doing is shining a blinking red light on patients and they are getting quick and often amazing results.” To answer that question properly you would have to investigate the fascinating interface between biology and quantum mechanics – a huge undertaking.
Stated in its simplest form the cold laser is a biomodulator. If the body is doing too much of something or not enough of something else, then the laser will up-regulate or down-regulate it accordingly. It accomplishes this regulation by returning the targeted area of the body back to normal frequency. The concept of entrainment comes from physics.
Entrainment is defined as a situation in which two rhythms that have nearly the same frequency become coupled to each other so that both have the same rhythm. For example, a number of pendulum clocks mounted on the same wall will eventually entrain, so that all the pendulums swing in precise synchrony. For this to happen, the pendulums must have about the same period, which is determined by their length. What couples the pendulums are vibrations (elastic or sound waves) conducted through the structure of the wall.
The laser restores balance, harmony, and order by entraining the out-of-step frequencies back to their proper oscillations. The laser is actually integrative in its effects. You simply program in the appropriate frequencies, laser the affected areas, and the body is entrained back to coherence, and hence, normal functioning.
To date, there have been no adverse side effects reported in over 2000 publications. However, individuals with the following contraindicated conditions should avoid laser therapy: cancer, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and pregnancy. Also, laser therapy should not be directed toward the thyroid, endocrine glands, or eye (we utilize special protective goggles), be used on individuals that take photosensitizing medications (i.e. antibiotics, Retin A) or on areas of hemorrhage.
While the FDA has approved LLLT devices for treatment of: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as well as neck and shoulder pain of musculoskeletal origin, insurance companies consider the treatment “experimental” and therefore may not cover or reimburse the cost.
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