What is Laser Therapy and how does it work?
Laser Therapy, also called Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), emits a gentle beam of laser light in order to stimulate cells and repair tissues. Molecules in our cells (muscle, ligament, nerve, cartilage, bone) absorb the energy from the laser and may use it to repair damaged cells.
It also reduces inflammation which relieves pain (like an anti-inflammatory) and helps the healing process. The application of specific wavelengths of red or near infrared laser or LED light on acute injuries and degenerative conditions relieves pain and improves healing. There are two main mechanisms:
- At low doses it acts on mitochondrial proteins to reduce oxidative stress and increase production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
- At high doses it inhibits fast axonal flow in C and A delta fibres causing a temporary neural blockade, reducing central sensitisation.
How long is a treatment session?
After initial consultation, actual therapy time takes typically 20 to 30 minutes.
How soon does it start to work?
Patients typically experience improvement (reduction in pain / greater range of movement) immediately after the first treatment.
How many treatments does it take?
It can take as much as a dozen sessions but sometimes as few as three.
How often should patients come for treatment?
Twice a week for the first two weeks then once a week for a further two weeks.
How long do the benefits last?
In most cases, once an acute episode is over, patients are unlikely to need further treatment. For a few people, the benefit may only be temporary – they may need long term maintenance every 6 – 8 weeks.