Many research trials and clinical studies have been performed to determine the positive effects of Laser Therapy for a wide range of clinical conditions. The following list is a compilation of the most widely studied biological effects of Laser Therapy.
Laser Therapy relieves pain through several different biological mechanisms:
- It blocks the pain signals transmitted from injured parts of the body to the brain. This makes the nerves less sensitive and significantly reduces perception of pain.
- It helps to decrease inflammation and swelling.
- It increases the production and release of natural pain killing chemicals within our bodies.
Laser Therapy causes the smaller arteries and lymph vessels of the body to increase in size, a mechanism called vasodilation. It is this process that allows inflammation, swelling and edema to be cleared away from injury sites more effectively as well as assisting in the more rapid resolution of bruising. Vasodilation also promotes lymph vessels to drain which aids in the healing process.
Faster Wound Healing:
Your skin and other body tissues are made up primarily of collagen. Fibroblasts are the building blocks needed to create collagen. Laser Therapy stimulates the production of fibroblasts and therefore allows collagen to be made. Laser Therapy, is therefore, an effective treatment for open wounds and burns.
Improved Nerve Function:
Laser light speeds up the process of nerve cell regeneration. This allows for a shorter recovery time after a nerve injury. Laser Therapy also increases the strength of action potentials, or signals sent along nerve fibers. The increased signal strength improves overall nerve and muscle function. It is for these reasons that Laser Therapy is so effective at reducing the symptoms related to nerve injury – namely sharp pain, numbness, tingling and burning.
Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth:
The light emitted by therapeutic lasers penetrates into tissues to stimulate the energy production in cells. The increase in cellular energy enables the cells to absorb nutrients and expel waste products more rapidly. This dramatically accelerates the repair of injured tissues and leads to faster tendon, ligament and muscle healing.
Increased Metabolic Activity:
Laser Therapy also has a significant impact on individual blood cells that pass through the laser beam during treatment. The laser light enables the red blood cells (RBCs) to be able to carry more oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body. This allows for increased metabolic activity and production of specific enzymes. Both of these effects can be felt throughout the entire body and are not limited to the area exposed to the laser.
Improved Blood Flow:
Laser Therapy significantly increases the formation of tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, within damaged tissues. More capillaries allow more blood flow to the area of injury. This results in accelerated healing as wounds are closed more rapidly and scar tissue formation is reduced.
Reduced Formation of Scar Tissue:
After tissue damage has occurred through cuts, burns or surgery; scar tissue often forms around the injury site. Laser Therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue by speeding up the healing process. It does this by improving blood flow to the injured area and thereby allowing for the more effective removal of waste products. Faster healing always leads to less scar tissue formation.
Enhanced Immune Function:
ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) is the single most important form of energy that powers ALL chemical reactions within ALL cells of the body. When laser light is absorbed by chromophores, which are embedded within most cells of the body, this activates the production of ATP. Higher energy production leads to faster and more efficient cell function. This is especially true of immune-specific cells that are exposed to Laser Therapy. This improved efficiency aids the immune system in fighting off undesirable microbes and pathogens.
Acupuncture Point Stimulation:
Laser Therapy is also an effective alternative to traditional acupuncture treatment. Traditional acupuncture delivers therapeutic effects through the stimulation of acupuncture points throughout the body. This is achieved by piercing the acupuncture points with needles and then twisting the needles by hand, tamping them or connecting them to electrical stimulation devices. Laser Therapy may be used to stimulate the same acupuncture points without the need for invasive needling or similar mechanical stimulation.