These terms refer to treatment using irradiation with light of low power intensity so that the effects produce a response to light and not due to heat. Many terms are used to commonly describe this process but do not ideally reflect the mechanisms involved with the treatment used in our office. They do not adequately distinguish the therapy from to other laser based therapies that rely on hating tissue to achieve an effect.
Photobiomodulation therapy is the the laser therapy we use. It is a form of light therapy based on the photochemical process called photobiomodulation therapy. In this therapy, the light source is in or near contact with the skin, and light energy penetrates the skin reaching the mitochondria of the damaged or diseased tissue leading to stimulation. This process results in beneficial therapeutic outcomes like the alleviation of pain, the regulation of inflammation, immune assisting response, and the promotion of tissue regeneration and the speed of healing.
Every eukaryotic cell in an animal’s body has one or many thousand cellular power plants called the mitochondrion. These mitochondria are responsible for providing most of the required ATP for cells. ATP is the chemical responsible for energy release within cells that drives a multitude of cellular and physiological functions including those directly related to injury repair and pain relief.
When a cell is damaged through injury or trauma, the mitochondrion, figuratively speaking, curls up like a hedgehog. Once this happens, the production of ATP is drastically reduced, or even ceased. As a result, the rate of healing slows dramatically. Cells exposed to infra-red light (Low Level Laser Therapy) at the right frequency, causes the mitochondrion to spring into action almost immediately producing increased amounts of ADP. The ADP then links with free oxygen singlets to produce ATP. Again, infra-red light increases the production of ATP in damaged or resting mitochondria.
Laser Therapy is the application of red light and near infrared radiation over injuries or lesions to stimulate healing and relieve pain without sensation or side effects. It is popularly used for the treatment of sports injuries, several different chronic pain syndromes and non-healing wounds such as venous and diabetic ulcers. Many new applications for this treatment are being used and investigated including smoking cessation, weight loss, addiction therapy, nerve regeneration for spinal cord injuries, and muscle atrophy for astronauts on long term space missions. The term adopted by NASA and U.S. military scientists is Photobiomodulation. Effectiveness of Laser Therapy depends on the color of the light (wavelength), intensity, and total energy delivered.