Laser Therapy

The term LASER is an acronym for the Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In simple yet realistic terms, the laser can be considered to be a form of the light amplifier - it provides enhancement of particular properties of light energy. 

Laser light will behave according to the basic laws of light, in that it travels in straight lines at a constant velocity in space. It can be transmitted, reflected, refracted and absorbed. It can be placed within the electromagnetic spectrum according to its wavelength/frequency which will vary according to the particular generator under consideration.

 

There are several aspects of laser light that are deemed to be special and are often referred to in the literature. These include monochromacity, coherence, and polarisation. There remains some doubt as to exactly how essential these particular aspects of laser light are in relation to the therapeutic application of this energy form. Monochromacity is probably the most important factor, as many of the therapeutic effects have been noted in various trials with light which is non-coherent. Additionally, it is thought that the polarization is soon lost within the tissues and may, therefore, be less important than was thought at first.

The following list of physiological and cellular level effects is compiled from several reviews and research papers and does not claim to be complete or guaranteed for the in vivo situation. It does, however, illustrate the range and scope of photobioactivation effects.   

  • Altered cell proliferation

  • Altered cell motility

  • Activation of phagocytes

  • Stimulation of immune responses

  • Increased cellular metabolism

  • Stimulation of macrophages

  • Stimulation of mast cell degranulation

  • Activation & proliferation of fibroblasts

  • Alteration of cell membrane potentials

  • Stimulation of angiogenesis

  • Alteration of action potentials

  • Altered prostaglandin production

  • Altered endogenous opoid production 

Clinical Applications:

The recent research is found to concentrate on a few key areas. Most dominant amongst these are wound healing, inflammatory arthropathies, soft tissue injury and the relief of pain:

  • Open Wounds

  • Inflammatory Arthropathies

  • Soft Tissue Injury

  • Pain