Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
What is LLLT?
Low-level Laser Therapy (LLLT) - also known as cold laser or therapeutic laser - is the use of low intensity photonic energy (light amplification at specific wavelengths) as a treatment modality.
How does LLLT work?
The process of LLLT is based on a photochemical reaction in which discrete bundles of energy called photons are absorbed within the visible light spectrum of 380–700nm. The photon induced chemistry excites the body’s cells, improving cellular energy production (increasing production of cellular ATP), reducing inflammation, reducing free radical production and oxidative stress, improving blood flow, and enhancing tissue repair.
What is the difference between LEDs, Class 4 Lasers and LLLT?
Light from LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) cannot achieve the same narrow band of wavelength as a laser. Instead LEDs produce light that is disorganized or incoherent. Laser light is more effective in producing photochemical effects than LED. This is evident in numerous, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials using LLLT, where test subjects established both statistical significance and clinically meaningful results over the placebo group which received LED treatment.
Devices with a laser output above 500mw are not LLLT. Instead, they are classified as High Intensity Laser (HIL) or Class 4 Lasers. These are thermal lasers which - according to FDA clearance - are intended to “provide topical heating for the purpose of elevating tissue temperature for temporary relief of muscle and joint pain and stiffness, arthritis pain, or muscle spasm, the temporary increase in local blood circulation and/or promoting relaxation of muscle”. LLLT is a powered light-based laser non-thermal instrument with non-heating effect for adjunctive use in pain therapy.
LLLT use wavelengths within the visible light spectrum of 380-700nm. Another type of electromagnetic radiation is infrared (IR) which includes wavelengths higher than 780nm. The infrared light spectrum exhibits strong absorption from vibrations of the water molecule. The result of infrared absorption is heating of the tissue, since it increases molecular vibrational activity. Put simply, while visible light can produce photochemical effects, infrared only produces molecular rotations and vibrations.
Research has demonstrated that lasers using wavelengths in the range of 630-830nm, and dosage levels ranging from 0.5-10 J/cm2 to be the ideal “sweet spot” for optimal health benefits.
LLLT at Optimize Sports Chiropractic
At Optimize Sports Chiropractic, we utilise and integrate LLLT as part of the individualized multi-modal management approach of conditions such as: acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain (e.g. low back pain, neck and shoulder pain); plantar fasciitis and heel pain; ligament and joint sprains; muscle strains; overuse and biomechanical injuries; concussion and more.
If you have any specific questions, or want to know if we can help, feel free to contact Brett or call our friendly reception staff to schedule a consultation.