Low Level Light Therapy (Cold Laser) Increases cell metabolism (Increased ATP production by the mitochondria and increased oxygen consumption on the cellular level)

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Low Level Light Therapy (Cold Laser)
Increases cell metabolism (Increased ATP production by the mitochondria and increased oxygen
consumption on the cellular level)

Improves cell regeneration
Reduces fibrous tissue formation
Stimulates nerve function
Reduces production of substance P (an important element in pain perception)
Stimulates long term production of nitric oxide
Decreases the formation of bradikynin, histamine, and acetylcholine
Increased serotonin and increased endorphins
Increased anti-inflammatory effects through reduced prostaglandin synthesis
Improved blood circulation to the skin in cases like neuralgia and diabetes mellitus
Decreases permeability of the membrane of the nerve cells for Na/K causing hyperpolarisation
Increased lymphatic flow and decreased edema
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Physiological Mechanism:
Low Level Red light or Near infrared light penetrates the skin only about 10mm and exerts an effect on
the Mitochondria. Specifically it releases NO from Cytochrome C allowing the electron transport chain
to resume production of ATP and reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. Increased
reactive oxygen species shift the overall redox potential of the cytosol toward greater oxidation. This
environment may in turn have an effect on transcription factors such as nuclear factor B which is
instrumental in the transcription of protective and stimulatory gene products. The released NO is also
now free to exert a localized vasodilatation effect through its effect on cGMP.
Essentially the light passes through the skin to the energy systems of the muscle cells and stimulates a
faster recovery response, causing the muscle to produce more energy and causing increased blood flow
to the area. Both of these effects allow the muscle to receive more nutrients and to utilize those
nutrients better toward recovery.
Common Types:
Most low level lasers will emit light with a wavelength within the 600nm to 1000nm spectrum.
630nm - 700nm will penetrate between 6 and 10mm
780nm - 890nm will penetrate 2 -3 cm
Higher wavelengths will penetrate 3 - 5 cm
Lasers can also be set to pulse on and off in a duty cycle or superpulse. A duty cycle means that the
power is one for part of a second and off for part of a second and a superpulse is a very fast duty cycle.
Duty cycles can be used to increase the time of a treatment without increasing the amount of energy
given to the cells. Superpulsing is often used with high wavelength light and emits a large amount of
power and can actually increase the penetration of higher powered light.

Interesting Facts:
Laser therapy is often described in Joules or how much energy is being emitted. A level of energy can
be obtained through an extended period of time with a lower level laser or a shorter time with a higher
level laser. Studies on the biphasic dose response show that in many cases a shorter time period will be
more beneficial. It is also believed that a lower dose of light all together will be more beneficial as the
lower levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species released at a lower dose of light are very
beneficial, increased levels of these at higher doses of light can be damaging. So don't let it sit there
It is important to press the laser down into the skin in order to push away any excess fluid in the area.
Water in the area will refract the laser.
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Don't shine in the eye
Do not place over the thyroid gland
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