LASER is a form of light energy. It was invented in the 1960s. Since then, laser has been used in industry, surgery and dentistry, physiotherapy and the list goes on.
True Laser has unique properties that differ from everyday light. They are:
- Coherence. Photons travel in phase.
- Collimation. The beam is minimally divergent over a distance.
- Monochromatic. From a single source, it has a single wavelength.
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the photon energy application to pathology to promote tissue regeneration, reduce inflammation, swelling and relieve pain. It is shown that laser application stimulates some chemical reactions in the tissues. This happens due to photoreceptors in cells that absorb photon energy. This may be stimulating their activity causing increased biochemical reactions in tissues. In studies, it is shown that the duration and intensity of application may have different effects on these biochemical reactions (6). It is athermal meaning has no heat with low power output ( 1-500 mW).
The effectiveness of LLLT has been studied over the years. Currently, LLLT is used effectively to treat neck pain, chronic wound management. Some other applications of Laser are:
- chronic joint pain,
- neck pain
- lower back pain
- shoulder and elbow problems
- foot pain
Although it is generally a safe application, certain safety standards have to be applied during applications. Contraindications, adverse effects and precautions need to be taken into account when using LASER for therapeutic purposes.