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What is LLLT?2020-10-22T10:21:32+11:00

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

LLLT, also known as Photobiomodulation Therapy or Cold Laser Therapy (CLT), is the application of low power laser beams to enhance cellular functions. When laser light irradiates and penetrates the skin surface, light is absorbed by damaged cells, triggering a series of physiological changes. These are found to modulate cellular metabolism, which stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, accelerate the tissue healing processes and achieve pain relief.

Since Professor Mester discovered the therapeutic properties of laser light in 1967, there have been extensive studies exploring the benefits, techniques and optimal usage of low level laser therapy in treating various conditions. To date, over 110,000 published research articles are archived in the PubMed library.

Current users of LLLT include many prominent organisations around the world, all of whom recognise the benefits of LLLT and its enormous potential. These include top researching institutions, military programs, high performance sports teams and space exploration administrations.

Effective for:

LLLT is proven to be effective for (but not limited to):

  • Musculoskeletal pain (acute and chronic)

  • Neuropathic pain

  • Migraine and other headaches

  • Sports injury and fatigue

  • Wound healing

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Arthritic pain

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Also with:

Promising in reducing symptoms or risks of:

  • Tinnitus

  • Cardiovascular diseases

  • Diabetes

  • Degenerative conditions

  • Allergic diseases

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Oral mucositis

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Frequently asked questions

Please see below to see Frequently Asked Questions answered

What are benefits from laser blood irradiation?2020-09-22T11:34:55+10:00

The non-invasive laser irradiation of blood is an ideal systemic therapy, which will supply photon energy directly to the body. Because the non-invasive method can be considered as riskless, it may be used on almost any patient and environment.

Would normal tissue be affected?2020-09-22T11:35:03+10:00

Healthy cells also absorb light. Damaged or stressed cells, however, are associated with lower absorption threshold. That is, they are more likely to receive the benefit of LLLT.

Who may not be suitable for LLLT?2020-09-22T11:35:10+10:00

There are some contraindications to the use of LLLT, these include:

  • Irradiation of the abdomen for pregnant patients
  • When malignant tumours are located in an irradiated area
  • Light sensitive patients.
  • Pulsed light may trigger seizure for some epilepsy patients, though no incident has been reported if continuous or invisible beams are applied.
Is this the same as surgical or cosmetic lasers?2020-09-22T10:11:00+10:00

No, surgical lasers are more powerful since their pulses are designed to disrupt and destroy cells. LLLT is of low power nature (typically under 0.5 Watt) and does not produce thermal or ablative effect, hence cause no tissue damage.

Does it hurt?2020-09-22T10:11:47+10:00

LLLT is a non-invasive treatment. Patients generally do not feel any sensation during the treatment. LLLT certainly does not hurt.

Is it safe?2020-09-22T10:12:57+10:00

While LLLT is safe to irradiate tissues, one should never stare directly into the beams. Sydney Laser Health Solutions provide safety eyewear during the treatment.

Is there a risk of developing skin cancer from exposures to Laser beam?2020-09-22T11:35:46+10:00

To date, there has been no report of cell mutation as a result of low level laser irradiation in research articles published.

What is low level laser therapy?2020-09-22T10:05:14+10:00

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is a light source treatment with a single coherent wavelength. It consists of a laser of lower power (< 500mw) compared surgical lasers. Unlike cosmetic lasers, LLLT emits no heat, sound, or vibration. Instead of producing a thermal effect, LLLT acts via nonthermal (hence referred to as cold laser) or photochemical reactions in the cells, which is why LLLT is also referred to as photobiology or biostimulation.

How does cold laser work?2020-09-22T10:07:57+10:00

]Once the light (of a specific wavelength) penetrates skin and reaches targeted damaged tissues, it is absorbed by light sensitive elements of the cell in a process similar to photosynthesis in plants – absorbed light is converted to usable energy, which lead to reduction of inflammation, pain relief, enhanced immune response and overall, the healing time also shortens due to more efficient cellular metabolism.

Extensive laboratory studies also suggest that irradiation stimulates collagen production, reduces oxidative stress, increases endorphin and serotonin levels and alters DNA synthesis, which are supportive for regeneration of damaged neurological tissues and other soft tissue reparation.

What does LLLT do to the body?2020-09-22T10:08:50+10:00

Several mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of LLLT have been widely supported in clinical research around the world.

  • Anti Inflammatory effect
  • Analgesic effect
  • Tissue reparation
  • Immune system modulation
  • Stabilisation of blood lipid level
  • Nerve regeneration
What is the treatment regime like?2020-09-22T10:09:40+10:00

This varies for different conditions. Time of each session is typically between 25 minutes to 50 minutes and should be applied two or more times a week. The frequency of treatments and duration of treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and other factors. Ultimately, you will elect the number of treatments.

Does it have any side effects?2020-09-22T10:17:22+10:00

No adverse side effect is documented so far. Some patients may feel tiredness, thirstiness, sleepiness and so on for a little while following the treatment. In addition, some patients (applicable for patients on pain management program) may feel slightly heightened painful sensations a few hours after treatment, this is consistent with literatures, which describe this as the initiation of the cellular healing process, this is not expected to last long.

Further reading

Literatures/ articles about low level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodultion (PBM) therapy can be found from professional/peer reviewed journals.  Click here

Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy is effective to drug cravings. A novel treatment that combines unilateral transcranial photobiomodulation (t-PBM) applied to the hemisphere for drug cravings. This paper reports the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study of unilateral t-PBM to a hemisphere with a more positive hemispheric emotional valence. That unilateral tPBM to the positive hemisphere is superior to that to the negative hemisphere, and the fact that unilateral tPBM was effective in reducing drug cravings.  Click here

PBM with near infrared light (NIR) treats patients with major depression and anxiety brought in psychological benefits 2 and 4 weeks after a single treatment. At 2-weeks post treatment 6 of 10 patients had a remission of depression and 7 of 10 achieved a remission of anxiety. Patients experienced highly significant reductions in both HAM-D and HAM-A scores following treatment, with the greatest reductions occurring at 2 weeks. This small feasibility study suggests that NIR-PBM may have utility for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders.  Click here

BMJ sports medicine journal, systematic review of surgical and conservative interventions for frozen shoulder found “strong evidence” for LLLT. (2010). Click here

The International Association for the Study of Pain (Global Task force on musculoskeletal pain) found “strong evidence” for Low Level Laser Therapy on myofascial pain syndrome. (2010). Click here

The BMJ clinical evidence recommendations for tennis elbow 2011 now include LLLT. Click here

American Physical Therapy Association guidelines recommend LLLT for Achilles tendonitis. (2010) Click here

Lancet systematic review: “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain”. (2009) Click here

World Health Organisation (Bone and Joint Task Force) for neck pain Low Level Laser Therapy “more effective than no treatment, sham, or alternative interventions” 2008) Click here

In August 2010 The Lancet reported that the systematic review of LLLT for neck pain was in their top 20 most downloaded papers for 2010. Click here

Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing. Click here

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