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Low Level Laser Therapy Reviews



What Is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)?

LLLT or Low Level Laser Therapy has been variously known in the medical profession as photobiomodulation, cold laser therapy and laser biostimulation used in both human and animal treatment of certain health and medical tissue conditions using low powered lasers or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).  


In simpler terms, it’s about a treatment technique using light therapy. The technique has its roots in the mid 60s and have been documented to stimulate as well as inhibit certain functions at the cellular level with promising effect in treating neck pains, tendrinopathies and osteoarthritis. It has been harnessed in cosmetic applications like treating varicose veins and certain skin disorders as well as inducing hair growth in balding patients.



How Does It Work?

As concentrated monochromatic light beams of specific wavelengths and electromagnetic radiation, Lasers have been down to drill holes in thick steel and concrete at high intensities. In medicine, low intensity lasers are used at intensities ranging from 5 to 500 milliwatts with laser surgery starting at 300 milliwatts.  


It has been shown that certain light wavelengths, particularly in the red end of the light spectrum and fired at certain low enough intensities or irradiance provided by LED, laser and other monochromatic light sources have effects on skin and tissue regeneration, pain management and inflammation control.  


The main physiological benefits often center on the cellular level like up-regulating and down-regulating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species action.


In particular, the mitochondria in cells have been shown to absorb red light that increases ATP production which translates to healthier cells. In addition, LLLT’s biostimulation action also initiates cell functions that promote healing like enzyme production, cell growth increase and collagen production which hasten would healing and prevents tissue scarring.  


The same stimulating action is used in inducing hair growth by stimulating blood circulation.



Is It Good?

The first studies into LLLT was done by Endre Mester in the Hungary’s Semmelweis University to look into the effect of laser light on skin cancer and from whose studies the medical technique has evolved to further its clinical benefits in treating other disorders, notably pain relief in the neck region, non-specific low back pains and has been used to effect faster healing of skin wounds, early leprosy, osteoarthritis, varicose vein management and male pattern baldness.


In 2007, LLLT was given FDA clearance for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, indicating its effective and safe application to treat the condition.  There are now a number of consumer devices from leading healthcare companies that harness LLLT principles like laser combs that claim to enjoy FDA approval.  



Any Side Effects?

While treatment can be achieved in certain medical problems, bruising and cellulitis are potential side effect. The exact mechanism is yet being studied and can be controversial but there is common consensus emerging that it is more a photochemical process more than anything. Factors such as beam penetration, wavelength, effect dose and dose rate, pulses of pea power and repetition rates remain superficially understood in many clinical studies.


Further clinical studies are being conducted not only to confirm its therapeutic value but to ascertain specific adverse side effects, if any.




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