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The Physiological Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy:
- Analgesic effect by relieving acute and chronic pain
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects
- Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
- Improved cellular metabolism
- Increases blood supply, circulation and vasodilation
- Stimulates the immune system
- Stimulates nerve function
- Develops collagen and muscle tissue
- Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
- Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
Short Term Effects:
- Production and release of endorphins (these are morphine like substances produced by various cells in the body that inhibit the sensation of pain).
- Cortisol production is increased (cortisol is the precursor of cortisone). This enables the body to combat the stress associated with trauma or the disease process.
- The short-term effect is significant in 5 to 10 % of cases during or after the conclusion of the initial treatment, but is not as important as the long term or cumulative effect.
Long Term or Cumulative Effects:
- ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production is increased resulting in improved cellular metabolism
- DNA (desoxyribonucleic acid) production, the protein building block of tissue is substantially increased
- Neurotransmission is facilitated due to elevated levels of serotonin and acetylcholine
- Mitochondrial activity is stimulated resulting in cell replication etc.
- Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells
- Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels)
- Regulates cell membrane potential, essential in NA+, CL and K+ ion transfer (electrolyte balance)
- Cytokines and other chemicals enhancing cellular communications are released
- The immune response is stimulated. Higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells and a more effective immune system are induced by laser light.
- Laser light stimulates fibroblast development in damaged tissue
- Lymphatic drainage is improved. Laser light activates lymph vessels to allow the affected tissue to drain interstitial fluids, reducing the inflammatory process.
- Vasodilation of the circulatory system results in greater oxygen and fuel delivery to the affected area
- Laser light reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns or following surgery
- Laser light reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints to give improved joint mobility.
- Slow recovery of nerve function in damaged tissue can result in "dead" limbs or numb areas. Laser light will speed the process of nerve cell reconnection to bring the numb areas back to life. Laser light also increases the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle action.
- The histamine response is positively altered. Stimulation of the healing process is accompanied by relief of symptoms
- Production of growth hormones is increased. Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and growth.
- Stimulation of the healing process is accompanied by relief symptoms. It should be noted that many other positive physiological activities are modulated and extensive research is currently in progress to fully explore these changes.