How does Cold laser provide relief?
Short answer: LLLT or Cold laser helps your body to reduce SWELLING and Pain and helps you heal on a cellular level faster and more efficientlly.
Long answer :
Acute Inflammation Reduction Immediately after an acute injury event, the body, in response to the disruption of the integrity of vascular, soft tissue, connective tissue and neurological processes, initiates a series of biological responses. The inflammatory reaction consists of both vascular and cellular events. Injury responsive components such as Mast cells, Bradykinins and Prostaglandins are activated along with the vascular responses and cellular membrane reactions. All of these combined processes and events are represented by the symptoms of edema, inflammation, pain and functional debility. LLLT can be effective in mediating both the symptoms and the underlying inflammatory process by the following actions:
1. Stabilization of cellular membrane - Ca++, Na+ and K+ concentrations as well as the proton gradient over the mitochondria membrane are positively influenced. This is accomplished in part by the production of beneficial Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) wherein triplet oxygen molecules absorb laser light producing singlet oxygen molecules. These ROSmodulate intracellular Ca++ concentrations and laser therapy improves Ca++ uptake in the mitochondria. 2,3,4
2. ATP production and synthesis are significantly enhanced, contributing to cellular repair, reproduction and functional ability. Laser stimulation of Cytochrome c Oxidase, a chromophore found on the mitochondria of cells, plays a major role in this rapid increase in production and synthesis of ATP. 3
3. Vasodilation is stimulated via Histamine, Nitric Oxide (NO) and Serotonin increases, resulting in reduction of ischemia and improved perfusion. Lasermediated vasodilation enhances the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the damaged cells and facilitates repair and removal of cellular debris. 5,6
4. Beneficial acceleration of leukocytic activity results in enhanced removal of non-viable cellular and tissue components, allowing for a more rapid repair and regeneration process.
5. Increased Prostaglandin synthesis, particularly in conversion of the prostaglandins PGG2 and PGH2 periossides into prostaglandin PGI2. PGI2 (Prostacyclin), has a vasodilating and antiinflammatory action with some attributes similar to Cox-I and Cox-II inhibitors. 7
6. Reduction in Interleukin 1(IL-1). Laser irradiation has a reducing effect on this pro-inflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. 8
7. Enhanced lymphocyte response. In addition to increasing the number of lymphocytes, laser irradiation mediates the action of both lymphatic helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells in the inflammatory response. Along with laser modification of beta cell activity, the entire lymphatic response is beneficially affected by LLLT. 9
8. Increased angiogenesis. Both blood capillaries and lymphatic capillaries have been clinically documented to undergo significant increase and regeneration in the presence of laser irradiation. The resulting improvement in circulation and perfusion enhances all repair and healing processes. Laser induced increases in NO and the growth factors - in particular cytokine INF-g - are contributory to this process. 10,11
9. Temperature modulation. Areas of inflammation typically demonstrate temperature variations with the inflamed portion having an elevated temperature. Laser therapy has been shown to accelerate temperature normalization, demonstrating its beneficial influence on the inflammatory process.
10. Enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Laser stimulated increases in cytokine SODlevels interact with other anti-inflammatory processes to accelerate the termination of the inflammatory process. Interactions between SODand Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production subsequent to LLLT balance free radical activity and allows for the beneficial effects of ROSwhile inhibiting detrimental interactions. 12
11. Decreased C-reactive protein and neopterin levels. Laser therapy has been shown to lower the serum levels of these inflammation markers, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Decreased marker levels are indicative that the combined effects of all LLLT-induced anti-inflammatory actions are effectively reducing the inflammatory process.
The cumulative effect of these multiple inter-active processes and events is an accelerated inflammatory cycle with diminished symptoms and earlier normalization.
Since LLLT does not exacerbate the inflammatory process but rather condenses the time frame from onset to resolution through acceleration of processes, it can be used immediately post injury. This rapid initiation of therapy in acute inflammation will assist in limiting the scope and duration of the inflammatory event and minimize the pain and severity associated with it.
Most of the beneficial effects seen from LLLT in the treatment of acute inflammatory events will also have medical efficacy as LLLT is initiated inmore chronic inflammatory conditions. While the treatment regimen and course of therapy may be modified in chronic situations, the physiological responses and interactions remain consistent. Chronic conditions may require longer treatment times and results will vary with the patient, condition and length of the chronic condition.
The unique pain reduction abilities of LLLT have been extensively researched and documented in numerous clinical studies and medical papers. While there remains much to learn in respect to the various processes through which LLLT achieves its pain reduction characteristics, there is a wealth of knowledge currently available to demonstrate the effectiveness of laser therapy in this regard.
Because the pain amelioration capabilities of LLLT are accomplished via the combination of local and systemic actions - utilizing enzymatic, chemical and physical interventions - the process is very complex. However, there is a preponderance of medical evidence that justifies a conclusion that effective pain reductions can be achieved via LLLT. Following are processes and events that are promoted by LLLT therapy:
1. Increase in b-Endorphins. the localized and systemic increase of this endogenous peptide after LLLT irradiation has been clinically reported in multiple studies with subsequent pain reductions.
2. Blocked depolarization of C-fiber afferent nerves. The pain blocking effect of LLLT can be pronounced, particularly in low velocity neural pathways, such as non-mylenated afferent axons from nociceptors. Laser irradiation suppresses the excitation of these fibers in the afferent sensory pathway. 13,14
3. Increased nitric oxide production. NO has both a direct and indirect impact on pain sensation. As a neurotransmitter it is essential for normal nerve cell action potential in impulse transmission activity and, indirectly, the vasodilation effect of NOcan enhance nerve cell perfusion and oxygenation.