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LASER VS LOW LEVEL LIGHT THERAPY

Updated: Apr 26

Cottage Farm carries for sale and uses several different photobiomodulation therapy, PBM, products/devices. You may be more familiar with the older term of Low Level Light Therapy or LLLTT. I use this pretty much everyday for a myriad of issues from wound healing, pain relief, arthritis , summer sores, stimulating accupoints, tendon/ligament in.muscle injuries. Many people ask what is the difference between the two modalities so here is a brief and basic description them.  


LASER, which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, is created when electrons become “excited,” or more energized, after absorbing energy from an electrical current. Laser's contain one large diode which produces a single, specific wavelength that concentrates their energy in a small area but travel deep into the tissue. It produces a coherent light.



Once these excited electrons return to their normal state, they release that energy as particles of light called photons. These photons all exist at the same wavelength, and they are propelled in the same direction, giving them the coherence that allows lasers to exert significant effects on tissue.


 


Low-level laser (LLLT) therapy, uses LED's Light Emitting Diodes and involves exposing tissues to red/near infrared (NI) light, which are lower in energy than the lasers used in surgery.



When lasers come into contact with cells, they act on the mitochondria to increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. In turn, that increased ATP production can lead to faster production of collagen, vascular structures, DNA, RNA and other materials essential to the healing process.



In contrast, LEDs emit incoherent light in a broader range of wavelengths. Their power output is significantly lower than that of lasers, and so treatment time may be longer for each session or over a longer period of days. They are  less invasive and less potentially harmful to targeted tissues, which makes them ideal for home use.


Still, they exert the same end effect on ATP production and healing as lasers, albeit to a different degree.



The answer is that both  laser and LED therapies have significant bodies of evidence backing their efficacy.


For instance, one of the first uses of LLT was in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, where it has proven  effective in reducing pain and improving grip strength in mild to moderate cases. It has also shown promise in the treatment of chronic pain and a variety of injuries in both human and equine as well as canine individuals. Likewise, LEDs have clear benefits for wound care, burns and skin conditions, where they work on the dermis and epidermis,  and with  the treatment of muscle damage and inflammation with the deeper reaching infrared. 

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