Photobiomodulation Therapy is non-invasive, drug-free, painless form of non-ionizing light therapy with no serious side effects that not only heals, but it also regenerates!
Other names for Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy:
- Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Cold Laser Therapy
- Low Intensity Laser Therapy
- Class IV Laser Therapy
- Laser Therapy
- Laser Phototherapy
- LED Phototherapy
- Soft Laser
- Laser Biostimulation
What is Photobiomodulation Therapy?
Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) is low-intensity light therapy that applies low-level (low-power) lasers or light emitting diodes (LEDs) to the body to improve wound healing and soft tissue repair/regeneration, stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and edema, as well as to relieve acute and/or chronic pain. In healthy people, it increases strength, reduces fatigue and speeds up recovery. PBMT is not a heat therapy; the effects are photochemical (like photosynthesis in plants). Light (in the red and near-infrared range ≈ 600nm – 1,000nm) causes intracellular photochemical changes that lead to a cascade of downstream intracellular, extracellular and physiologic changes, which promote the restoration of normal cell function.
- Reduction of oxidative stress and increased ATP/energy production in cellular mitochondria
- Analgesia – by temporarily inhibiting transmission from pain receptors to the nervous system
- Immune cells migration and reduction of pro-inflammatory markers
- Collagen production/synthesis
- Increased chondrocyte and osteocyte activity – the cells responsible for new cartilage and bone formation
- Peripheral nerve tissue regeneration
What conditions can be treated by Photobiomodulation?
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Knee pain
- Joint pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Sporting injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Neuropathic pain
- Degenerative disk disease
Photobiomodulation Therapy represents the first advance in rehabilitation science since the introduction of ultrasound, interferential current, tens, etc. and is rapidly replacing those modalities.
Moreover, it provides treatment alternatives for patients that have not responded to conventional treatments. Generally it obviates the need for pharmaceutical solutions and frequently makes surgical interventions redundant.
Commonly asked questions:
Your will sit or lie comfortably during treatment and provided with safety goggles. The laser or LED probe is applied to the skin over areas, which are treated for 30 or 60 seconds per point.
Comfortable clothing (e.g. shorts, singlet) that will allow you to expose the area you are having treated; imaging (e.g. X-ray, MRI, ultrasound) reports if relevant; a case history form.
The treatment duration is typically around 30 minutes and will depend on the nature and chronicity of your condition and the extent of the pathology involved. Treatment is given 1-2 times a week initially (for 2-3 weeks) depending on the severity of the condition and the area needing treatment.
PBMT treatments can be part of your Myotherapy session(s) or stand alone treatments(s). Your therapist will discuss with you your treatment plan at your initial consultation.
An average course of treatment is between 6 to 8 treatments. An individual’s response to PBMT will vary to some degree. Some people will have fewer treatments and others more depending on the severity of the condition. The more quickly your symptoms improve the fewer treatments are needed and the greater the time between treatments.
Generally, within 3-4 treatments you will start to feel benefit, though some people do report improvement of their symptoms after their first treatment. Whilst every person’s condition is different you will know within a few sessions if PBMT is going to benefit you.
PBMT is non-toxic, non-invasive, pain-free with no significant side effects. Some people experience a slight discomfort around the hairline; some experience a temporary exacerbation of symptoms (usually mild and self-limiting to less than 24 hours post treatment) before they get better due to high sensitivity tissue response.
The contraindications include eyes (laser safety glasses must be worn when the laser is in use), cancer (over any malignant lesions), pregnancy (over the abdomen/developing foetus), thyroid, and photosensitive epilepsy.
Yes, you can claim your PBMT session if it is a part of your myotherapy treatment. No, if it is a stand-alone treatment.