Low level laser therapy


Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a form of laser medicine used in physical therapy and veterinary treatment that uses low-level (low-power) lasers or light-emitting diodes to alter cellular function.

Other names for the therapy include low-power laser, soft laser, cold laser, biostimulation laser, therapeutic laser, and laser acupuncture. Whereas high-power lasers ablate tissue, low-power lasers are claimed to stimulate it and to encourage the cells to function. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used in Eastern Europe and Asia for the treatment of a wide range of conditions for many years. Its continued acceptance in these populations reflects the efficacy with which it is regarded both by clinicians and their patients. Although there have been a substantial number of reports on its clinical benefit and some practitioners have used the technique in North America and Australasia it has yet to be subjected to detailed assessment through randomised clinical trials. The purpose of this review is to stimulate interest in the technique and to encourage rigorous research into its potential value. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. It is broadly defined to include anything which adversely affects the heart or blood vessels. One-third of Americans have one or more forms of it. By one estimate, average human life expectancy would increase by seven years if it were eliminated. The mainstream medical model seeks mostly to “manage” cardiovascular disease with pharmaceuticals or to surgically bypass or reopen blocked vessels via angioplasty. These methods have proven highly useful and saved countless lives. Yet drug therapy may be costly and ongoing, and it carries the risk of side effects while often doing little or nothing to improve underlying health concerns. Similarly, angioplasty or surgery are invasive methods which entail risk. Laser therapy1regenerates tissue, stimulates biological function, reduces inflammation and alleviates pain. Its efficacy and safety have been increasingly well documented in cardiovascular disease of many kinds. In this article we will explore the effects of laser therapy in angina, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, stroke and other conditions. The clinical application of various methods of laser therapy, including laserpuncture and transcutaneous, supravascular and intravenous irradiation of blood will be discussed. Implementing laser therapy in the treatment of cardiovascular disease offers the possibility of increasing the health and wellbeing of patients while reducing the costs and enhancing safety of medical care.