Lasers in Physiotherapy

LASER stands for light amplification by stimulated emission radiation.  It's coherent light (ie when the phase of oscillations in electromagnetic wave remains unchanged for a long time).  

The biological effect of cool lasers is based on photochemical processes resulting from the resonance interaction of  light with absorbing molecules.   It is also hypothesized that  the Kerr effect can cause a torque causing rotation of particles until their dipole moment becomes aligned along the electrical vector of the field created.  

Cool LASERS may act by the following processes:
  • LASER is absorbed by light sensitive proteins  situated in cytoplasm and cell membranes (some involved in the respiratory chain)
  • Changing local concentration and spatial orientation of particles
  • Changing composition of particles
  • Selectively increasing  the partial temperature of larger particles
  • Causing small reversible distortions of particle's structure (ie cellular massage)
  • Stimulating  conformational changes in enzymes and other proteins


Studies have shown the following biological effects:
  • Increased healing rate in woulds and burns
  • Decreased inflammatory edema
  • Increased healing response of fractures
  • Increased regeneration of damaged nerve by stimulating axon sprouting
  • Modulation of nerve conduction velocity depending on treatment regime
Mid LASERS belong to that class of LASER systems that  lack the output power to cause thermal damage to the tissues but can be used to treat pathological conditions directly.  We use a probe mid laser equipped with a single diode laser source with emission in the near infrared range (825nm)  The tissue is irradiated in spot fashion and power is sufficient for the treatment of deep pathologies.

Schindl, A et al (1999) Wound healing with He-Ne Photoderm Photoimmunol Photomed 18-21
Rochind, S (1992) Experimental and clinical wound healing with HeNe, Neurological Research 14:p.2
Schindl A, et al, (1998) He-Ne irradiation effect in patients with diabetes and reduced skin blood flow, Diabetes Care 580-4
Whittaker, P (2004) Laser acupuncture: past, present , and future.  Lasers Med Sci 19(2):69-80
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