Laser Therapy﷯ Health care today faces a number of serious problems which create a demand for new solutions. Effective treatment is still unavailable for many illnesses, and many of today’s treatment methods have serious side effects and high health care costs. A new and effective treatment of soft tissue injuries, pain, arthritis and certain other conditions has been developed during the last two decades. This technique is called Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT). LILT is a phototherapeutic (utilises light emissions), non-invasive method of using irradiation with both red and infrared light sources. Irradiation of cells at certain wavelengths can activate some of the cell’s components. For example, cellular metabolism can be affected by a sequence of biochemical reactions at the molecular and cellular levels as a result of LILT. LILT is the use of monochromatic light emission from a low intensity laser diode (250 milliwatts or less) or an array of high intensity Super Luminous Diodes (providing total optical power in the 1000-2000 milliwatt range) to treat musculoskeletal injuries, chronic or degenerative conditions, and to heal wounds. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell function and enhancement of the body’s healing process. Laser therapy acts by converting light energy into biomechanical energy, resulting in normal cell function which causes the symptoms to disappear. Aside from the elimination of inflammation, ablation of scar tissue and osteophytes, there is no doubt that clinically cartilaginous regeneration occurs. LILT is being used by therapists (to treat a variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal pathologies), dentists (to treat inflamed oral tissues, and to heal diverse ulcerations), dermatologists (to treat edema, ulcers, burns, dermatitis), rheumatologists (relief of pain, treatment of chronic inflammation and immune diseases), in sports medicine and rehabilitation clinics ( to reduce swelling and haematoma, relieve pain and improve mobility) and by other specialists as well as general practitioners. The effectiveness of LILT is repeatedly evidenced by international research, while at the same time no harmful side effects or damaging effects have been described. Also, the patients who respond most successfully to LILT are those who had minimal benefit from standard medical practice. Physiological Effects of LILT ﷯ SHORT TERM EFFECTS • Production and release of beta-endorphins (these are morphine like substances produced by various cells in the body that inhibit the sensation of pain) • Cortisol production is increased (cortisol is the precursor of cortisone). This enables the body to combat the stress associated with trauma or the disease process. • The short term effect is significant in 5-10% of cases during or after the conclusion of the initial treatment, but not as important as the long term or cumulative effect. LONG TERM OR CUMULATIVE EFFECTS • ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production is increased resulting in improved cellular metabolism. • DNA ( deoxyribonucleicacid) production, the protein building block of tissue is substantially increased. • Neurotransmission is facilitated due to elevated levels of serotonin and aceytylecholine. • Mitochondrial activity is stimulated resulting in cell replication etc. • Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells. • Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). • Regulates cell membrane potential, essential in Na, CL, and K ion transfer (electrolyte balance). • Cytokines and other chemicals enhancing the cellular communications are released. OTHER EFFECTS • The immune response is stimulated. • Lymphatic drainage is improved. • The histamine response is positively altered. • Production of the growth hormone is increased. • Stimulation of the healing process is accompanied by relief of symptoms. It should be noted that many other positive physiological activities are modulated and extensive research is currently in progress tofully explore these changes. LILT, and the BioFlex Laser in particular, is the safest and most effective way to eliminate pain. It doesn’t just treat the symptoms, it heals the cells. Regardless of age or how long a condition has been present, if it is soft tissue in nature (muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, blood vessel, lymphatics and the covering of bone), you have a better than 80% probability that you will feel better. The BioFlex System On the contemporary laser therapy equipment market the BioFlex System produced by Meditech Intenational Inc., represents a major advance in the field of laser therapy. As a result of its innovative design, the BioFlex System provides the ability to optimizepower density on the tissue surface within the irradiation area. The BioFlex System allows unprecedented manipulation parameters such as pulse repetition rate, duty of treatment cycle, power output and even definition of the pulse type. This allows the therapist to customize treatment protocol to each patient. As well, therapists can use the standard protocols based on research and clinical expertise. As a result, the BioFlex System can be recommended as the first in the next generation of laser therapy systems. LILT - A Comparison with Other Modalities Ultrasound, interferential current and tens are widely used in rehabilitative therapy throughout the world. It is reported that in the United States alone, five billion dollars are spent on ultrasound therapy annually. Most independently motivated therapists are aware that minimal benefit derives from these techniques. At best, they act as counter-irritants, create a temporary increase in circulation and the release of endorphins. They are definitely not a factor in the healing process despite producing temporary relief of symptomotology. Laser therapy, on the contrary, is effective in restoring tissue to its normal state, i.e., it acts to reverse the pathology and therby relieves symptoms. Initially there is a varying degree of pain relief due to the release of endorphins and cortisol produced by the body itself, but the more important effect is the cumulative factor, which is curative over the course of a series of treatments. These may vary from one treatment to as many as twenty. Each case is as individual as are the responses to therapy. More over, in most instances, patients activities need not be restricted as healing continues while activity goes on. Dr. Fred Kahn, M.D.,FRCS(C),D.R.B.S President, Meditech International Inc.
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