Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation)Laser therapy is a non-thermal treatment that reduces pain and alleviates inflammation while stimulating tissue healing and regeneration. Making pain-free living not just a possibility, but a reality.
Pain has become one of the most widespread and devastating health issues in the United States and is the number one reason patients seek physician care. More than 1 in 3 people are affected by chronic pain, defined as lasting longer than 6 months, each year. Pain affects 116 million Americans annually and costs $635 billion in medical bills, lost productivity and missed work or school. This pain may be the result of disease, injuries, chronic health conditions or surgeries. The most common types of pain include arthritis, lower back pain, bone/joint pain, muscle pain and fibromyalgia. According to a 2020 study, 36 million Americans missed work the previous year due to pain, and 83 million Americans indicated that pain impeded their participation in day-to-day activities.
Individuals suffering from chronic pain often have difficulty finding doctors who can effectively treat their pain as well as knowing their options to treat the pain. The Chronic Pain in America: Roadblocks to Relief study found that one out of four pain sufferers had changed doctors at least three times, reporting that the primary reason for change was that they were still experiencing pain.
How Laser Therapy Works
Laser therapy, also referred to as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is the application of light to produce a photochemical reaction. The photon energy of laser light can effectively penetrate the skin and underlying structures, which accelerates the body’s natural healing process. The light triggers biochemical changes within the cells, similar to photosynthesis in plants. Laser therapy utilizes the wavelengths and frequencies of visible red and near infrared (NIR) light because of their ability to penetrate the skin as well as soft and hard tissues with proven effect on pain, inflammation and tissue repair. The result is a reduction of inflammation, pain relief and accelerated tissue regeneration through a safe, non-invasive, and painless procedure.
Low level laser therapy has been used for more than 50 years in sports injuries, arthritic joints, neuropathic pain syndromes, neck and back pain, and many other conditions. There are over 700 clinical trials published on laser therapy, nearly half of which are on pain. Laser therapy is a safe, effective and pain-free treatment that only takes a few minutes per session per treatment area. In addition, it often yields results faster and more efficiently than other treatment modalities. Standard therapies for pain often have risks including peptic ulcers, gastric bleeding, systemic effects particularly on the cardiovascular system, increased risk of infection, risk of narcotic or opioid dependency/addiction, deformities, neurologic deficits or surgical complication; none of which exist with laser therapy. Many conditions show signs of improvement after just one or two treatments, if not immediately. The primary application of laser therapy is photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) which uses carefully calibrated infrared light waves to stimulate cell regeneration and enhance tissue repair.
Don't just treat the symptoms, Treat the Cause!
Laser Therapy has been clinically proven to not only reduce pain and inflammation but to effectively treats the underlying causes. It is a completely pain-free treatment that does not require the use of drugs or surgery and there are NO dangerous side effects or risks. Laser Therapy also delivers positive outcomes more quickly than other treatment modalities. The many conditions for which Laser Therapy has been proven to be beneficial are:
Post-injury Pain-both acute and chronic
Back and Neck Pain
Enhance Post Surgical Healing
Traumatic Brain Injury / Concusion
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Connective Tissue Injuries
Sprains and Strains
Tension & Migraine Headaches
Brain Disorders (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS)
Laser therapy can combined with PRP (Plasma Rich Platelets) and peptide therapies to enhance results and create a trifecta in rejuvenation for unmatched repair and recovery times, with healing of joints, tendons, muscles, arthritis, nerve damage, cartilage, bone and more at an unprecedented rate.
Re-new institute is proud to offer the first ever Tri-Wave Laser in Nebraska and the first of it’s kind anywhere in the world. The Tri-Wave Laser is changing the game for treating pain, inflammation, and injuries. Uniquely featuring three wavelengths of 810nm, 980nm and 1064nm, the Apex Tri-Wave incorporates 15 watts of power at each wavelength for a combined total output of 45 watts which means deeper penetration and activation of metabolic processes, vital for all cellular activities with much faster treatment time.
What is Laser Therapy?
Foundational Science and History of Laser Therapy
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How does Laser Therapy Reduce Inflammation?
1. Stabilization of the cellular membrane: Ca++, Na+ and K+ concentrations, as well as the proton gradient over the mitochondrial membrane are positively influenced. This is accomplished in part, by the production of beneficial Reactive Oxygen Species aka ROS. These ROS’s modulate intracellular Ca++ concentrations and laser therapy improves Ca++ uptake in the mitochondria.
2. Enhancement of ATP production and synthesis: ATP production and synthesis are significantly enhanced, contributing to cellular repair, reproduction and functional ability. Photonic stimulation of Cytochrome c Oxidase, a chromophore found on the mitochondria of cells, plays a major role in this rapid increase in production and synthesis of ATP.
3. Stimulation of vasodilation: Vasodilation is stimulated via an increase in Histamine, Nitric Oxide (NO) and Serotonin levels, resulting in reduction of ischemia and improved perfusion. Laser-mediated vasodilation enhances the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the damaged cells and facilitates repair and removal of cellular debris.
4. Acceleration of leukocytic activity: Beneficial acceleration of leukocytic activity, resulting in enhanced removal of non-viable cellular and tissue components. Thus allowing for a more rapid repair and regeneration process.
5. Increased prostaglandin synthesis: Prostaglandins have a vasodilating and anti-inflammatory action.
6. Reduction in interleukin 1: Laser irradiation has a reducing effect on this pro-inflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
7. Enhanced lymphocyte response: In addition to increasing the number of lymphocytes, laser irradiation mediates the action of both lymphatic helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells in the inflammatory response. Along with laser modification of beta cell activity, the entire lymphatic response is beneficially affected by laser therapy.
8. Increased angiogenesis: Both blood capillaries and lymphatic capillaries have been clinically documented to undergo significant increase and regeneration in the presence of laser irradiation.
9. Temperature modulation: Areas of inflammation typically demonstrate temperature variations, with the inflamed portion having an elevated temperature. Laser therapy has been shown to accelerate temperature normalization, demonstrating a beneficial influence on the inflammatory process.
10. Enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels: Laser stimulated increases in cytokine SOD levels interact with other anti-inflammatory processes to accelerate the termination of the inflammatory process.
11. Decreased C-reactive protein and neopterin levels: Laser therapy has been shown to lower the serum levels of these inflammation markers, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
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How does Laser Therapy Reduce Pain?
1. Increase in beta endorphins: The localized and systemic increase of this endogenous peptide, after laser therapy irradiation has been clinically reported in multiple studies, to promote pain reduction.
2. Increased nitric oxide production: Nitric oxide has both a direct and indirect impact on pain sensation. As a neurotransmitter, it is essential for normal nerve cell action potential in impulse transmission activity. And indirectly, the vasodilation effect of nitric oxide can enhance nerve cell perfusion and oxygenation.
3. Decreased bradykinin levels: Since bradykinins elicit pain by stimulating nociceptive afferents in the skin and viscera, mitigation of elevated levels through laser therapy can result in pain reduction.
4. Ion channel normalization: Photobiomodulation promotes normalization in Ca++, NA+ and K+ concentrations, resulting in pain reduction as a result of these ion concentration shifts.
5. Blocked depolarization of C-fiber afferent nerves: The pain blocking effect of therapeutic lasers can be pronounced, particularly in low velocity neural pathways, such as non-myelinated afferent axons from nociceptors. Laser irradiation suppresses the excitation of these fibers in the afferent sensory pathway.
6. Increased nerve cell action potentials: Healthy nerve cells tend to operate at about -70 mV, and fire at about -20 mV. Compromised cell membranes have a lowered threshold as their resting potentials average around this -20 mV range. That means that normal non-noxious activities produce pain. Laser therapy can help restore the action potential closer to the normal -70 mV range.
7. Increased release of acetylcholine: By increasing the available acetylcholine, Laser Therapy helps in normalizing nerve signal transmission in the autonomic, somatic and sensory neural pathways.
8. Axonal sprouting and nerve cell regeneration: Several studies have documented the ability of laser therapy to induce axonal sprouting and some nerve regeneration in damaged nerve tissues. Where pain sensation is being magnified due to nerve structure damage, cell regeneration and sprouting may assist in reducing pain.
Biological Effects of Photobiomodulation (Laser Therapy)
Laser therapy utilizes near-infrared (NIR) laser light to stimulate the mitochondria of the body’s cells and boost the production of ATP, which is responsible for the transfer of cellular energy. This stimulation through NIR laser therapy has been shown to treat common conditions, such as reducing pain and inflammation. Laser therapy treatment is painless and non-invasive procedure that promotes the natural healing of the body.
Improve Vascular Activity
Photobiomodulation provides an antiedemic effect, causing the blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels to widen in a process called vasodilation. The treated area undergoes a process of angiogenesis, or the growth of new small blood vessels. This allows more nutrients to be supplied to the injured area and also aids removal of waste from dead or damaged cells. Improving the drainage through the lymphatic vessels and veins also helps with removing the excessive swelling.
Increase Metabolic Activity
Photobiomodulation creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells. This results in energizing cells and stimulates the right molecules in the target area while increasing tissue oxygenation, ATP (adenosine-triphosphate) synthesis (energy creation), and intercellular exchanges. This process increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take on nutrients faster and get rid of waste products. As a result, the cells of tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscles are repaired faster.
Photobiomodulation has a direct effect on the immune system by stimulation of immunoglobulins and lymphocytes. Laser energy is absorbed by chromophores (molecule enzymes) that react to the laser light. The enzyme flavanone-nucleotide is activated and starts the production of ATP (adenosine-triphosphate), which is the major carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical reactions in the cells.
Reduce Formation of Scar Tissue
Photobiomodulation increases collagen production that allows proper alignment and remodeling of collagen, which reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from repetitive motion injuries, cuts, scratches, bums or surgery. By getting treatment early, it can prevent the buildup of scar tissue and is beneficial for torn ligaments, tendons or muscles, or post-surgery. With less tissue scarring, there is reduced chronic pain often associated with scars.
Accelerate Wound Healing
Photobiomodulation stimulates fibroblast development in damaged tissue. Fibroblasts are the building blocks of collagen, which is predominant in wound healing. Collagen is the essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. Additionally, greater strength of new tissue (better tensile strength) occurs that protects against further breakdown or tissue damage.
Stimulate Trigger & Acupuncture Points
Photobiomodulation is effective in eliminating painful trigger points. It is also another treatment option of stimulating acupuncture points without the discomfort associated with needling.
Photobiomodulation is anti-inflammatory and increases inflammatory mediators such as macrophages, neutrophils, and lymphocytes that accelerate and resolve the inflammatory process. Research has documented effects at reducing inflammation producing cytokines such as Interleukin-1. At the same time, Photobiomodulation has shown to reduce damaging free radical levels by increasing super oxidase dismutase (SOD) levels. This helps get painful inflammation under control by targeting the cells and enzymes that make inflammation worse.
Long Lasting Pain Relief
Photobiomodulation provides an analgesic (anti-pain) benefit. It decreases nerve sensitivity by decreasing bradykinin; a pain eliciting chemical. It normalizes ion channels (cellular gatekeepers) and releases endorphins (the body’s natural pain reliever) and enkephalins from the brain and adrenal gland that produce an analgesic effect. Photobiomodulation also has a pain-blocking effect on certain nerve fibers and decreases nerve sensitivity.
Improve Nerve Function & Regeneration
Photobiomodulation increases the proliferation of growth factors that promote neuronal sprouting and myelin formation for optimal nerve recovery. Nerves allow your brain to communicate with your body and your body to communicate with your brain. When your body is in pain, particularly if the pain is chronic, the nerves stop working as well. Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissue can result in numbness and impaired limbs. Photobiomodulation helps improve nerve signal transmission and speeds up the process of nerve cell reconnection, increasing the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle action.
Muscle Tissue Repair & Regeneration
Photobiomodulation penetrates deep into tissue and stimulates cellular reproduction and growth that result in the repair of damaged muscle fibers and activation of myogenic satellite cells that lead to regeneration of muscle tissue.
Increase Cartilage Production
Photobiomodulation produces an increase in chondrocyte and collagen production. This allows improved cartilage deposition and joint function.
Accelerate Bone Repair
Photobiomodulation creates proliferation of osteocytes and remodeling of bone extracellular matrix resulting in accelerated bone repair.
Resolve Acute & Chronic Pathologies
Both acute and chronic pathologies respond well to the photochemical mechanism of action provided by Photobiomodulation and are often resolved or made manageable resulting in a significantly improved quality of life.
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How are treatments administered?
A handheld wand is positioned directly on, or slightly above, the skin over the affected area, where it delivers a gentle therapeuitic beam of light.
How does Laser Therapy work?
It is the application of light to improve tissue repair of skin wounds, muscle, tendon, bone and nerves. Laser therapy works by activating cytochrome c oxidase, a protein in mitochondria, that results in increased ATP and reduced oxidative stress. Ultimately, a cascase of mitochondrial and cellular effects that lead to improved tissue repair and deduced inflmmation-all resulting in less pain. Call Re-new Institute today to schedule your laser therapy and get back to living the life you desire.
Is Laser Therapy FDA approved?
Yes, the Food and Drug Administration has approved laser treatment for a variety of conditions. The FDA can approve drugs and biologics, food additives and human cells and tissues. A laser therapy device can not be FDA approved but rather FDA registered. All medical devices must be FDA registered. However, not all companies register their device with the FDA, leading to a potentially extremely dangerous device to the patient. At Re-new Institute it is of utmost importance for us to partner only with companies providing such high standard of care. Our state of the art, Apex Tri-Wave laser is an FDA registered medical device, giving you the reassurance of not only it’s benefit but safety as well.
What conditions can Laser Therapy treat?
The simple answer is any inflammatory or pain condition. The list is long and extensive but photobiomodulation can be used for any condition, whether acute or chronic, that results in pain or inflammation. Conditions include post-injury, joint pain or arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, sports related injuries, back and neck pain, muscular pain or injury, fibromyalgia, sprains and strains, traumatic brain injury and concussions, neuropathy, degenerative brain disorders, stroke and even hair loss and skin rejuvenation. For a complete list, please see above or call Re-new today and schedule your consultation.
How do I know if I am a candidate for Laser Therapy?
If you suffer from any chronic pain or medical conditions, have suffered an acute injury, just want to improve recovery or are focused on prevention and wellness, laser therapy will benefit you. Laser therapy is recommended for any patient with inflammation, pain or both. The best way to determine how you could improve your life with Laser Therapy is to schedule your consultation with our trained professionals at Re-new today.
Are there age restrictions on Laser Therapy?
Technically speaking no. Laser therapy has been studied in children as young as 12 months old. However, there are some treatments or conditions that may not be treated based on age. To learn more or see if you or a family member could benefit from Laser Therapy, call Re-new Institute.
How long does a treatment take?
Depending on the condition, treatment times typically last only 5-10 minutes, but larger body area or multiple treatment sites may require a little more time
Does treatment hurt?
Absolutely not! Most patients experience a warm, often soothing sensation, during treatment.
How soon can I resume my normal activities?
The moment you leave the clinic, you may resume your normal daily activitites. However, it is important not to overexert for a few days, as the body is still healing.
Can Laser Therapy be combined with other therapies?
Yes! Laser Therapy is perfectly safe with no side affects. We often recommend laser therapy in conjunction with any of our PRP treatments and peptide therapies for increased overall healing and reduced healing time. Laser therapy may also be recommended with physical therapy or other similar modalities for enhanced healing.
Who is not a candidate for Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy should be avoided directly into or over the eyes and it is important that both you and the technician wear specialized glasses to avoid injury to the eye during a treatment session. Since the effect of laser on unborn children is unknown, it is often recommended that pregnant women avoid treatment directly over the fetus. It is considered safe to treat areas away from the fetus safely. Laser therapy should also be used cautiously in patients with active cancer. It is generally recommended to avoid treatment over primary site of the cancer as well as secondary metastasis areas. Laser therapy does have benefit in treating lymphedema in those with cancer and is considered generally safe in those receiving treatment for their cancer such as chemotherapy. Patients with epilepsy should avoid laser therapy as it may trigger a seizure.