In modern medicine, the frequency of side effects of drug substances makes alternatives necessary, one of them being light therapy. The use of light in treatment is becoming popular by the day and comes in many forms, one of them being cold lasers. The term cold in the name is because the lasers used for the procedure are low light variants, and therefore do not heat the body cells. Other forms of lasers, such as those used for surgical procedures, often heat the body and cause patient discomfort.
Name and Sources
This therapeutic technique goes by many names, but Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) is the most common. LLLT can use coherent light sources such as lasers or non-coherent sources such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Both citations have been shown to have significant bio-modulator activity, which utilizes either photons or cold irradiation.
How it Works
During the treatment procedure, light with a relatively long wavelength is pointed to the part of the body you want to treat. Light with a longer wavelength is used because it has a lower intensity than light with a short wavelength, such as red and violet. The body then absorbs the energy from the beam and initiates a biological cascade of reactions that revives cells. The procedure is not invasive, has no heat, and is painless, hence the term cold therapy.
What Can LLLT Treat?
- Pain Relief
Low light treatment has one of its primary pain relief applications due to its cell stimulation and enhancement capabilities. If you have an injury or sprain that results from a medical condition or procedure, this therapy is advantageous because it accelerates healing and overall recovery. Low-level light therapy can also help treat the musculoskeletal system’s disorders such as fibromyalgia or compression of various nerves.
- Hair Loss
Another application of LLLT is in the treatment and reversal of hair loss. The therapy essentially restores the normal cycle of hair growth, which results in thicker hair as hair loss no longer occurs. By increasing blood flow in the scalp, LLLT ensures that hair stays longer in the growing phase of hair growth. With a revamping of the cellular and hair follicle function, alopecia ceases to be a problem for you with this therapy.
LLLT on the teeth reduces the dentin’s hypersensitivity by reducing the transduction of pain when the apex and cervix of the tooth are irradiated. Additionally, LLLT accelerates the healing of wounds and inflammation in the mouth. The activity of low light lasers on the teeth has been shown to have a nerve regeneration effect and analgesic effects and can therefore be used in surgical procedures.
Safety Concerns in Hair Use
LLLT has the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for the management of various ailments, including hair loss, since 2007. Additionally, clinical application is practical as most patients have recorded a slowing down of hair loss and regrowing of hair. If hair loss is present for several years, such as male patent baldness, LLLT may not work.
Who Should Use LLLT?
In general, LLLT is safe for most people and can be used even at home. However, it is not recommended in these cases:
- If lasers are in use, pointing them to the eye may cause blindness, so eye protection is recommended.
- LLLT should not be used in cancer unless it is necessary for relieving pain.
- The effect of this technology on fetuses is not fully known and should therefore be avoided in pregnant women.
- If the light used in the procedure is produced in pulses, it may trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.
- Irradiation of the thyroid may result in thyroid disorders.
The use of low-intensity light technology in therapy is a process that the FDA approves; therefore, it is a relatively safe procedure. You should note this therapeutic approach is relatively new, and therefore there is still a lot of research on the possibilities it offers. For your safety, seeking a relevant medical professional’s opinion is essential if you intend to get this treatment. This therapeutic approach has relatively few side effects and contraindications. It also offers a promising therapeutic avenue.
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