The therapeutic laser is a treatment that consists of an electromagnetic beam that focuses on an area of the body for therapeutic purposes.
Laser means light amplification by stimulated emission of photons.
In the laser, an active medium can be excited by an electric current or a light beam.
Then the atoms lose the energy they have gained through the emission of light.
Under certain conditions, if the “active substance” is placed in a resonant cavity, amplification of the light emission can be obtained.
At the end, the laser beam leaves the machine to act on the patient.
The characteristic of the laser is the amplification of the energy that reaches a high intensity on a very small surface.
What are the biological effects on tissues?
The laser produces its effects on the cellular membrane and on the mitochondria, that is organelles that produce the energy of the cell.
Therapy has the following consequences:
- Increases metabolic activity , accelerates the transformation of ADP into ATP (cell fuel), promotes electrolytic exchange between the cell and the external environment through the cell membrane, also increases the production of DNA, RNA, amino acids and proteins.
- The therapy of pain increases the excitation threshold in the nerves that carry pain signals.
- Vasodilatation , increased local heat causes increased metabolic activities of the cell, neuro vegetative stimulation alters hydrostatic pressure in the capillaries.
- Increased lymphatic drainage for acceleration of the sodium / potassium pump, this causes a greater absorption of interstitial fluid, also activates the microcirculation.
- The strong anti-inflammatory and stimulating action on cell tissues is caused by the desire to switch prostaglandins (which attract inflammatory fluid) into prostacyclins .
- Small changes in pH inside and outside cells.
What are the therapeutic effects on the body?
The effects of therapeutic laser are:
- Analgesic , because it increases the pain threshold;
- Anti-inflammatory , given by the transformation of prostaglandins into prostacyclines and by the increase of microcirculation.
- Biostimulant , obtained with the stimulation on the metabolism that accelerates the healing of ulcers and wounds, also favors the repair of the muscular lesions that have no surgical indication because they promote the formation of fibrous tissue.
- Decreasing due to thermal effect and increased metabolism.
What are the indications and contraindications?
The purpose of therapeutic laser treatment is not to “warm up” but to eliminate pain or discomfort and allow the cell to regain balance lost through trauma or tissue wear.
It is not appropriate in case of radiated disorders in different parts of the body such as sciatica , cervicobrachial neuralgia , spinal pain, pain along the spine or pain that affects the entire area between the gluteus and the knee .
In these cases the origin of the problem should be sought in the protrusion of theintervertebral disc or in the adhesions of the connective tissues, therefore the treatment with therapeutic laser can not solve the symptoms because it does not eliminate the cause
The contraindications are: pregnancy , malignant neoplasias and epilepsy .
How does therapeutic laser treatment work?
The laser beams have a wavelength between 6,328 nm in the helium-neon apparatus and 106,000 microns in the CO2 apparatus.
Each machine contains the following elements:
- An active substance which may be a solid, liquid or gaseous form; the atoms in this matter are excited and emit the laser beam.
- A pumping system, or a mechanism that causes the excitation of atoms, usually this “system” is electricity .
- A resonator, ie two parallel mirrors that are oriented to channel the laser beam to the output.
The laser is classified according to the power,
- Low power or soft-laser, for example that of helium-neon or semiconductor diode
- High power or power-laser like for example that Yag or CO2.
There are laser devices to continuous emission and other pulsed or intermittent emission, there are also some machines that can be configured for both types of radiation.