LOW LEVEL LASER PHOTOTHERAPY (LLLT) INFORMATION
CONTROL PAIN > REDUCE INFLAMMATION > TISSUE HEALING
What is it?
• Low-Level laser phototherapy is the exposure of tissues to low levels of red and
near infrared light that irradiates living tissues to promote healing and pain relief. - 1
• The interaction is between the light photons emitted by the laser and the
absorption of these photos by photoreceptive molecules in the mitochondria and
cell membrane. - 1
• Cell tissue is modulated by photobiostimulation; and not induced by thermal
effects. - 1
Why use it?
Low-level laser phototherapy is an important part in a rehabilitation program, as it can
aid in relieving debilitating effects present in acute and chronic conditions.
• Inflammation – Can reduce levels of biochemical markers in the inflammatory
response, reduces oxidative stress and oedema and acts in a similar process to
NSAIDS .- 2
• Analgesia – Can create a reversible neural blockade by decreasing mitochondrial
membrane potential and fast axon flow from the PNS nociceptors to CNS
• Tissue Repair, Bone and Wound healing – Can increase cell activity, such as
mitochondrial respiration, ATP synthesis, and fibroblast - 4 and osteoblast
proliferation. - 5
• Regeneration of Nerve Tissue – Has the ability to aid in peripheral nerve
regeneration, including axonal sprouting and growth and proliferation of Schwann
cells. - 6
How is it used?
• A Class 3 laser is most commonly used and can treat up to 5cm in tissue depth.2
• The number of laser doses needed to be effective is dependent on the stage of the
injury, acute, sub-acute or chronic.
• Open wounds, muscular/ligament/tendon injuries, bone fractures, neurological
conditions and dermatitis conditions can all benefit from low-level laser
• The average length of time for a laser program is 6 weeks for orthopaedic and
muscular injuries. As progress is made, the dose of energy (joules), and the
frequency of treatments may be reduced to a maintenance program, e.g. weekly
to fortnightly/or monthly.7
• LLLT can be modified for many different injury protocols due to the ability to
change the treatment time (s), amount of joules of energy used and the depth of
the injury under the skin.
• Laser therapy has a cumulative therapeutic effect over time as it encourages the
body to heal on its own. 7
1. Kushibiki, T., Hirasawa , T., & Oka, S. (2015). Low Reactive Level Laser Therapy
for Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Therapies . Stem Cells International , 1-12.
2. Chow, R. T. (2009). Effiacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck
pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or activetreatment
controlled trials. The Lancet , 374 (9705), 1897 - 1908.
3. Chow, R. T., David, M. A., & Armati, P. J. (2007). 830nm laser irradiation induces
varisocity formation, reduces mitochondrial membrane potential...implications for
the analgesic effects of 830nm laser. Journal of Peripheral Nervous System , 12,
4. Lanzafame, R. J. (2011). Photomodulation and Cancer and Other Musings.
Photomedicine and Laser Surgery , 29 (1), 3-4.
5. Liu, X. et al. (2007). Effect of Lower-Level Laser Therapy on Rabbit Tibial Fracture.
Photomedicine and Laser Surgery , 25 (6), 487 - 494.
6. Anders, J. J., Geuna, S., & Rochkind, S. (2004). Phototherapy promotes
regeneration and functional recovery of injured peripheral nerve. Neurological
Research , 26, 233 - 239.
7. Jenkins, P. A. (2013). SpectraVet PRO2 Therapeutic Laser Protocol for 810-500
and/or 2000-500 MULTI Probe. SpectraVet Therapeutic Laser.