A Brief Background of Low Level Laser Therapy
The history of photomedicine stretches back thousands of years but it is in the 20th Century that the scientific application of particular wavelengths of light began. Albert Einstein first proposed the theory of laser radiation. However, It was many decades before the first working laser was fired and Dr. Theodore Maiman published the first account of laser radiation in 1960. From a revolution in the use of laser for surgical applications, benefits began to emerge in the use of lasers for their therapeutic effects when applied at low power intensity.
Dr Endre Mester, a Professor of Surgery at Semmelweiss Hospital, Budapest is often referred to as the grandfather of Low Level Laser Therapy. He discovered that irradiation of tissue with low dose levels using a ruby laser (emitting red light) resulted in an increased rate of healing and his subsequent work provided the initial volume of evidence for the efficacy of laser in healing and wound care. The new science of Low Level Laser therapy (LLLT), also known as Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT), was born.
Research has clearly demonstrated effects at cellular level, in animals and from clinical experience, but work continues into understanding exactly how laser therapy works. The key research questions today are not whether low level lasers have positive effects, but how the precise and multiple biological mechanisms combine to create the physiological effects and how best to achieve the particular effects sought in each of the wide range of relevant applications.
In the meantime LLLT is now widely used by healthcare professionals across the world who appreciate not only its effectiveness but its added advantages of being drug-free, pain-free, non-invasive and without unpleasant side effects. It is often less expensive than alternative treatments and has fewer contraindications than popular forms of electrotherapy, such as ultrasound.