What is low level laser therapy (LLLT)/Cold Laser Therapy?
LLLT or cold laser therapy is low-intensity laser therapy that stimulates healing while using low levels of light. The technique is called “cold” laser therapy because the low levels of light aren’t enough to heat your body’s tissue. It uses a pencil-like beam of electromagnetic waves of a set frequency and defined wavelength to promote tissue healing and pain relief.
What happens during the procedure?
The laser pen is directed to the targeted area of the skin and different wavelengths and outputs of low-level light are applied. The body tissue absorbs the red and near-infrared light causing a reaction in the cells and the damaged cells respond with a physiological reaction that promotes regeneration.
For broken skin, the laser pen is pointed in the direction of the wound, but will not touch the skin.
For deeper tissue, where the skin is not broken, the device will be gently applied to the specific area.
The procedure is painless and non-invasive. There will be no sound and you’ll feel no vibration or heat. Superficial tissue is commonly treated with wavelengths between 600 and 700 nanometers (nm).
Effect of cold laser therapy:
The effects of LLLT are photochemical reactions in the cells known at ‘photobioactivation’. It produces its physiological and therapeutic effects by applying enough energy to initiate chemical change within the cell membrane, to control inflammation and promote healing and pain relief.
• Pain relief - Promotion of pain relieving neuro transmitters is stimulated
• Reduced swelling - anti-inflammatory response occurs
• Quicker healing process: Increase in macrophages which assist in the healing process
How LLLT works for cracked nipples
Low-level laser therapy has a photochemical effect similar to photosynthesis in plants where the light is absorbed by the tissues and a chemical change occurs at a cellular level.
The chemical changes produced when using the LLLT include:
• Increase of blood flow rate through vascular dilatation
• Change of the hydrostatic pressure in capillaries
• Stimulation of the immune system
• Stimulation of the fibroblasts which produce collagen needed for wound healing
• Increasing the collagen synthesis – collagen is key to wound healing
• Generating new vessels and capillaries
• Decrease of the prostaglandin levels - leads to pain and inflammation reduction
How does LLLT work for mastitis or engorgement and inflammation?
When cells in the body are stressed or damaged in some way, the mitochondria, the power source of any cell, produce nitric oxide, which in turn, reduces oxygen production, reducing the energy in the cell. This leads to a state of oxidative stress which causes inflammation and cell death.
One of the major effects of light when absorbed by our bodies, is on the mitochondria.. LLLT dissociates the nitric oxide thereby allowing oxygen back into the cell, so the energy level of the cell is restored and oxidative stress is reduced. Once normal mitochondrial function is re-established through, cell function improves, pain reduces and the patient begins to feel better.
How often and for how long is the treatment needed?
The treatment is in short bursts of 8 – 10 minutes per session, two times per day over 5 days. After the first 24 hours there should be some improvement and some mothers even have an improvement after just one session.
The therapy will take place at my offices and it may be possible to rent the laser pen so you can continue with the treatments at home. (subject to availability)
I provide laser therapy , so please feel free to call
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Chaves M.E., et al. LED phototherapy improves healing of nipple trauma: A pilot study. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery: Vol 30; 3, https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/pho.2011.3119
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Tait P., et al (2000), Nipple pain in breastfeeding women: causes, treatment, and prevention strategies. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health; 45:197–201.
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