light has the unique properties of monochromaticity (a single
wavelength), collimation (travels in a single direction without
divergence) and coherence (with all waves in phase) (Matic et al,
2003). These properties are what allows laser light to penetrate the skin
surface non-invasively (Matic et al, 2003; Theralase, 2003; Schindl et
Therapeutic lasers are athermic with no appreciable heat transfer (<0.65
°C) so the photonic energy is transferred directly to the target cells and
thermal damage is avoided (Matic et al, 2003; Theralase, 2003).
Therapeutic lasers use monochromatic light in the 630 to 905 nm range,
known as the “therapeutic window” (Stadler et al, 2004).
Therapeutic Laser Biological Effects
Cell Growth – Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and growth.
Wound Healing – Laser light stimulates fibroblast development and
accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
Increased Metabolic Activity – Higher outputs of specific enzymes,
greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells and thus greater
production of the basic food source for cells, Adenosine Tri-Phosphate
Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation – Laser light reduces the formation of
scar tissue following tissue damage from: cuts, scratches, burns or post
Anti-Inflammatory Action – Laser light reduces swelling caused by
bruising or inflammation of joints to give enhanced joint mobility.
Increased Vascular Activity – Laser light induces temporary vasodilation
increasing blood flow to damaged areas.
Stimulated Nerve Function – Slow recovery of nerve function in damaged
tissue can result in “dead” limbs or numb areas. Laser light speeds the
process of nerve cell reconnection to bring the numb areas back to life.
Documented Effects of Laser Therapy
Increases Circulation ( Vascularity) - speeds up healing process by
producing more oxygen
Produces more nitric oxide and other nutrients - increased cell membrane
permability & T-cell activity
Stimulates adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the major carrier of enery to
all living cells
Stimulates collagen production - essential protein to repair damaged
tissue/ reduce scar tissue
Reduces excitability of nervous tissue - assist in decreasing the firing
of the nerves thereby relieving pain and restoring proper nerve function
to the tissues
Increases phagocytosis activity - process of removing dead or damaged
cell. Important part of the infection fighting process that destroys
Stimulates tissue granulation and connective tissue projections -
connective tissue projections, which are part of the healing process of
wounds, ulcers or inflamed tissue.
Stimulates fibroblast and osteoblast production - aids in repair process
of tissue and bone healing
Increases lymphatic system activity - reduces inflammation