What is Photobiomodulation?
Photobiomodulation is a medical treatment that utilizes a specific form of light to target the cytochrome C complex within the mitochondria found within all living cells. This interaction results in a cascade of events that ultimately leads to an increase in cellular metabolism, which in turn results in a decrease in pain, a decrease in the degree of inflammation present and an increase in the body’s own healing mechanism.
Photobiomodulation or PBM utilizes non-ionizing light sources such as lasers, LED’s, and broadband light sources in the visible and near infrared light spectrum. PBM has evolved over the years from a traditional low-level light therapy (LLLT) to a high intensity light therapy (HILT). The primary difference between LLLT and HILT is seen in the level of power delivery. The higher the power delivery, the greater the potential for a photothermal effect. What this means is that with more traditional LLLT or often called cold laser therapy, the intensity of the light used is relatively small. As a result, the target tissue remains “cold” during the treatment. Hence the name “cold laser therapy”. Because little to no heat is generated out of the treatment, LLLT primarily generates a photophysical and photochemical effect within the tissue. The result can be a effective decrease in pain, increase in wound and tissue regeneration, and immunomodulation within the tissue. In contrast, HILT uses a much higher energy intensity. This results in the accumulation of heat or energy within the target tissue. This excess heat ultimately gets absorbed by the tissue resulting in not only a photophysical and photochemical effect, it also gives rise to a photothermal affect that helps to magnify the overall benefit of the treatment.
Another variable that will affect the efficacy of the treatment resides in the specific wavelength being emitted by the light source. Since different wavelengths of light are absorbed by tissue differently, The treatment results will vary based on the wavelength. At Sheen Vein and Cosmetics, our PBM treatments utilize a wavelength considered by many scientists to allow the greatest penetration into human tissue. This is especially important when we are using PBM to help eliminate arthritic discomfort within deeper tissue and in the joints and spinal column.
The science of PBM is rapidly growing and may very well become the foundation of future therapeutic treatments. Considering the fact that despite countless studies involving PBM in multitudes of therapies, there has really never been any adverse side effects associated with any treatments. That leaves us with a next generation therapy that helps to eliminate chronic pain, helps to enhance tissue and wound healing, and has no known side effects. If this is not a potentially great therapeutic option, I don’t know what is.
Give us a call today to set up a free consult to learn more about how PBM can help you with your chronic pain issues.