What is Low Level Laser Therapy and How Does It Work?

Written By Brady Wirick

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment method that uses low-level lasers to stimulate or inhibit cellular function. It has gained popularity in various medical fields due to its potential to accelerate healing, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain without the side effects associated with drugs and surgery. This therapy operates on the principle of photobiomodulation, a process wherein light energy is absorbed by cellular photoreceptors, triggering biological reactions that promote cell repair and regeneration.

How Low-Level Laser Therapy Works

Low-level laser therapy works by emitting specific wavelengths of light that penetrate the skin to reach cells. The mitochondria, often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, absorb this light energy. This absorption enhances the mitochondrial function, leading to an increase in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy currency of the cell. The enhanced ATP production boosts cellular metabolism, facilitating the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues.

Moreover, LLLT has been shown to induce a range of biochemical effects, including:
– Reduction of inflammation by decreasing inflammatory cytokines.
– Alleviation of pain through the inhibition of nerve transmission in pain pathways.
– Enhancement of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels, improving blood circulation to the affected area.
– Stimulation of collagen production, which is crucial for wound healing and tissue repair.

Conditions Treated by Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy has a wide range of applications, and it’s used to treat various conditions, including, but not limited to:

– Musculoskeletal Conditions: LLLT is used to treat conditions such as back pain, knee pain, neck pain, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia. It helps in reducing pain and inflammation while enhancing tissue repair.
– Injuries: Sports injuries, sprains, and strains can be treated with LLLT to accelerate the healing process and reduce recovery time.
– Arthritis: Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience relief in pain and stiffness through the use of low-level laser therapy.
– Wound Healing: LLLT can promote the healing of acute and chronic wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, by enhancing tissue repair and reducing inflammation.
– Dermatological Conditions: Conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema may benefit from LLLT through its anti-inflammatory effects and stimulation of cellular repair.
– Neurological Conditions: There is emerging evidence that LLLT could have neuroprotective effects and might be beneficial in conditions like traumatic brain injury, stroke recovery, and peripheral nerve injuries.

Scientific Support and Considerations

The effectiveness of LLLT is supported by over 10,000 studies, but it’s essential to note that results can vary based on factors such as the wavelength of light used, the intensity, duration of treatment, and the specific condition being treated. While LLLT is generally considered safe, it should be performed by a qualified professional to ensure the correct parameters are used for a specific condition.


Low-level laser therapy represents a promising, non-invasive treatment option for a variety of conditions, offering a potential reduction in pain and inflammation, and facilitating the natural healing process of the body. As research continues to evolve, the applications of LLLT may expand, providing a broader range of therapeutic options for patients seeking alternatives to traditional treatments.

Given the technical nature of this therapy and the ongoing research into its applications and efficacy, consulting with healthcare professionals and reviewing specific articles and studies on LLLT’s use in treating specific conditions is advisable for those interested in this treatment method.

1 Comment

  1. Kathleen Price

    Very interesting. Thanks


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