Low Level Laser Therapy
Dr. Lawrence DelRe, D.C.
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|"The Secret the Medical Industry Doesn't Want You To Know." That would make a great headline, wouldn't it? The only problem is that it is not true. The sad truth is that "they" don't know. If they did, some pharmaceutical competitors might try to squash it with de-bunking "facts". But they don't know. They could know, if they paid much attention to over 2000 research articles that have been produced over the last 30 years that show that low level "cold" non-focused laser therapy is harmless, (when used as directed,) yet effective for helping with:|
You may notice I left out Osteoarthritis, (the most common form of wear-and-tear arthritis.) In spite of the fact that the research shows a benefit of laser therapy for osteoarthritis, I have not been able to duplicate those results in my office. I believe that it may be because they used dosages which were 10 times what I use, in order to sedate, not stimulate. I am not yet comfortable with using those dosages to sedate anything, and I believe that it is more likely that such exposure would actually inflame their arthritis. My experience has been that cold laser therapy aggravates most osteoarthritis. I believe that it stimulates such a significant healing response that it is just too much for most joints, even in very small doses. Rheumatoid Arthritis, (RA,) however, "loves the laser", just like muscle, tendon, nerve, and bursa. It is simply a blessing to see how quickly and effectively rheumatoid arthritis responds. Regarding RA, I believe that some of the results are due to "systemic" effects, via the blood. The body's blood is now considered to be an organ. Realize that the entire time a body part is exposed to laser light, you are also irradiating this important "moving organ": the blood stream. Russia has been doing such research for over 60 years, (not always laser,) with various wavelengths, mostly ultraviolet. At one time, it was the most promising treatment for bacterial infections.
(Although you don't need them to make these laser cures work, you should still take some kind of supplements/antioxidants/tea for general purposes.)
I am interested in spreading the truth about this important information. I don't want my fellow humans to have to wait 50 years or more for this wonderful, drug free, natural curing method to be available to their great-grandchildren. I hope that people will tell their doctors about their results. "If you throw enough mud against a wall, eventually some of it starts to stick."
Let me give you one example of one aspect of what the laser light does: An unhealed rotator cuff, (shoulder,) injury has sick, morbid cells that tried to heal for weeks or months or years, and have "given" up trying to become normal, and have accepted a "lower level of existence". (Rather than give all scientific jargon, I will paraphrase and use analogies here.) Morbid cells have a number of physiological signs that show that they are unhealthy. One of the common characteristics morbid sick cells have is "increased cell membrane resistance." This means that nutrients and such can't get through the cell wall to wash out the garbage and supply fresh nutrients. Coherent (laser) light has been shown to instantly drop cell membrane resistance. Therapeutic lasers are sometimes called "cold lasers". There is no such thing as a laser that makes cold light. This term has become popular because the clinicians want to make sure people know that their lasers are not hot, and they don't burn or harm. What else has the laser done? It has made those sick cells start "jogging". It has been shown to double or triple cellular respiration. It makes your cells start "breathing" again, and produce 2 or 3 times more energy. It also causes the release of growth factor from those same cells. It rejuvenates the area. The cells "wake up"! Then they try to heal again, one more time, with the start of this new healing cascade. The laser also stimulates new blood vessel formation! This is all old news for those who study and use therapeutic lasers.
It is just highly organized light. The only reason lasers can burn and cut is because you can use a lens in front of the laser to focus the light. Otherwise, the light would just spread out like a flashlight. I can take a magnifying glass and use the sun to burn the same paper a focused laser would.
Therapeutic lasers have no focusing lens, because we want no heat build up.
The therapeutic use of a laser doesn't cut, burn, or destroy anything. There have been over 2000 research papers published over the past 30 years, and in a nutshell they prove that laser therapy is virtually harmless, even in much higher doses than I recommend. It appears that it mainly has a significant effect on sick tissues, and that it has almost no effect on healthy tissues. It basically causes your sick cells to react as if they have been injured, perhaps burned. However, there is no injury that can be found. All those professional researchers, M.D.'s, PhD's, and others, from universities all around the world for the past 30 years can not find harm with much higher dosages than my recommended mild dose of 1-2 Joules per area! There are research papers which show a positive effect on surgery recovery when a therapeutic laser is used up front. (Healing time is usually cut in half, with a bit more scar tissue than normal.) How much exposure would give 2 Joules of energy? A 100 mw laser would give off 1 Joule every 10 seconds, so it would take take 10-20 seconds for a mild dose, with the tip touching the skin, moving the laser frequently around the area treated, (around 2-3 cm squared.)
A person should not use the laser on himself or others without some study, manual, or guidance, because, for example, he could laser a thyroid gland with a moderate dose, on a weak individual, and cause a heart attack or stroke from the rapid heartbeat and rise in blood pressure that would follow. Stay away from the thyroid gland. There is much that we still do not know, so a person should stay within guidelines, and know what to stay away from.
Based on my experience, I have chosen to concentrate on chronic complaints. These require small dosages and are therefore safer to treat, all they need is a small stimulus.
I like to take the complex, and make it simple. There is so much variation in the research regarding dosages and protocols that it is like comparing apples to oranges. That is a problem. For example, many research papers say that the researchers used daily doses of laser. Based on my paradigm, that does not make sense. The paradigm I have accepted, and proven to my own satisfaction, is that the most valuable result of exposure to the laser is the response which simulates a new healing cascade in sick cells. The healing cascade involves many, many molecular and cellular-level synchronistic events which occur primarily over a 48-72 hour period which culminate into a complex healing framework. Wouldn't daily laser sessions interrupt that precious complex process? I believe that those researchers may be making the modern mistake of trying to force the body's cells and tissues to do something, instead of encouraging the body's cells and tissues to do something. It's good to wake them up. It's a mistake to use a whip.
I am happy with what I do, using the laser to "wake up" sick cells that have given up. I usually limit treatments to twice per week, and when the patient has reached a peak or plateau, (usually within 4-6 weeks,) I cut back to weekly, then bi-weekly, then monthly treatments and so on.
One other thing, regarding safety. If there is any chance of children finding any laser, including the small 5 mw pointers, the laser should be out of reach of children! Although the blink reflex will protect against most eye exposures, with children, you never know what they might do to themselves, others, or even pets. Safety first!
For more information on laser research, you may want to visit:
1 Photoengineering of Tissue Repair in Skeletal and Cardiac Muscles
Apr 2006, Vol. 24, No. 2: 111-120 , Photomedicine and Laser Surgery
Dr. Uri Oron, Ph.D.Department of Zoology, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
2 Head Face Med. 2006; 2: 3.
Published online 2006 February 15. doi: 10.1186/1746-160X-2-3.
Copyright ©2006 Ozen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Efficacy of low level laser therapy on neurosensory recovery after injury to the inferior alveolar nerve
3 England S, Farrell AJ, Coppock JS, Struthers G, Bacon PA. Low power laser therapy of shoulder tendonitis. Scand J Rheumatol. 1989;18(6):427�C431. [PubMed]
4 Forney R, Mauro T. Related Articles, Links
Abstract Using lasers in diabetic wound healing.
Diabetes Technol Ther. 1999 Summer;1(2):189-92.
5 Use Of Infrared Laser Therapy In Patients With Ischemic Heart Disease Associated With Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 In Health Resort
Zin'kovskaia TM, Zavrazhnykh LA, Golubev AD.
6 Klin Khir. 1993; (11): 18-20. The use of laser radiation for correcting cholesterol metabolic disorders in gallstones. Grubnik, V.V. et al.
7 Complex treatment of non-specific ulcerative colitis with low-level HeNe laser used transanally. Moscow Abstracts. Dubinkin V A, Mimrikova E G.
8 Dolgushin II, Gizinger OA, Telesheva LF. Immunological and microbiological aspects of low intensity laser effect on the factors of local immunity of the reproductive tract in women with chlamydia infection Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2006 Jul-Aug;(4):105-9.
9 CLINICAL APPLICATION OF GaAlAs 830 NM DIODE LASER (LLLT) IN TREATMENT OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. Kanji Aoada, Yasutaka Ytani, Akira Sakawa and Akira Shimazu - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan
10 Efficacy Of Low Power Laser Therapy In Fibromyalgia: A Single-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Gur A, Karakoc M, Nas K, Cevik R, Sarac J, Demir E.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Dicle University, Diyarbakir,
Lasers Med Sci. 2002;17(1):57-61.
11 Moseley AL, Carati CJ, Piller NB.
Related Articles, Links
Abstract A systematic review of common conservative therapies for arm lymphoedema secondary to breast cancer treatment.
Ann Oncol. 2007 Apr;18(4):639-46. Epub 2006 Oct 3.
12 Effect Of Low-Power Laser Irradiation On Bony Implant Sites
Dortbudak O, Haas R, Mailath-Pokorny G.
Department of Oral Surgery, Dental School, University of Vienna, Austria.
Clin Oral Implants Res. 2002 Jun;13(3):288-92.
13 Mazzetto MO, Carrasco TG, Bidinelo EF, de Andrade Pizzo RC, Mazzetto RG.
Low intensity laser application in temporomandibular disorders: a phase I double-blind study.
Cranio. 2007 Jul;25(3):186-92.
14 Carpal tunnel syndrome pain treated with low-level laser and microamperes transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation: A controlled study. Aeser MA, Hahn KA, Lieberman BE, Branco KF. epartment of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Psychology Research Service, MA, USA.
15 Jan M Bjordal, J.M. "Low level laser therapy in shoulder tendinitis/bursitis, epicondylalgia and ankle sprain" 1997, Division of Physiotherapy Science, University of Bergen. It has also been published in Physical Therapy Reviews. 1998; 3: 121-132.
16 Laser Treatment for Tendinitis. Jan M. Bjordal, PT-MSc, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway Christian Couppe, PT, Copenhagen, Denmark
17 Taha MF, Valojerdi MR. Quantitative and qualitative changes of the seminiferous epithelium induced by Ga. Al. As. (830 nm) laser radiation. Lasers Surg Med. 2004;34(4):352-9.
18 Hendrich C, Huttmann G, Vispo-Seara JL, Houserek S, Siebert WE. Experimental photodynamic laser therapy for rheumatoid arthritis with a second generation photosensitizer.
Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2000;8(3):190-4.
19 Neimark AI, Muzalevskaia NI. Low-intensity laser radiation in preoperative preparation of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urologiia. 2000 Jan-Feb;(1):11-5.
Dr. Lawrence DelRe, D.C.
In 1992 his career culminated with the invention of an apparatus for testing a spine. This invention was awarded US patent # 5,101,835. He later built a robotic version of it. He performed all of the research necessary to create this invention, and in conjunction with Michigan State University, had his research published in the Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System in 1999.
He uses laser treatment on soft tissue problems like fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis and rotator cuff problems.