Photobiomodulation therapy, or PBMT, is a non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment that promotes the natural healing ability of the body with the help of light.
Also referred to as low-level laser/light therapy (LLLT), red light therapy or cold laser therapy, this treatment uses high-intensity light from different sources including light emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers to deliver red and near-infrared wavelengths of light to targeted areas of the body.
These wavelengths have been shown to stimulate cellular metabolism, nitric oxide (NO) release, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation and pain in the treated area.
PBMT has become increasingly popular as an alternative treatment option for a wide range of conditions including injuries of joints, fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone and nerves as well as skin rejuvenation and dermatological conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Introduction to Photobiomodulation Therapy
Photobiomodulation Therapy, also known as low-level laser/light therapy (LLLT), red light therapy or cold laser therapy, is a medical treatment that utilizes non-ionizing photonic energy to trigger photochemical changes within cellular structures.
This therapy involves the direct application of red and near infra-red light making contact with the skin over areas of injury or inflammation to promote tissue repair and regeneration. Studies suggest that PBMT works by stimulating the mitochondria in cells as well as physiological cellular events.
Since its inception, this therapy has gained popularity due to its proven clinical effectiveness, non-invasive nature and its potential to treat a wide range of medical conditions.
How does Photobiomodulation Therapy work?
Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) works by using specific wavelengths of light to stimulate the cells in the body. This process, also known as low-level laser/light therapy, cold laser therapy or red light therapy, encourages cellular metabolism and energy production, leading to faster healing and reduced pain.
The light sources used in PBMT penetrate the skin to enter deeper tissues that are injured or diseased and stimulate the mitochondria, which produce ATP, the cellular energy currency.
With more ATP, the cells can overcome the negative effects of inflammation on metabolism and function at an optimal level, leading to improvements in tissue repair, decreased inflammation, and pain relief. PBMT has also been shown to stimulate collagen production, aiding in wound healing, scar repair and tissue regeneration. By using light to enhance cellular function, PBMT offers a safe, non-invasive alternative to traditional pain and injury management methods.
Benefits of Photobiomodulation Therapy
Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) is a safe and effective treatment that boasts a range of benefits. By using red and near-infrared light wavelengths to stimulate cellular activity including circulating white blood cells that control inflammation, PBMT can promote regeneration and enhance immune function by increasing anti-inflammatory mediators released by white blood cells.
This process results in less pain and a faster, higher-quality tissue repair. PBMT has been shown to also improve sleep quality, reduce muscle fatigue, and even enhance brain function.
Comparatively, PBMT’s benefits far outweigh those of traditional pain management methods, which often involve medications that have side effects, addictive behaviour or lead to chronic pain.
PBMT has become a popular treatment option for a variety of medical conditions, including acute and chronic pain, arthritis, sports and repetitive stress injuries, nerve compression like disc herniation, dermatological and cosmetic concerns like hair loss and skin ageing. The advancement of understanding effective light dosages, wavelengths and different light sources used in PBMT has further broadened the applicability of the treatment, making it more accessible to patients at home as well as in a clinical setting.
Overall, PBMT is a highly beneficial therapy that has the potential to enhance physical function and overall well-being.
PBMT vs Traditional Pain Management
When comparing Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) to traditional pain management methods, it is clear that PBMT presents unique advantages. Unlike medications and treatments that often come with unwanted side effects or the risk of addiction, PBMT uses non-invasive and safe light therapy to target pain and inflammation at the source.
PBMT benefits extend beyond pain management, as the therapy has been shown to promote tissue repair and regeneration. While traditional pain management methods can provide relief for a limited amount of time and often lead to chronic pain because the inflammation is blocked but not resolved, PBMT aims to address the underlying cause of pain to provide long-lasting results.
For those seeking a safe and effective pain management alternative, PBMT presents itself as a promising option based on nearly 2000 randomized placebo controlled clinical trials published in esteemed medical journals like The Lancet.
Medical Conditions Treated with PBMT
Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) is becoming increasingly recognized as a holistic treatment option for various medical conditions. PBMT has been shown to be effective in treating age-associated chronic diseases, soft tissue injuries, joint conditions, and neuropathic pain.
PBMT has also been approved by the FDA as well as recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control USA) and the American College of Phsyicians and Surgeons for the relief of pain in the lower back and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) for example.
Different Light Sources Used in PBMT
Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) uses a variety of light sources to deliver its therapeutic effects. These most commonly include low-level lasers (under 500 mW) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
LED-based PBMT devices offer multiple advantages over lasers as they pose no risk to the eyes, can be safely used at home, cover a large surface area for improved effectiveness and thus a wider range of applications. PBMT devices deliver both red and near-infrared light, which are the wavelengths that have been identified as most effective in delivering photobiomodulation therapy and when combined effectively reach and treat both superficial and deeper tissues in the body.
PBMT is an exciting field with many possibilities for the use of different light sources to deliver a variety of health benefits.