ADVERTISEMENT: Advertorial - Is there a difference between LED and laser therapy?

I am often asked if cold laser therapy is the same as red therapy. There are similarities, but they are very different. There are many light emitting products on the market today that claim to be lasers, but they do not meet the scientifically defined properties to be a true laser. For example, some products using light emitting diodes, or LEDs as they are commonly known, do produce light, but the light is not intense, produces very little energy, and is not coherent, similar to the light produced by ordinary household light bulbs.

Most people have no idea what a cold laser actually is or does. From professional sports teams to private practices to home use, these technologies are used daily to treat injured tissue. Both laser and LED light therapy can be used to treat pain and inflammation, but what is the difference between them? Let’s look at the similarities and differences between the two.

Both rely on delivering enough energy to injured tissue to create a photochemical process known as photobiomodulation (PBM). PBM creates a photochemical reaction, not a photothermal reaction, so no heat is generated. The photochemical reaction starts a cascade of biological processes within the cell. Some of these beneficial processes include reducing inflammation, reducing pain, wound healing, and tissue regeneration, to name a few.

When used in therapeutic settings, both emit similar wavelengths and both have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. However, there are significant differences between the two, including the power produced, wavelength specificity, and the physical properties of the beam produced by the diode.

Light emitted by a laser is unique in that it is monochromatic, coherent, and collimated. This makes it well suited for many medical applications. The monochromatic or single wavelength beam is ideal for stimulating cells in our tissues that only respond to specific wavelengths. Coherent photons are organized where non-coherent photons are not. And since injured tissue is often located deep within the body, the laser’s collimated beam helps focus the energy in a direct path, which is ideal for treating these injured tissues.

LEDs typically emit light in a small band of wavelengths, but cannot emit a single specified wavelength. This affects their ability to treat the desired tissue. Also, the beam is neither a collimated nor a coherent beam, making it more difficult to treat deeper tissues. Also, LEDs operate at significantly lower power than most lasers, affecting their ability to reach deeper tissue.

When targeting deeper tissues, wavelength is a crucial variable that can play an important role in the ability to penetrate tissue. But it is not the sole determinant of therapeutic efficacy.

For superficial injuries, such as lacerations, therapeutic benefits can be achieved with minimal energy input, for which LEDs are well suited. In deeper states, such as B. chronic back pain, a larger amount of energy must be supplied so that a sufficient therapeutic effect is achieved. However, you have to be careful which laser class you use. Lasers that produce too much energy can generate heat, and heat can damage tissue.

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dr Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor with Natural Spine Solutions. The shop is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene. For more information please contact us at 208-966-4425.