What is Laser Therapy and how does it work?
Laser therapy is a therapeutic treatment that uses light energy (photons) for tissue healing and pain reduction. The light energy penetrates deeply into damaged cells and stimulates cellular activity. As a result of exposure to the laser, the cells of tendons, ligaments and muscles repair themselves. Light energy enters damaged cells and stimulated inter-cellular activity. This reduces pain in the area and speeds recovery of the damaged cells. Once the cells recover, the healing process is complete.
What is MLS?
MLS stands for Multi-wave Lock System. MLS is the name of the FDA approved technology that utilizes a patented combination of unique wavelengths. The two wavelengths work together to deliver superior results.
How is MLS different?
MLS Therapy uses two wavelengths to overcome the limits of traditional Laser Therapy. Continuous laser emissions act fast on inflammation, stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation and inducing fast re-absorption of fluid build-up; however they only have a secondary effect on pain which is diminished after reducing the inflammatory process. The MLS pulsed laser emissions on the other hand, have a practically immediate effect on pain since they are able to induce analgesia by interfering with the very transmission of the pain impulse to the higher brain centers, but they are less effective at treating inflammation and edema.
What is the advantage of MLS therapy over traditional low level lasers? (LLLT)
Until now, there have been only pulsed light lasers that control swelling and continuous light lasers that control pain, but not both. Current traditional laser therapy provides partial treatment at best by reducing inflammation or pain but never both at the same time. MLS Therapy is able to induce strong anti-inflammatory, anti-edema, and analgesic effects simultaneously and within a short period of time. LLLT cannot achieve these results because of the limitations of using one or two wavelengths that are not synchronized. The patented control system that generates the MLS pulse synchronizes the emissions to achieve results previously unattainable. Thanks to this characteristic synchronization, the various therapeutic effects not only take place at the same time but reciprocally reinforce each other.
How was MLS Therapy developed and tested?
MLS Therapy has been developed and tested following a strict course of biomedical and clinical research. The effectiveness of the combination of the emissions making up the MLS pulse was initially tested over nearly three decades of world-class research through in vitro on cellular cultures, then in vivo on animals, and finally by means of controlled clinical trials run by major state-of-the-art health organizations for treating traumatic and degenerative painful diseases. MLS Laser Therapy has over twice the research and supporting clinical trials of any current first generation Class IV device.
The departments of Biology at both the University of Turin (Italy) and the University of Padova (Brazil), as well as the Department of Anatomy and the Orthopedic Clinic at the University of Padova have studied and verified the remarkable effectiveness of MLS Laser Therapy.
What are the most common indications for therapy?
The most common MLS Therapy indications are pain relief, intervertebral disc disease, degenerative joint disease, arthritic conditions, muscular/skeletal system trauma, inflammatory conditions, Pre & post-surgical treatment and Specific neurological conditions.
What conditions does it treat?
- Arthritis & Bursitis
- Sports Injuries
- Chronic & Acute Pain
- Tendon & Ligament Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Tendonitis Muscle Strains
- Back & Joint Pain
- Plantar Faciitis
- Back Injuries
- And more!
What are the benefits?
- No known side effects
- Painless and Non-Invasive
- Rapid relief of pain
- Strong anti-inflammatory effect
- Timely healing of sprains & strains
- Rapid recovery of the structural integrity of injured regions
- Rapid resolution of swollen areas
- Immediate improvement of local blood circulation
- Rapid repair of superficial injuries, such as wounds and ulcers
What can I expect during a treatment?
MLS Laser Therapy is a painless treatment that lasts a few minutes. Some patients have stated they feel a comfortable warm sensation in the area being treated, while other patients usually don’t feel the laser. There is no pain, heat, redness or swelling during or after treatment.
What can I expect after the treatment?
Most patients experience positive results in 1 to 3 treatments, with the average course of treatment being 7 to 10 sessions. Any swelling is greatly reduced and there is a rapid relief of pain. Acute conditions usually subside quickly, typically within one phase of treatments, and chronic conditions can be controlled with regular treatments. The effects of MLS Laser Therapy are cumulative; therefore, expect to see improvement as you proceed through your treatment plan. It is critical that once you start, you complete the course of treatments recommended by your doctor or symptoms are likely to reoccur.
What are some of the contraindications for therapy lasers?
- The MLS laser is used for symptomatic treatment, and is contraindicated where analgesia may mask progressive pathology, and should not be used where the clinician would normally avoid the use of any other analgesia in order to retain the beneficial aspects of pain.
- Class IV lasers are potentially harmful to the retina, though accidental retinal damage is unlikely. Both patient and practitioner must wear laser safety eyewear appropriate for the NIR wavelength.
- Do not use MLS laser therapy over a pregnant uterus. It may be used on the pregnant patient as an adjunct to the other modalities.
- The laser should not be used over the thyroid gland.
- It is conceivable that laser-mediated vasodilatation may worsen a hemorrhage.
- Laser therapy is contraindicated for patients on certain drugs.
Are Cutting Edge MLS Therapy Lasers class IV lasers?
This type of laser is a state of the art class IV infrared cold laser with a peak power of 25 watts. MLS Therapy Lasers are FDA cleared, patented via the US Patent Office and compliant with CE Quality Systems. It is the only laser with dual wavelengths that are synchronized in such a way to achieve better results with much shorter treatment times.
Why are two wavelengths used?
MLS Therapy uses two wavelengths to overcome the limits of traditional Laser Therapy. Traditional Laser therapy does not deliver both wave lengths in a reinforcing and synchronized fashion. Continuous laser emissions act fast on inflammation, stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation and inducing fast re-absorption of fluid build ups; however they only have a secondary effect on pain, which is diminished after reducing the inflammatory process. Pulsed laser emissions, on the other hand, have a practically immediate effect on pain, since they are able to induce analgesia, by interfering with the very transmission of the pain impulse to the higher brain centers, but they are less effective at treating inflammation and edema.
How deep does the laser penetrate into the patient?
The laser light will penetrate between 3-5 cm based on a variety of factors including skin thickness and target area. The effects of the light are often reverberated deeper to stimulate some of the effects associated with lasers at a deeper level than just 5 cm.
The operator and patient MUST wear the provided safety glasses when performing a treatment. Never look directly at the laser beam. Be aware that jewelry (watches, rings) and other metal surfaces can reflect laser light.
Note: It is critical to have safety glasses that block the specific wavelength of light produced by the MLS laser.
Biological Effects of Laser Therapy
1) Anti-Inflammation: Laser therapy has an anti-edema effect as it causes vasodilatation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system (drains swollen areas). As a result, there is a reduction in swelling caused by bruising or inflammation.
2) Anti-Pain (Analgesic): Laser therapy has a high beneficial effect on nerve cells which blocks pain transmitted by these cells to the brain and which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to less inflammation, there is less edema and less pain. Another pain blocking mechanism involves the production of high levels of pain killing chemicals such as endorphins and encephalin from the brain and adrenal gland.
3) Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth: Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. The laser light increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take on nutrients faster and get rid of waste products. As a result of exposure to laser light, the cells of tendons, ligaments and muscles are repaired faster.
4) Improved Vascular Activity: Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue that speeds up the healing process, closes wounds quickly, and reduces scar tissue. Additional benefits include acceleration of angiogenesis, which causes temporary vasodilatation, an increase in the diameter of blood vessels.
5) Increases Metabolic Activity: Laser therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells.
6) Trigger points and Acupuncture Points: Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing musculoskeletal pain relief.
7) Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation: Laser therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns or surgery.
8) Improved Nerve Function: Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissue can result in numbness and impaired limbs. Laser light will speed up the process of nerve cell reconnection and increase the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle action.
9) Immunoregulation: Laser light has a direct effect on immunity status by stimulation of immunoglobines and lymphocytes. Laser therapy is absorbed by chromophores (molecule enzymes) that react to laser light. The enzyme flavomono-nucleotide is activated and starts the production of ATP (adenosine-tri-phosphate), which is the major carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical reactions in the cells.
10) Faster Wound Healing: Laser light stimulates fibroblast development (fibroblasts are the building blocks of collagen, which is predominant in wound healing) in damaged tissue. Collagen is the essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. As a result, laser therapy is effective on open wounds and burns.
Laser Therapy is contraindicated for those patients who:
- Have known sensitivity to the device
- Take anticoagulants
- Take medication that is known to increase sensitivity to sunlight (Antibiotics-turn down laser)
- Have seizure disorders triggered by light
- Are pregnant (over a pregnant uterus)
- Suspected of carrying serious infectious disease and/or disease where it is advisable to suppress heat or fever like HIV
- Have hemorrhagic diatheses
- The device should not be used:
- Anywhere near the eye
- Over areas of suspicious, potentially or known cancerous tissue
- Over areas of active hemorrhage
- Over areas injected with steroids in the past 2-3 weeks
- Over the thoracic area if the patient is using a pacemaker- keep at least 6 inches away
- Over the sympathic ganglia
- Over the vagus nerve
- Over the neck (thyroid or carotid sinus region)
- Over or near bone growth centers until bone growth is complete- No one under 16 years old
- Over areas where analgesia may mask progressive pathology
- Over anesthetic areas
- Over an area of the spinal cord following laminectomy- three months minimum
- On ischemic tissue where the blood supply would be unable to follow the increase in metabolic demand and tissue necrosis might result
- For symptomatic local pain relief unless a pain syndrome has been diagnosed or unless etiology is established
- Patients using topical or systemic steroids or NSAIDs for pain or skin conditions may experience mild flare up of their symptoms. If such a reaction occurs, MLS laser therapy should be discontinued.
- It is possible that pressure from the treatment head may cause slight bruising.
- Some patients may suffer a slight increase in pain. Patients should be warned of this possibility prior to laser therapy.
- Adverse Effects
- If symptoms do not change in three sessions, treatment parameters have to be check and modified, and – if necessary – the diagnosis has to be revised.