Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a term used to describe the way in which wavelengths within the visible and near infra-red part of the electromagnetic spectrum are utilised to modulate biochemical pathways towards maintaining both cellular and physiological homeostasis to support the normal function of cells and the body. PBM laser therapy was previously known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and has been utilised in clinical practice and wound healing for more than 40 years in Europe, UK ,Middle East and Canada and the action mechanisms of PBM at the cellular and molecular level have been increasingly studied over the past 30 years and PBM laser’s have been widely used in Australian medical and health care clinics since the late 1980’s for dermatological treatment, sports injury, lymphoedema and rapid relief of inflammation and pain.
Many medical devices rely on electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (EMF) for therapeutic applications and diagnostic purposes. EMF waves are created as a result of vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field and they carry indivisible energy particles called Photons, energy content varies with each wavelength and its oscillating frequency (Hz).
The wavelengths used in PBM therapy are within the visible and near infra-red part of the spectrum and do not carry any charge, therefore they do not attract or repel charge particles like electrons. Medical research shows that non-ionizing, non-thermal PBM laser therapy instigates photobiomodulating effects that support cell mitochondrial function necessary for production of energy (ATP) and homeostasis at a cellular and systemic level to support self- regulation of inflammation, pain and tissue repair in both humans and animals. These specialised medical lasers are now being implemented to treat oncology patients to reduce unwanted side effects and to treat and prevent oral mucositis following radiation therapy and high-dose chemotherapy. Karu, T., (2007., 2011); (Bjordal et al 2011).
PBM equipment has been specially designed to transmit visible and near infra-red wavelengths into the skin surface to instigate beneficial therapeutic effects within the subcutaneous soft tissue tissues, nerves and bone/joints. Important factors for effective treatment, depend on using the appropriate wavelengths, correct exposure time, as well as a wide range of frequencies to affect different types of conditions and tissues, that are located at varying depths of the anatomy. Therefore clinical equipment emitting coherent light from a medical laser device, is usually the first choice, because the penetrating capabilities of coherent light is more efficient, than non-coherent, light emitting diodes i.e. LED’s that spread the light in all directions and generally cost much less than laser diodes. History has indicated that Photobiomodulation is only as good as the PBM equipment you are using, so do your research and choose wisely in the first place by attending reputable training from educators that have applied PBM equipment for a wide range of conditions , not just pain relief. Whilst Low Priced PBM equipment can seem attractive to the buyer, the technical features are limited and the operating power of the equipment will also be inadequate, which is a hindrance to providing a comprehensive and effective treatment, in an efficient time frame to paying patients. Advanced laser technology comes at a price if you want to ensure consistently effective treatments for a wider range of health conditions, not just pain relief and thereby a greater financial return than the cost of your initial investment in laser equipment is also able to be achieved.
“You Only Get What You Pay For” has never been more relevant