Low Level Light Therapy, or LLLT, is a very important new area of photomedicine. However, there are a number of reasons why LLLT has not been accepted into the main stream of science and medicine, and I will discuss a few of them below. Let me add, however, that I know from personal experience that LLLT works on wound healing, and carpal tunnel syndrome, when done properly. I have been trying for over 40 years to teach photobiology to laser people, and more recently, to LED people as well. At a laser meeting in the 1970s, at the height of the feeling that lasers were magical, I made a slide to demonstrate the biological effect of a laser. It showed a man dropping a big laser on his foot, and yelling OUCH. I said that this is the ONLY type of biological effect that a laser can have on a person. A laser is an expensive flashlight, and it is the light produced BY the laser that has a chance of producing a biological effect, assuming that it is of the correct wavelength and output, etc. Because so many bad papers have been published on LLLT, it has not achieved the universal acceptance that that it deserves. There are two main reasons for bad papers on LLLT; one is the lack of proper scientific training by the authors, and the other is their lack of knowledge of photobiology. I will give you some examples of very bad science.
This paper reports the findings obtained in our recent clinical study of the characteristics of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and discusses the possibility of applying these findings to the treatment of previously unreported orthopedic diseases. Histological study of muscles: Following long-term (3-week or longer) irradiation, there was an increase in nerve activity, suggesting the possibility that irradiation have the potential to alter the distribution of the myofiber types. Application to a patient with osteoarthritis of the hip: The narrowing of the joint space and the range of motion of hip joint alleviated or improved and the pain lessened markedly. Application to patients with congenital clubfoot: The application of LLLT and corrective massage before the correction of deformities with a cast facilitated the correction, enabling further improvement in congenital clubfoot. The possibility of the application of LLLT in patients with osteoporosis: LLLT tended to stimulate ossification and suppress bone resorption temporarily, suggesting the feasibility of applying LLLT as a means of treating osteoporosis. The possibility of the use of LLLT applied to the neck for the improving the cerebral blood flow was evaluated in patients with spastic cerebral palsy, using single photon emission computed tomography. Better knowledge of the characteristics of light may expand the scope of application of phototherapy for other diseases.
The goal of this paper is to study the effect of phototherapy with near infrared laser on incidence of late radiation lesions of urinary bladder and rectum in patients with prostate cancer after external radiation therapy. The study was carried out at Department of New Technologies of Radiation Therapy. 559 patients with prostate cancer were treated with radiotherapy and hormonal therapy from January 2000 to June 2007. In 308 patients a “Lazernoe Solnyshko” laser apparatus was used (NIIEFA, λ = 890 nm, 45 mW, 10.8 J, duration of pulses 150 ns, frequency of pulses 3000 Hz, 16 radiating elements). The control group included 251 patients. Action of light was performed on the skin areas submitted to radiation therapy beginning from its 12th session during 4 minutes. In the control group the radiation damage of urinary bladder and rectum appeared in 7.6% and 10.7% of patients, while in the main group - in 1.95% and 2.92%, respectively (p < 0.01). Thus, the course of phototherapy with the near infrared low power laser at performance of radiotherapy decreases incidence of radiation damages of urinary bladder and rectum in patients with prostate cancer.
The present study examines the usefulness of low level laser therapy (LLLT) given to residents in nursing homes for the elderly. In many cases the elderly have complications brought about by disuse. The disuse syndrome is a general term describing unhealthy symptoms caused by a considerable decrease in activity. The main symptoms include chronic pain, decubitus ulcers, cognitive disorders, deterioration in respiratory and circulatory functions, pneumonia, constipation, urinary tract infections, muscular dystrophy, bone atrophy, and so on. From these symptoms, we confirmed LLLT is effective for decubitus ulcers and improves the patients’ quality of life (QOL). However, only 10% of the patients, 2 of the 20 patients we treated, could return to their homes.
Post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) can be an extremely painful condition which in many cases proves resistant to all the accepted forms of treatment. It is frequently most severe in the elderly and may persist for years with no predictable course. Since 1980, we have been applying low reactive level laser therapy (LLLT) for patients with PHN. We report herein on the results of a retrospective study concerning those patients in whom LLLT has been applied for pain attenuation of PHN. One hundred and twenty-three patients (73 male, 50 female, mean age: 66.11yr) have received LLLT for various entities of PHN over the past 29 years. In these cases the affected tissue area(s) was as follows: thorax and back (48 cases); head and neck (41 cases); abdomen and lumbar (17 cases); upper limb (9 cases); and lower limb (8 cases). The overall total improvement rate was 60.16%. Patient whose treatment was given within six month of onset obtained the highest improvement rate (mean, 76.34%). LLLT was effective for PHN in the acute and chronic phase, but LLLT was particularly effective for the acute phase patients whose onset before treatment was 6 months or less. The results demonstrate a significant reduction in PHN pain intensity, hypersensitivity and other complaints