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Can Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) treat back pain?

By 15 March 2021No Comments

Back pain is a musculoskeletal problem that affects more than 80% of the population at a given point in time. It is one of the leading causes of discomfort and pain especially for the working class who sit for hours in front of their computers. Bad posture, lack of exercise, old age, injuries and accidents are some of the common causes behind back pain. 

Causes of Back Pain

There are a variety of causes that could be muscular or neurological causing a back ache. The following are the major causes that could trigger a back pain:

Ruptured or Bulging Disk: Disks act as a natural cushion in your spine in between the vertebrae.  The soft tissue inside the disk can rupture or bulge and press a nerve. These injuries are usually found through an x-ray if they arise without a back pain.

Arthritis: If arthritis arises in the lower back, it is termed Osteoarthritis. At times spinal arthritis can narrow down the space in the spine which is called spinal stenosis.

Muscle and/or Ligament Strain: Lifting heavy weights or a sudden movement can cause pressure and strain on the back and spine.  If you’re sitting in a bad posture for long hours or have poor physical health, the constant strain can give rise to muscle spasms and pain in the back.

Osteoporosis: If the bones in the back become brittle or porous, painful fractures can develop in the spine.

Effect of Low Level Laser Therapy on Nonspecific Chronic Lower Back Pain

In the last few decades, Lower Level Laser Therapy has gained a lot of acceptance in the medical community to treat lower back pain especially the non-specific chronic lower back pain (NSCLBP). Chronic lower back pain is one of the leading causes of not just medical expenses but also disability and people taking leave from work. It is not recommended to keep taking pain killers due to their potential harm in the long run. Often physical exercises and behavioural changes have been used for treating chronic back ache.

However, about 40 years ago, a new method called Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) was introduced in the medical arena to combat this ailment. This term is used for a treatment which involves using low power diodes that emit light onto the surface of the body. This enhances cell function and helps relieve pain. LLLT has to be administered between a specific wavelength for it to be effective.

The light therapy works by invoking photo chemical or non-thermal reactions in the cells. It also involves a form of laser acupuncture by targeting specific acupuncture points with focused irradiation at a low level intensity. Multiple studies have shown that low level laser therapy especially for back pain induces neural blockage and suppresses the central synaptic activities. This in turn reduces muscle spasm and induces an anti-inflammatory effect thus providing pain relief.

Effect of Low Level Laser Therapy on Discogenic Back Pain

Discogenic back pain arises in the back due to a damaged vertebral disc that can occur due to degenerative disc disease. Another study was conducted to study the effect of Lower Level Laser Therapy for Discogenic back pain in individuals. After a 6 week study and providing LLLT treatment an MRI was performed. There was a significant change during this period and there was reduced Discogenic back pain after LLLT treatment. Pain estimation had also improved on the visual analogue scale. The pain scores were also compared which saw a great improvement. The MRI findings depicted that there were morphologic changes related to the back pain and that the infrared laser may have contributed to the overall healing process and pain reduction.

Reasons to opt for Lower Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

In a world governed by easy access to drugs and medicines, you should always be mindful about the treatment you opt for. A lot of medication can have long term side effects if taken incorrectly. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is an amazing option that has a variety of benefits of LLLT that makes it the optimal choice for combatting back pain.

  • Anti-Inflammatory: Low Level Laser Therapy helps reduce inflammation by dilating the blood vessels and also activating the lymphatic system to drain the swollen areas that cause inflammation and discomfort.
  •  Cell and Tissue Repair: Low Level Lasers penetrate into the tissue to boost cell growth and repair tissue damage. It accelerates the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ADP) which in turn helps with cell nutrition and aids in repairing not just cells but tendons and ligaments as well.
  • Nerve Regeneration: Through Low Level Laser Therapy, the body speeds up axonal regeneration as well as nerve cell reconnection which helps in faster relief from pain.
  • Effective Analgesic: LLLT is highly effective because it tends to block pain signals from the nerve endings to the brain and hence providing pain relief. It also stimulates the muscle trigger points through acupuncture laser therapy.

FInal Thoughts

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has provided astonishing results in the medical domain to help combat body pain. It is an effective method when compared to taking prolonged medication and trying to force behavioural changes in the body to heal it. You can also read all about any questions about LLLT that you may have and understand why it is such a success.

It is one of the safest methods to help you attain relief from pain. Get ready to become active and welcome your healthier self once again at OHR Medical. Book an online consultation on our website today!