Laser Therapy


Mechanism of Action: Photochemical 

When applied to an organism, Laser light, tuned to specific wavelengths and frequencies, stimulates metabolic processes at the cellular level and acts by inducing a photochemical reaction in the cell, as biostimulation or photobiomodulation.  Studies have shown that when tissue cultures are irradiated by Lasers, enzymes within cells absorb energy from laser light. Chromophores are components of various cells and sub-cellular organelles which absorb light.  The stimulation of Chromophores on mitochondrial membranes incites the production of ATP. Visible (red) light and Near Infrared (NIR) are absorbed within the mitochondria and the cell membrane. This produces higher ATP levels and boosts DNA production, leading to an increase in cellular health and energy.

Photobiomodulation Therapy

Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) has been officially defined as a form of light therapy that utilizes non-ionizing forms of light sources, including lasers, LEDs, and broadband light, in the visible and infrared spectrum. It is a NONTHERMAL PROCESS involving endogenous chromophores eliciting photophysical (i.e., linear and nonlinear) and photochemical events at various biological scales. This process results in beneficial therapeutic outcomes including but not limited to the alleviation of pain or inflammation, immunomodulation, and promotion of wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Common conditions we treat with 'ASPEN CLASS IV COLD LASER'

  • Shoulder, Neck, Back, and Knee Pain

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Peripheral Neuropathy

  • TMJ pain

  • Tendinitis, Bursitis, Synovitis

  • Post surgery pain

  • Sciatica

  • Adhesive capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Sports Injuries

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Traumatic Injuries

  • Sprains and Strains

  • Muscle and Ligament Tears

  • Osteoarthritis / Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Repetitive Stress Injuries


How Laser Works



Acute Inflammation Reduction

How does Laser Therapy reduce inflammation?

  • Stabilization of the cellular membrane

    • Ca++, Na+ and K+ concentrations, as well as the proton gradient over the mitochondria membrane are positively influenced.

    • This is accomplished in part, by the production of beneficial Reactive Oxygen Species aka (ROS).

    • These ROS’s modulate intracellular Ca++ concentrations and laser therapy improves Ca++ uptake in the mitochondria.

  • Enhancement of ATP production and synthesis

    • ATP production and synthesis are significantly enhanced, contributing to cellular repair, reproduction and functional ability

    • Photonic stimulation of Cytochrome c Oxidase, a chromophore found on the mitochondria of cells, plays a major role in this rapid increase in production and synthesis of ATP.

  • Stimulation of vasodilation

    • Vasodilation is stimulated via an increase in Histamine, Nitric Oxide (NO) and Serotonin levels, resulting in reduction of ischemia and improved perfusion

    • Laser-mediated vasodilation enhances the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the damaged cells and facilitates repair and removal of cellular debris.

  • Acceleration of leukocytic activity

    • Beneficial acceleration of leukocytic activity, resulting in enhanced removal of non-viable cellular and tissue components.

    • Thus allowing for a more rapid repair and regeneration process.

  • Increased prostaglandin synthesis

    • Prostaglandins have a vasodilating and anti-inflammatory action

  • Reduction in interleukin 1

    • Laser irradiation has a reducing effect on this pro-inflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

  • Enhanced lymphocyte response

    • In addition to increasing the number of lymphocytes, laser irradiation mediates the action of both lymphatic helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells in the inflammatory response.

    • Along with laser modification of beta cell activity, the entire lymphatic response is beneficially affected by laser therapy.

  • Increased angiogenesis

    • Both blood capillaries and lymphatic capillaries have been clinically documented to undergo significant increase and regeneration in the presence of laser irradiation.

  • Temperature modulation

    • Areas of inflammation typically demonstrate temperature variations, with the inflamed portion having an elevated temperature.

    • Laser therapy has been shown to accelerate temperature normalization, demonstrating a beneficial influence on the inflammatory process.

  • Enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels

    • Laser stimulated increases in cytokine SOD levels interact with other anti-inflammatory processes to accelerate the termination of the inflammatory process.

  • Decreased C-reactive protein and neopterin levels

    • Laser therapy has been shown to lower the serum levels of these inflammation markers, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis patients



How does Laser Therapy reduce pain?

  • Increase in beta endorphins

    • The localized and systemic increase of this endogenous peptide, after laser therapy irradiation has been clinically reported in multiple studies, to promote pain reduction.

  • Increased nitric oxide production

    • Nitric oxide has both a direct and indirect impact on pain sensation. As a neurotransmitter, it is essential for normal nerve cell action potential in impulse transmission activity.

    • And indirectly, the vasodilation effect of nitric oxide can enhance nerve cell perfusion and oxygenation.

  • Decreased bradykinin levels

    • Since Bradykinins elicit pain by stimulating nociceptive afferents in the skin and viscera, mitigation of elevated levels through laser therapy can result in pain reduction.

  • Ion channel normalization

    • Photobiomodulation promotes normalization in Ca++, NA+ and K+ concentrations, resulting in pain reduction as a result of these ion concentration shifts.

  • Blocked depolarization of C-fiber afferent nerves

    • The pain blocking effect of therapeutic lasers can be pronounced, particularly in low velocity neural pathways, such as non-myelinated afferent axons from nociceptors.

    • Laser irradiation suppresses the excitation of these fibers in the afferent sensory pathway.

  • Increased nerve cell action potentials

    • Healthy nerve cells tend to operate at about -70 mV, and fire at about -20 mV. Compromised cell membranes have a lowered threshold as their resting potentials average around this -20 mV range.

    • That means that normal non-noxious activities produce pain.

    • Laser therapy can help restore the action potential closer to the normal -70 mV range.

  • Increased release of acetylcholine

    • By increasing the available acetylcholine, Laser Therapy helps in normalizing nerve signal transmission in the autonomic, somatic and sensory neural pathways.

  • Axonal sprouting and nerve cell regeneration

    • Several studies have documented the ability of laser therapy to induce axonal sprouting and some nerve regeneration in damaged nerve tissues.

    • Where pain sensation is being magnified due to nerve structure damage, cell regeneration and sprouting may assist in reducing pain.


Biological Effects of Laser Therapy

Clinical studies and research using laser therapy technology indicate the following beneficial effects of laser therapy on tissues and cells:



Laser therapy has an anti-edemic effect as it causes vasodilation, 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


Anti-Pain (Analgesic)

Laser therapy has a high beneficial effect on nerve cells which block 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 enkephlins from the brain and adrenal gland.

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.

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.

Increased Metabolic Activity

Laser therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells.

Trigger Points and Acupuncture Points

Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing

musculoskeletal pain relief.

Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation

Laser therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, bums or surgery.

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.


Laser light has a direct effect on immunity status by stimulation of immunoglobines and lymphocytes. Laser Therapy is absorbed by chromophones (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.

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.



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