Cold Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation) FAQ’s
Why Photobiomodulation Therapy is Different?
Photobiomodulation Therapy works by converting light into biochemical energy, resulting in normal cell function, which causes symptoms (pain) to disappear. So it is a healing modality not simply designed to temporarily relieve symptoms.
How is the treatment done?
The Photobiomodulation device is placed in contact with the skin allowing light energy to penetrate tissue which then is converted into biochemical energy that increase production of growth hormone, improve lymphatic drainage and thereby enhancing the body’s natural healing processes
Does it hurt?
There is no pain associated during Photobiomodulation Therapy. PBMT is actually very relaxing. Very occasionally there can be a minor increase in discomfort 12-24 hours after a treatment session. This is a result of light being absorbed by the tissue and the start of the healing process. This is more likely to occur with chronic conditions and usually subsides in the following day or two.
Is Photobiomodulation Therapy safe?
Yes, PBMT is completely safe, regardless of the age of the patient or their state of health.
In the past 4 years, the FDA has ruled that Photobiomodulation Therapy is safe and the only contraindication (warning) is not to use it directly in the eyes.
For the past 30 years the technology of Photobiomodulation Therapy has been formally accepted in many parts of the world such as Canada, USA, Brazil, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and Japan. In all this time there have been no recorded long-term adverse effects from its use. It is considered to be non-invasive, painless and safe.
Hundreds of research studies have shown Photobiomodulation Therapy to be safe and effective. PBMT is non-invasive, non-toxic and non-thermal. Unlike other forms of radiation, PBMT is beneficial rather than harmful to tissue.
Over 400 PBMT clinical trials (RCTs) and over 2500 laboratory studies have been published. It has proven more effective and safer than pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories across a range of musculoskeletal conditions.
How long does the treatment take?
The typical course of treatment is 10 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. However, depending on the individual patient and the condition, sessions can vary anywhere between 10 to 60 minutes.
How many treatments does it take?
With some acute conditions, 2 to 6 treatments may be sufficient. More chronic conditions may require 6-10 sessions. Conditions such as severe arthritis may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.
How long before results are felt?
You may feel improvement after the very first treatment. However, it is important to note that not everyone responds to Photobiomodulation Therapy and results cannot be guaranteed. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 4 to 6 sessions.
Are the results long lasting?
The improvements you feel are the result of the healing process and therefore the results are long lasting, however some conditions may flare up in the future and can need ‘top up’ treatments.
Will I benefit from other forms of treatment?
Yes, Photobiomodulation Therapy is even more effective when combined with other forms of therapy, including chiropractic and exercise. During the initial assessment, recommendations can be made for the most suitable approach to your condition.
How do I know if Photobiomodulation Therapy is right for me?
You will be fully assessed during the initial consultation to determine the most appropriate management strategy, and to work out a treatment plan You may also contact us if you are in doubt or have any questions.
Can Photobiomodulation Therapy be used over medical implants or over metal?
Yes. Photobiomodulation therapy is a light treatment. No heating is involved with the surgical or metal implants. It can be used safely with no side effects.
Do I need anything to prepare for the treatment?
If possible, comfortable clothing is to be worn, ensure that area to be treated is free of body lotions or oil.
How much does Photobiomodulation Therapy cost?
Charges are affordable considering the benefits expected. Patients with private health insurance are eligible for rebate under Chiropractic cover. In some cases Medicare rebate is also available under the EPC scheme.
Can it be used for during pregnancy?
Research is not conclusive regarding the effect of Photobiomodulation Therapy during pregnancy but general guidelines recommend avoiding the pregnant uterus.
Is Photobiomodulation Therapy scientifically well documented?
- PBMT has been in active and beneficial use in Europe for nearly 30 years. There are more than 200 double blind positive studies confirming the clinical effect of PBMT.
- Published in the world’s top scientific journals:
- Nature, Pain, PNS, Blood, BMJ, Spine, Muscle and Nerve, The Lancet, Circulation, BJSM
- 30 PBMT papers published a month
- Over 4000 laboratory studies and over 400 randomised controlled trials
- Over 2,500 clinical studies and published research reports have shown the effectiveness of PBMT for a variety of health issues. Looking at the limited PBMT dental literature alone (370 studies), more than 90% of these studies do verify the clinical value of Photobiomodulation therapy.
- PBMT has been a staple in veterinary practices for decades.
- In the past 6 years, professional sports teams have begun utilizing PBMT.
- In the last 10 years 8 systematic reviews have found in favour of PBMT
- American College of Physicians Guidelines include a “strong recommendation” for Photobiomodulation Therapy as a non-invasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute & Chronic Low Back Pain. (2017)
- BMJ PBMT for chronic non-specific low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials found “moderate quality of evidence” and “clinically important benefits” in the short term. (2016)
- BMJ sports medicine journal, systematic review of surgical and conservative interventions for frozen shoulder found “strong evidence” for PBMT. (2010)
- The BMJ clinical evidence recommendations for tennis elbow 2011 now include PBMT
- American Physical Therapy Association guidelines recommend PBMT for Achilles tendonitis. (2010)
- Lancet systematic review: “PBMT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain”. (2009)
- World Health Organisation (Bone and Joint Task Force) for neck pain Photobiomodulation Therapy“ more effective than no treatment, sham, or alternative interventions” (2008)