Foot Notes Blog


November 2012

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) for the foot

Nov 8, 2012 9:45 PM
Peter Guy

Today in Whitby, ON, James Carroll the CEO and founder of Thor Photomedicine spoke about low level laser therapy (LLLT) to a number of my podiatric collegues. He discussed how light emitting diodes (LED's) and near infra red laser light promotes tissue healing, improves lymphatic drainage, provides analgesia and relaxes muscles via trigger points.
To understand how LLLT works you will have to learn about mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy factories of our human cells. The mitochondria produce an energy-rich molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is produce by a complex chemical pathway which includes a protein called cytochrome C oxidase. Cytochrome C oxidase will bind oxygen to help complete the formation of ATP.
In the event of any type of tissue injury to the cells of skin, ligaments, muscle, tendon, nerve and bone, the mitochondria in the cells will start to produce nitric oxide. The nitric oxide will bind to cytochrome C oxidase preventing oxygen from binding. When oxygen doesn't bind to ctyochrome C oxidase the production ATP is reduced. If there is a decrease in ATP there is no energy for cells to function efficiently. This lack of ATP can delay tissue healing.
When the proper spectrum of light wave energy is applied to an injured area, the cytochrome C oxidase will absorb the light energy and force the nitric oxide off of the cytochrome C oxidase. This will allow oxygen to bind to cytochrome C oxidase and an increase the production of ATP. The increase in ATP in any injured cell will allow for local tissue healing, promotion increased immune function via lymphatic drainage, provide analgesia via nerve inhibition and relax muscle via stimulation of trigger points.
If you have acute pain and swelling in the foot it can significantly reduced after one or two treatments with LLLT. Chronic pain and swelling in the foot will also respond favourably with several treatments. LLLT can reduce the amount of time it takes to heal chronic skin wounds, diabetic foot ulcers and venous ulcers.
We have been using a Thor Laser at Whitby Family Footcare Clinic for several months with some favourable patient outcomes on achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and wound healing.
I want to thank James Carroll for presenting an very informative seminar on LLLT



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