Low Level Laser Therapy

Low Level Laser Therapy

Balmain Osteopaths are the first osteopaths in Australia to introduce BioFlex laser therapy treatments into their clinic.  Low level laser therapy (LLLT) facilitates tissue recovery by enhancing the body’s immune system response to improve tissue repair (muscle, tendon, bone, nerves), and modulate inflammation and pain wherever the beam is applied.  It is alternatively known as cold laser, LLLT, soft laser or phtobiomodulation.

How Does Low Level Laser Therapy Work?

The technology involves the use of either an LED or laser which emit a specific spectrum of light which is absorbed by the cells of the body and has been shown to induce changes in cell physiology.  Because the therapy uses laser light at low intensity, it does not heat, cut or damage tissue and has no significant reported adverse side effects.

Once the laser light is absorbed by the cells of the area treated, this has been shown to induce various physiological reactions including a modification of inflammation, stimulation of cellular repair mechanism, and enhanced recovery from trauma and injury. (1,4)

The result of these processes may provide a reduction or elimination of symptoms including pain, restored function and improved quality of life. (2)

Clinical Benefits of Low Level Laser Therapy

–    Reduces or eliminates pain (1,3,5,6,9,10)
–    Restores range of motion and physical function (6,7,8,9)
–    Non-invasive / non-toxic (1)
–    No significant reported adverse effects (2,5,6)
–    May provide a treatment alternative for patients that have not responded to conventional therapies

Laser Therapy Home Lozenge 1

Low Level Laser Therapy are clinically effective for a range of conditions including:

–    Soft tissue and sports injuries:
o    ligament/tendon/muscle tears (4)
o    knee dysfunction/injury (5)
–    Repetitive strain injuries:
o    tennis elbow/epicondylitis (6)
o    carpal tunnel syndrome (7)
–    Inflammatory conditions:
o    tendonitis (supraspinataus/achilles, etc) (8)
o    plantar fasciitis (9)
o    osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis (5)
–    Neck and spinal conditions:
o    chronic lower back pain (2)
o    acute and chronic neck pain (10)
o    muscle and joint pain/inflammation (5)

How long does laser therapy treatment take?

Treatments range from thirty minutes to one hour in duration depending on the condition being treated.  All treatments are conducted on site at our Balmain clinic.

Are there any side effects?

Unlike pharmaceuticals and other therapeutic options, LLLT is non-toxic and non-invasive and multiple clinical trials have reported no significant adverse effects. (1,2)

How many treatments are required?

The number of treatments required will depend on the condition, how long-standing or chronic the condition is, and the extent of tissue damage involved.  Based on the genetic make-up of the cells, an individual’s response to LLLT will vary to some degree.

Evidence-based research supporting Low Level Laser Therapy

In the last 9 years, numerous systematic reviews have found in favour of LLLT:
* British Medial Journal LLLT 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) [click here]
* British Medical Journal sports medicine journal, systematic review of surgical and conservative interventions for frozen shoulder found “strong evidence” for LLLT (2010) [click here]
* The British medical Journal clinical evidence recommendations for tennis elbow 2011 now include LLLT [click here]
* American Physical Therapy Association guidelines recommend LLLT for Achilles tendonitis (2010) [click here]
* Lancent systematic review:  “LLLT 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) [click here]

More on our BioFlex Laser Therapy system

The BioFlex Laser Therapy system has been developed by Dr Fred Kahn and is featured in the New York Times bestseller “The Brain’s Way of Healing” by Dr Norman Doidge.

There of our osteopaths, Kristine Lunny, Ellen Scott and Vincent King, have received training from Dr Kahn’s clinic.  As osteopaths, they are using the BioFlex laser therapy system to treat musculoskeletal conditions. They are the first practitioners to offer treatment with the BioFlex Laser Therapy system in Sydney.

For more information visit:
Dr Kahn’s blog at http://fredkahnmd.com
Dr Norman Doidge’s website at http://www.normandoidge.com


1.    Khalighi, HR; Mortazavi, H; Mojahedi SM; Azari-Marhabi, S; Abbasabadi, FM, (2016) Low Level Laser Therapy Versus Pharmacotherapy in Improving Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Journal of Lasers in Medical Science 2016 Winter, 7(1):45-50
2.    Glazov, G; Yelland, M; Emery, J, (2016) Low-level laser therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain (CNLBP): a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, British Medical Journal, 2016 Oct; 34(5): 328-341
3.    Jang, H; Lee, H, (2012) Meta-analysis of pain relief effects by laser irradiation on joint areas, Photomedicine and Laser Surg. 2012 Aug; 30(8): 405-417
4.    Bjordal, JM; Johnson, MI; Iversen, V; Aimbrie, F; Lopes-Martins, RA, (2006) Low-level laser therapy in acute pain: a systematic review of possible mechanisms of action and clinical effects in randomized placebo-controlled trials, Photomedicine and Laser Surg. 2006 Volume 24, Number 2: 158-168
5.    Bjordal, JM; Couppe C; Chow RT; Turner, J; Ljunggren, EA, (2003) A systematic review of low level laser therapy with location-specific doses for pain from chronic joint disorders, Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, Volume 49, Issue 2, pages 107-116
6.    Bisset, L; Coombes, B; Vicenzino, B, (2011) Tennis Elbow, British Medical Journal, 2011; 2011:1117
7.    Li, ZJ; Wang, Y; Zhang, HF; Ma, XL; Tian, P; Huang, Y, (2016) Effectiveness of low-level laser on carpal tunnel syndrome: a meta-analysis of previously reported randomized trials, Medicine (Baltimore), 2016 Aug; 95(31): e4424
8.    Carcia, CR; Martin, RL; Houck, J; Wukich, DK, (2010) Achilles Pain, Stiffness, and Muscle Power Deficits: Achilles Tendinitis – Clinical Practice Guidelines, American Physical Therapy Association – Orthopaedic Section 2010:40(9):A1-A26
9.    Ulusoy, A; Cerrahoglu, L; Orguc, S, (2017) Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Clinical Outcomes of Laser Therapy, Ultrasound Therapy, and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Treatment of Plantar Fascitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial, The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery 56: 762-767
10.    Chow, RT; Johnson, MI; Lopes-Martins, RAB; Bjordal, JM, (2009) Efficiacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials, Lancet, Nov 2009

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