While the analgesic action – used especially in the case of sports professionals – is due to a higher pain perception threshold of the nerve ends and to the release of endorphins, the anti-inflammatory effect is related to an increased blood flow in the area.
In the interests of completeness of information it needs to be underlined that, while laser therapy applied to the physiotherapy offers great advantages, it is also subject to certain limitations. Most importantly use of the laser results in a faster healing process, which in most cases (75% of total) would require much longer times. However the efficiency of laser therapy depends directly on the type of pathology to be treated: it reaches its maximum level when the area to be treated is of limited size while efficiency levels are much lower when the area is large and deep.
Four factors influence laser effectiveness:
- properties of tissue to be treated;
- laser wavelength;
- power density per surface unit area;
- exposure time.
To conclude, lasers are classified on the basis of power. Helium-neon or semiconductor diode lasers deliver around 500 mW power and are considered to be soft lasers. CO2 gas and neodymium YAG lasers, on the other hand, are classed as power lasers able to reach power levels of even 6 W. The latter must therefore be manoeuvred extremely quickly by the therapist to avoid causing damage.
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