An Introduction to High Intensity Infrared Laser Therapy
Updated: Jan 31, 2020
One out of three Americans is affected by chronic pain annually, with the most common reason for missing work or school being musculoskeletal pain (back pain, muscle cramps, body aches). Common outdated therapies include anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, opiate pain medications, and intensive surgeries. Research on lower-risk treatments continues to make headway, and one of these cellular regenerative treatments is high intensity infrared laser therapy (HILT). HILT is a non-invasive, safe alternative for not only diminishing musculoskeletal pain, but also for healing wounds and increasing collagen production. Cellular healing for ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, bone, cartilage, and skin are not only revolutionary it's now possible with lasting results. Peer reviewed science is now showing us that every organ has the ability to heal and stimulating tissues with natural therapies like Infrared Laser Therapy promote that environmental process.
HOW DOES HIGH INTENSITY INFRARED LASER THERAPY WORK?
HILT is a laser treatment that triggers biochemical changes within cells and can be compared to the process of photosynthesis in plants. The technical term is known as photobiomodulation. Light with a wavelength in the red or near infrared spectrum (typically 660-1000nm) is used on treatment sites because of the wavelengths ability to penetrate the skin, as well as soft and hard body tissues.
As the target site is exposed to the Class IV laser, photons emitted by the laser reach cells where the chromophores of mitochondria can absorb the photons and produce chemical kinetic energy. This absorption results in a stimulation of cell metabolism and other pathways responsible for wound healing, such as cell mitosis, protein secretion, cell proliferation, and DNA synthesis. Pain relief comes from the increase in synthesis of endorphins and a decrease in bradykinin.
DOES HILT WORK?
Most cases treated with infrared laser therapy at Cryo Body Works provide immediate relief although full healing effects generally take 2-3 days. Numerous studies have been conducted over the effectiveness of HILT for a variety of conditions.
A 2018 study investigating the effect of HLLT versus low level laser therapy (LLLT) on plantar fasciitis (stabbing pain near the heel) concluded in 60 patient trail that “both HLLT and LLLT improved pain levels, function and quality of life in individuals with PF…HILT has a more significant treatment effect than LLLT on PF”. Patients in this trial were of all similar age, body mass, and in description of pain type and pain level and were exposed to 9 separate HILT treatments.
Another study focused on analyzing the effectiveness of High Intensity Infrared Laser Therapy in the treatment of general musculoskeletal disorders showed “that HILT treatment for back and neck pain significantly improved pain and functional disability compared to controls”. This study also conducted a literature review of current laser therapy research and found 11 different studies totaling to 736 patients describing a significant reduction of pain after a number of treatments. These patients further described a lasting pain reducing effect.
In a 2010 case study of the Herpes virus, severe lesions on the upper and lower lip produced from the disease were exposed to HILT treatment. The patient stated, “the infection healed faster and more comfortably than all other infections that she had, even though it was more severe than previous infections”. The study took place over the course of 10 days and was made up of 10 HILT treatments, with the 10th treatment concluding the trial. Images were taken before and after each infrared laser therapy treatment, with the final set of images illustrating a complete healing of lesions present on the face. In a similar vein of treatment, HILT has been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with acne, as well as assist in the production of collagen.
IS HIGH INTENSITY INFRARED LASER THERAPY SAFE
HILT treatment is a non-invasive, little to no risk treatment option. Major contradictions for this treatment include pregnancy and a history of epileptic seizures (due to possibility of exposure to a strobe like light). When undergoing treatment, there is a possibility of experiencing an intense burning sensation. However, this would be due to technician incompetence, or if the treatment site is a sensitive zone for the patient. If the area of treatment is sensitive, extra care would be made to prevent the laser from focusing over this area for too long.
WHAT DOES INFRARED LASER THERAPY LOOK LIKE AT CRYO BODY WORKS
At Cryo Body Works, trained staff use a class IV laser device to expose a client’s area of choice to a 980nm wavelength laser for 6 minutes. The staff member moves the laser in a motion that encompasses the specific treatment site, as well as the surrounding area to avoid client discomfort. A pleasant, warm sensation is typically described while being exposed to the laser. Some clients denote immediate pain relief post-treatment, as well as increase in range of motion.
HOW MUCH DOES INFRARED LASER THERAPY TREATMENT COST
Cryo Body Works is dedicated to ensuring powerful treatments like HILT are an affordable option for our clients. On average, clients are expected to pay around $100 per treatment at other facilities. Here at CBW, we offer single 10 minute treatments for your first time at $50 and thereafter at $75, as well as a number of package options to help lower costs for clients. Our staff are also a great resource for assisting you in identifying a comprehensive treatment plan.
If you still have questions or are you curious enough to book your first appointment? Give us a call or stop in anytime we’re open (hours and location are posted below) and our friendly, well-informed staff can answer your questions and advise you on making your first appointment. You can also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to helping you!
Cryo Body Works
(512) 522 0221
3501 Hyridge Dr
Austin, TX 78759
Mon - Fri 7AM – 8PM
Sat 10AM - 5PM
Sun 12PM - 4PM
Song HJ, Seo HJ, et al. Effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30572425
Banu Ordahan, Ali Yavuz, Ercan Kaydok. (2018) The effect of high-intensity versus low-level laser therapy in the management of plantar fasciitis: a randomized clinical trial. Retrived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29627888
Phillip Harington, DC & Julian Vickers, DC. (2012) Class IV Therapy Lasers Maximize Primary Biostimulative Effects. Retrieved from: https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/treatments/complementary/lasers/class-iv-therapy-lasers-maximize-primary-biostimulative-effects
Marina Stella Bello-Silvia, Ana Cecilia, et al. Low – and high – intensity lasers in the treatment of herpes simplex virus 1 infection. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19712025
Moore P, Ridgway TD, Higbee RG, et al. (2005) Effect of wavelength on low-intensity laser irradiation-stimulated cell proliferation in vitro. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15662631
Heal Documentary. (2017). Gregg Braden. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS2cLk4hZW8