The greatest benefit of softlaser therapy is the extremely wide variety of knownindications. This is, however, also its weakness, because many people find it rather difficult to believe that such a simple treatment method can be effective against symptoms of so different origins without causing any side effect. Advanced research methods have identified, such details of the mechanism of action which help us understand this effectiveness, owing to which softlaser therapy is used for the treatment of disease symptoms in rheumatology, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, dentistry, dermatology, general medicine, otorhinolaryngology, paediatrics, urology, veterinary medicine, for solving certain neurological problems, and also in the beauty industry (cosmetology).
Softlaser therapy means that a diseased or affected tissue of poor condition is treated by low-intensity (400–900nm) irradiation, which is termed low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the international literature. The effect induced by this treatment changes the permeability of the cell membrane and leads to increased mRNA synthesis and cell proliferation. These effects are not the consequences of the thermal effect of irradiation as in lasersurgery; rather, they are the results of photochemical interactions.
For such interactions to occur, molecules or photoreceptors absorbing their radiation are needed. Several such substances have been identified to date, one of the most important ones is cytochrome-C-oxidase, which was discovered in the 1980's as a photoreceptor. This is a transitional enzyme involved in the Krebs cycle, taking place in themitochondria, the end-product of which is the energy-storing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the ‚fuel’ of thecell. Thus, by improving the energy supply of this enzyme molecule, laser light enhances ATP synthesis and the energy supply of cells. This process is the most efficient in cells of low redox state.
Researchers from Harvard University have recently discovered that nitric oxides inhibit ATP production by binding cytochrome-C-oxidase, and the laser light disrupts this bond, thus facilitating the recovery of ATP synthesis. This is also a possible explanation for the effectiveness of laserlight therapy. It is not known yet precisely, which process takes place in a cell of defective or inhibited function. This is why the accumulated medical experience is much more helpful than the scientific background in selecting the laser wave lengths to be used for a specific therapeutic purpose.