What is Photobiomodulation?
Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a non-invasive therapeutic technique that uses light in the visible and near-infrared spectrum to stimulate biological processes. This technique is also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-level light therapy (LLLT), or red light therapy (RLT). PBM has been used for various medical and cosmetic applications such as wound healing, pain management, and skin rejuvenation. The mechanism of PBM involves the absorption of light by cells and tissues, leading to the activation of various cellular pathways that promote tissue repair and regeneration.
The beneficial effects of PBM are mainly attributed to the stimulation of mitochondrial activity. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells, responsible for energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. The absorption of light by mitochondrial chromophores, such as cytochrome c oxidase, triggers a cascade of events that result in the generation of ATP, a molecule that provides energy to cells. The increase in ATP production leads to enhanced cellular metabolism, which in turn promotes tissue repair and regeneration.
PBM has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic benefits. One of the most well-known applications of PBM is in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, tendonitis, and back pain. PBM has been shown to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and promote tissue repair, leading to reduced pain and improved mobility. PBM has also been used to promote wound healing, by increasing blood flow to the site of the wound, stimulating collagen production, and reducing inflammation.
Another area where PBM has been extensively studied is in the treatment of neurological disorders such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. PBM has been shown to promote neuroprotection by reducing inflammation, increasing mitochondrial function, and enhancing neural repair mechanisms. PBM has also been used to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, by stimulating the release of endorphins and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are associated with feelings of well-being.
PBM has also been shown to have a positive effect on skin health. The application of red or near-infrared light to the skin has been shown to increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and improve skin texture and tone. PBM has also been used to treat acne, by reducing inflammation and promoting healing of acne lesions.
In addition to its therapeutic benefits, PBM is a non-invasive and safe technique. Unlike other therapies, such as surgery or medication, PBM does not involve any harmful side effects or risks. PBM is also painless and requires no recovery time, making it an attractive option for patients who are looking for a safe and convenient treatment.
In conclusion, photobiomodulation is a non-invasive and safe therapeutic technique that has a wide range of applications in various fields of medicine and cosmetology. The beneficial effects of PBM are mainly attributed to the stimulation of mitochondrial activity, leading to enhanced cellular metabolism, tissue repair, and regeneration. PBM has been shown to be effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, skin health, and mental health. The non-invasive and safe nature of PBM makes it an attractive option for patients who are looking for a convenient and safe treatment. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of PBM and its potential applications in various fields of medicine
- Hamblin MR. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophys. 2017;4(3):337-361. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337
- de Lima FM, Villaverde AB, Albertini R, et al. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in human progressive-intensity running: effects on exercise performance, skeletal muscle status, and oxidative stress. Lasers Med Sci. 2012;27(1):231-236. doi: 10.1007/s10103-011-0955-5
- Wu Q, Xuan W, Ando T, et al. Low-level laser therapy for closed-head traumatic brain injury in mice: effect of different wavelengths. Lasers Surg Med. 2012;44(3):218-226. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22005
- Tegos GP, Demidova TN, Arcila-Lopez D, Lee H, Wharton T, Gali H, Hamblin MR. Cationic fullerenes are effective and selective antimicrobial photosensitizers. Chem Biol. 2005;12(10):1127-1135. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2005.08.014
- Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):41-52.
- Vinck EM, Cagnie BJ, Cornelissen MJ, Declercq HA, Cambier DC. Green light emitting diode irradiation enhances fibroblast growth impaired by high glucose level. Photomed Laser Surg. 2005;23(2):167-171. doi: 10.1089/pho.2005.23.167
- de Freitas LF, Hamblin MR. Proposed mechanisms of photobiomodulation or low-level light therapy. IEEE J Sel Top Quantum Electron. 2016;22(3):348-364. doi: 10.1109/JSTQE.2016.2561201
- Gómez-Ochoa I, Gómez-Ochoa P, Gómez-Castro B, et al. Efficacy of low-level laser therapy applied at acupuncture points in knee osteoarthritis: a randomised double-blind comparative trial. Physiotherapy. 2012;98(4):316-323. doi: 10.1016/j.physio.2011.08.002
- Huang YY, Chen AC, Carroll JD, Hamblin MR. Biphasic dose response in low level light therapy. Dose Response. 2009;7(4):358-383. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.09-027.Hamblin
- AlGhamdi KM, Kumar A, Moussa NA. Low-level laser therapy: a useful technique for enhancing the proliferation of various cultured cells. Lasers Med Sci. 2012;27(1):237-249. doi: 10.1007/s10103-011-0953-7