Select Page

Disclaimer – this blog post is a little heavier on the science/research

Laser therapy uses red and infra-red (NIR) light to help healing in the body, especially musculokeletal problems and wound healing. The technology is non-invasive and non-toxic.

Clinically, laser therapy has shown benefits with the following: improved pain relief, increased range of motion, decreased swelling and stiffness, decreased recurrence of injury and improved recovery times.

So how does laser therapy help the cells? 

It is through the relationship between mitochondria, free radicals (for example nitric oxide), ATP (adenosine triphospate), and cytochrome c oxidase (Cox) enzyme.

Let us review one aspect of what laser therapy is thought to help with.  It helps dissociate nitric oxide from Cox.  That allows the reversing of mitochondrial inhibition of respiration due to excessive nitric oxide binding. 

What does that mean?

Nitric oxide produced in the mitochondria can inhibit respiration (breathing/oxygen) by binding to Cox and displaces oxygen. So, it is good to help decrease nitric oxide so that this association no longer occurs and you have more room for oxygen binding.

This is an easy answer, but nitric oxide is the ‘jekyll and hyde’ of molecules because it can be very good or very bad.  Nitric oxide is a free radical; however, it has an important role in the body in signaling molecules that turns genes on and off.

As I have said numerous times to people: life is about balance and moderation.

Without getting super technical with the science, laser therapy has been shown to absorb monochromatic visible and NIR radiation by components of the cellular respiratory chain. Research has suggested that the mitochondria are responsible for the cellular response to red visible and NIR light.

The association between mitochondria and the cellular respiratory chain is complex IV which is cytochrome c oxidase (Cox) which takes us right back to what we were discussing with nitric oxide and Cox.

So, there is the association between laser therapy and mitochondria; although it is a relationship between many other components including nitric oxide and Cox.