You or someone you know may have had Covid and are possibly still feeling the effects weeks or months later. The National Institutes of Health refers to long-term COVID-19 symptoms as PASC, which stands for post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2. People living with post-COVID syndrome are sometimes known as “long haulers.” The phrase long-hauler is used to refer to this group of people who have lingering or delayed symptoms from COVID-19.
Although there is still a lot to learn about the long-term effects, early reports concluded that the patients studied continued to suffer from symptoms even after a subsequent viral test came back negative for the virus. These symptoms commonly include cough, fatigue, joint and chest pain and shortness of breath. Still others report difficulty concentrating and sleeping, headaches, muscle pain and depression. Brain fog is reported to be among the most debilitating of symptoms reported, with patients feeling confused, forgetful or unable to concentrate, even for mundane activities such as watching television.
While we know little about this condition, we are trying to find ways to combat it. Recent research has shown that Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT), also known as Cold Laser Therapy, can have positive outcomes treating Long Haulers or even Covid.
An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Scott Sigman, is even using Cold Laser to treat Covid patients and getting amazing results.
“COVID is acute inflammation that’s gone haywire, and your body creates this inflammatory cytokine storm and it starts creating all kinds of problems in the lung field,” leading to pneumonia and death for many, he said.”
Studies show that Cold Laser works for treating inflammation, so why wouldn’t it work on Covid, which causes inflammation. Multiple studies have shown that laser can help reduce inflammation in the lungs. One study concluded that, ”Cold Laser could be helpful in reducing lung inflammation and promoting regeneration of the damaged tissue. Cold Laser can increase oxygenation indirectly in order to rehabilitate affected organs.” (M. Nejatifard, S. Asefi, R. Jamali, et al. Cytokine, Jan. 2021;137)
Cold Laser works by stimulating the mitochondria of our cells to increase production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which involves enzymes that are sensitive to light. ATP is a molecule that carries energy within cells. It is the main energy source of the cell. All living things use ATP. By increasing ATP, this increases the metabolism of the cell, helping it to build anti-inflammatory proteins that block the formation of the cytokines, or proinflammatory proteins, formed in the body’s response to the coronavirus.
Normally, the cytokines are helpful in stopping an infection, but with COVID, the reaction sets off an inflammatory process that creates fluid in the lungs and destruction of normal tissues, impacting the patient’s ability to breathe. A study showed Low level laser therapy as a modality to mitigate the cytokine storm at multiple levels, and enhance recovery. This study also said that “Cold Laser is a justified treatment method, promotes lung tissue regeneration and attenuates consequences of the disease. Results confirm Cold Laser can be used for effective prevention and treatment of COVID-19 patients” Moskvin S, Askhadulin E, Kochetkov A. Low-Level Laser Therapy in Prevention of the Development of Endothelial Dysfunction and Clinical Experience of Treatment and Rehabilitation of COVID-19 Patients. (Rehabil Res Pract. 2021 Jan 26;2021:6626932)
Here are some other research studies showing how Cold Laser can help;
• “Cold Laser was combined successfully with standard medical care to optimize response to treatments, reduce inflammation, promote healing, and accelerate recovery times.” (Car J Respir Ther, 2020;56:25-31)
• “Cold Laser can be added to the conventional treatment in COVID-19 at different stages of the disease. Because of its anti-inflammatory effect, and ability to shorten recovery times, LLLT can reduce the need of ventilators in the healing process.” (Car J Respir Ther, 2020;56:25-31)
• “Cold Laser is an affordable modality compared with other treatments and medicines like IL-6 antagonists. Cold Laser is a safe, effective, low-cost modality without any reported side-effects compared with other approaches.” (Car J Respir Ther, 2020;56:25-31)
• “High intensity narrow spectrum (HINS) 405 nm light has bactericidal effects on a wide range of medically important bacteria. 405 nm light reduced bacterial bioburden when used as an environmental disinfection method in a medical burns setting.“ (EV Cell Mater. 2013 March 7;25;204-14)
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Photobiomodulation aka Phototherapy is setting the stage for high demand of red light therapy and infrared light therapy, which the SWL is optimally suited.
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