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Low Level Laser Therapy and Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash and will only occur in people who have previously had chicken pox (caused by the varicella zoster virus). Studies show that more than 99 % of Americans aged 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember getting the disease. Fortunately, most people who get shingles will have it only once but every year, roughly 96 people die from shingles-related causes in the United States.

Diagram of a shingles lesion.

Diagram of a Shingles lesion.

Currently one out of three people in America will develop shingles during their lifetime which translates to approximately one million people each year. As we age, our vulnerability to contracting this disease increases, with about half of all shingles cases occurring in people aged 60 or older.

Fortunately, given the ubiquity of this condition, alternative methods have been developed to alleviate the painful effects of shingles. One of which is Low Level Laser Therapy.

Photobiomodulation, also known as low level laser therapy (LLLT), offers a noninvasive and effective treatment for shingles. There are multiple research papers demonstrating the effectiveness of LLLT for treating both acute and chronic shingles.

LLLT is a light-based therapy that uses a combination of red and infrared light in the form of laser and superluminous light-emitting diodes. These devices put out much less energy than a surgical or other high-intensity laser uses. Photon particles of light are absorbed by the mitochondria (the “engine” of a cell) and result in increased cellular ATP levels (the “gas” for the engine).

In the case of neuropathic pain, it is believed that LLLT helps reduce pain by causing the body to release local neurotransmitters that improve mood, reduce pain and inflammation while suppressing other neurotransmitters that increase inflammation.

LLLT has also been shown to stimulate tissue regeneration of blood vessels, cartilage, collagen, muscles, nerves and even bone.

Call our office today at (303) 424-7171 if you are suffering from a Shingles outbreak and see if you would be a candidate for this cutting edge new therapy!

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