There are many photochemical processes that take place with a therapeutic laser. It is universally accepted that a laser reduces inflammation. It does that by reducing the Interleukin 1 that starts and maintains the inflammatory process, and also by increasing the SOD levels (superoxide dismutase) that essentially ‘puts out’ the inflammation. There are a number of other processes taking place including increasing the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that the cells utilize for energy and for healing themselves.
Laser therapy appears to help accommodate and improve the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the blood in IPF patients due to neovascularization (new vessel formation) and increased Nitric Oxide production providing vasodilation and oxygenation. Increased macrophage activity takes place (phagocytosis), that may help eliminate Mycoplasm and fungus that may be present causing fibrous tissue. It is proven that laser stabilizes the cellular membranes.
Laser therapy does not appear to remove fibrous tissue from the lungs and therefore does not ‘cure’ IPF. However, many studies have shown that laser therapy not only heals tissue more quickly, but does so with less scar tissue and increases tensile strength. It is possible that laser therapy reduces the substances that stimulate fibrous tissue in the first place and this could be the reason that no new honey combing takes place for some with laser therapy.
Laser therapy is painless and has no known side effects.