PhotoBioModulation Therapy: making light work of pain relief

At Hunt Footcare, we are very much a hands-on practice, using established methods and our extensive knowledge to treat a wide range of foot and lower leg issues.

We also recognise that new innovations can offer more treatment options for you, our patients. So, we regularly invest in the latest technology that helps you with focussed pain relief without medications, and to aid recovery from injury more effectively and often over a shorter period of time.

PhotoBioModulation (PBM) Therapy

Previously known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), PBM Therapy can help treat those with with musculoskeletal disorders. Our team use a Thor hand-held ‘cold laser’ unit to help:

  • repair tissue
  • reduce inflammation
  • relieve pain

How does PBM Therapy work?

First the simple explanation! Laser and LED lights can be used to stimulate cells in your body that transmit pain, reduce inflammation and repair damaged tissue. PMB therapy involves applying red and near infra-red light to muscle injuries to improve the quality, strength and speed of tissue repair.

Depending on how intense the light is, and how long it is used, PBM Therapy can either inhibit or stimulate cells. By using different wavelengths of light, treatments can be targeted on a specific part of your body to either stimulate or inhibit the cell functions. So that’s why it can reduce pain and stimulate healing too.

Now the scientific explanation of PBM. (Skip this bit if you just want us to help with an injury or muscular disorder and contact us instead!)

“The primary effect occurs when light is absorbed in cytochrome c oxidase, a protein within the mitochondria (of cells).

When cells get stressed (perhaps due to disease, injury or ageing), the mitochondria produces nitric oxide (NO). This competitively displaces oxygen from cytochrome c oxidase, consequently:

  • reducing ATP (an essential intracellular cellular energy and extracellular signalling molecule)


  • causing an over production reactive oxygen species (ROS) and leading to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is well known to lead to inflammation and cell death via the gene transcription factor NF-Kb.

PBM of the correct wavelength and density dissociates NO, allowing oxygen back in. So the ATP is restored and oxidative stress reduced. Once normal mitochondrial function is restored by PBM cell metabolism improves, and the patient gets better more quickly. “

PBM Therapy clinical trials

There have been over 700 clinical trials using PBM Therapy. For musculoskeletal pain such as low back pain and osteoarthritis, the studies have shown that the pain relief achieved can be twice that compared with taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Pain reduction with PBM Therapy

If you’d like to discuss management of long-term pain in your feet and legs, or a non-pharmaceutical approach to recovery for muscular injury, call us at Hunt Footcare to make an appointment.

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Published On: February 28, 2022