The word “laser” consists of the words Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser device produces coherent light, where the wavelengths are equal, vibrate parallel and with same frequency. The first laser was invented in the USA in 1960. Nowadays typical applications of lasers include the reading of CD/DVD discs and bar codes. In health care, the therapeutic laser has been used for a long time especially in Eastern Europe and Asia. Therapeutic laser (also known as “soft” or “type III” laser) differs from the more powerful laser which is used in surgeries. In physiotherapy, lasers are used e.g. to ease pain and to heal soft tissue injuries.


”Laserpoint” 2009 in the Cable Factory

The mode of action of therapeutic lasers is partly known. There are many hypotheses. Lasers may reduce pain and inflammation by decreasing inflammation reaction related prostaglandin production and increasing ATP production leading to the cell regeneration. The manufacturer of my laser device (Diter) lists the effects of lasers as follows:

  • capillary vasodilation
  • improved circulation
  • increased internal fluid pressure of capillary
  • increased lymphatic circulation
  • balanced osmotic fluid pressure
  • prevention of swelling
  • prevention of inflammation
  • increase in the amount of endorphins
  • lowered pain threshold
  • anesthetic effect
  • normalization of hyperpolarized membranes
  • activation of internal fluid system
  • activation of metabolism
  • activation of connective tissue production
  • production of proteins
  • production of collagen
  • optimization of healing of wounds, burns and inflammations


  • Acute and chronic soft tissue pain
  • Arthrosis
  • Neuralgia
  • Back pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Scar tissue
  • Acne
  • Wounds (surgery, traumatic, varicose ulcer, bedsore, burns, mucosal ulcer)


Laser device (Diter)

Laser treatment is carried out by using a pen electrode which is applied on bare skin. Typically 15-120 second treatment time is applied on 5-8 areas. The desired amount of energy is set (often 0.5-3 Joules) and the device calculates the treatment time automatically. For example in acute soft tissue injury, the laser treatment is put into practice daily. After the inflammation phase, the treatment frequency is lowered to e.g. 1-2 times a week. The treatment rarely causes any sensations, but sometimes a small tingling.

Three types of laser treatment usage

  1. Treatment is applied straight to the target area, the electrode is not moved
  2. The electrode is moved (in rare cases, like in treatment of wrinkles)
  3. Trigger points are localized and treated. When localizing the trigger points, the patient holds an electrode in their hand and the pen electrode works as the other electrode. The laser device indicates the electric resistance with a crackling voice. At these points, more nerves are present compared to the surroundings.


Laser treatment is a safe treatment method. The skin absorbs most (80 %) of the laser light, so no harmful effects are caused on e.g. internal organs. Class III lasers don’t produce heat. Contra indications are rare and the biggest safety risks are related to eyes.

In the Diter laser device, the laser light is automatically interrupted if the distance from the skin becomes too big. This prevents the laser from being pointed in the eyes by mistake. Additionally, the light is on only when the button in the laser pen is pressed (after the laser pen is first set against the skin).


Laser treatment has been researched for over 30 years. The results vary. In the internet, research results can be found using e.g. the following keywords:

  • therapeutic laser
  • laser therapy
  • low level laser therapy
  • soft laser


Seppo Appelqvist · 0400 918 074 ·