Treatment Mechanism

PBM Treatments

Ok,This gets a bit technical, and this the simplified condensed version. The effects of PBM treatments are photochemical in nature.

Photons penetrate tissue through the photo acceptor
molecule and are then absorbed via the chromophore into the cell’s mitochondria, the
powerhouse of the cell. These chromophores are known as photosensitizers that in turn
generate reactive oxygen as a part of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The cascading effect
activated by photonic energy as just described is converted to electromagnetic energy in the
form of molecular bonds in ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Chromophores are porphyrins,
which are light-sensitive molecules like the chlorophyll in plants. Once photon absorption
occurs, you’ll now see increased gene expression related to protein synthesis, cell migration
and proliferation, anti-inflammatory signaling, anti-apoptotic proteins, and antioxidant
enzymes activation take place. Cell membrane permeability also increases, which causes
physiological changes to the macrophages, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and nerve conduction

rates. All of these physiological changes occur because of the absorption of light radiation. The
level of tissue absorption is dependent on the wavelength of the light itself. With the right
amount of energy and wavelength, ATP is activated along with ion channels that are crucial for
bringing calcium and nitric oxide into the cell. This is what ultimately accelerates cell
metabolism and recovery from pain and inflammation. The therapeutic light waves range from
540nm (green) to 1300nm (infrared). However, most devices on the market only range from
625nm to 880nm. Interestingly, green light has recently been found to affect opsins and acts as
an effective pre-treatment to PBM therapy. In other words, green light opens up the optical
channels and allows light to travel through the tissue more effectively.

Matt DeBow ⓒ 2019  •