Electrotherapeutic modalities are widely used by physiotherapists to accelerate repair and reduce pain. It is important that the underlying mechanisms and effects that they produce are fully understood, together with any underlying adverse effects which may arise from their use. Light therapy is a relatively new addition to the physiotherapy arsenal and the mechanisms of action have not yet been fully identified. There is clinical evidence suggesting that it is effective in promoting tissue repair and pain relief. This, together with some recent laboratory evidence showing light to be effective in stimulating cells that are involved in the repair process to produce wound mediators, is described. The weight of evidence suggests that, if used correctly, light therapy can induce bioeffects which are beneficial to the patient.
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