Congratulations on taking the next step for a healthier life!
HOW CAN LASER THERAPY HELP YOU HEAL?
We use lasers for many things in our life. Medically, lasers are well known for its precision property in high profile procedures. However, most people are not aware of the gentle, yet powerful healing ability laser has in the realm of rehabilitation treatment.
What is LLLT?
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a painless, non-invasive, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of pain syndromes, injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions and pathologies. Laser therapy can be used any time a patient requests or needs a drugless procedure for the control of pain, when conventional therapies have been ineffective, or when the acceleration of healing from injuries is desired.
Around the world, laser therapy is rapidly becoming a medical therapy that can heal wounds and fractures up to 60% faster and also reduce the cost of treatment for many conditions. In the U.K., LLLT has become the treatment of choice for soft tissue “whiplash” injuries and for the treatment of painful post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain).
How does Laser light heal?
Healing with the use of light is not new. Light therapy was reported to be effective for many conditions by Hippocrates. With the development of the laser and its special properties, using light as a treatment has gained more popularities. This is because we can now use specific wavelength of light and give accurately measured doses of energy directly to the appropriate treatment site, which was not possible with other light sources.
Low-level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin’s layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wavelengths in the visible ranges. However, light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum. When low-level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin (2 inches), they optimize the immune responses of our blood. No heat is generated so it is safe for use anywhere on the body with exception of the eyes. This has both anti-inflammatory and stimulating effects. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effects throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.
The physiological effects of LLLT includes bio-stimulation, improved metabolism and increased cell metabolism. Laser is improving blood circulation, pain and swelling control as well as wound healing. Effects of this treatment does not wear off like most medicines, electrical stimulation, heat or ice. It increases your body’s own healing power ad enhances that process-true healing. If you don’t reinsure the area, the pain will return.
Who will benefit from LLLT?
Clinical researches has supported LLLT efficacy in treatment conditions such as:
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Lateral epicondylis (Tennis Elbow)
• Neck pain/whiplash injury
• Temporomandibular joint pain(TMJ pain)
• Knee pain/injury
• Herniated/Bulging discs
• Wound/diabetic foot ulcer
• Plantar fasciitis
Laser therapy often provides immediate symptom improvement to patient during clinical trials. In addition, studies also indicate long-term improvement in quality of life in populations with fibromyalgia and back pain with LLLT.
LLLT is also proven to assist with athletic training. It has shown efficacy in muscle bioenergetic activation and its effects could influence the mechanical performance of tissues during physical exercise. Athletes demonstrates improved muscle endurance and less fatigue when their training/rehab session is combined with LLLT.
What to expect during a Laser therapy treatment session?
For most people, laser therapy is quite passive. There are no pulsating shocks felt, as in forms of electronic stimulation, nor heat used as with ultrasounds. The most noticeable sensation is the touch of the probe head of the laser, as it comes in contact with the skin.
Some patients (3-5% of those undergoing light therapy) have reported a slight tingling or tapping in a nerve or along a nerve pathway. Some have noted that they are able to sense a slight feeling of warmth. But for the most part, the treatment, which may last from 2 to 20 mins, is not noticed at all. Following (and even during) a laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of the time the condition has been present.