As a healthcare consumer you may have heard about or seen advertisements for laser therapy. This is the first in a series of articles about laser therapy that aim to help you make informed decisions about what laser therapy is, if it can help you, and the questions you should ask before accepting a treatment plan with a specific laser practitioner and/or technology.
The term laser therapy in this article refers to specialized lasers designed to enhance the body’s own healing processes. These are not the lasers utilized in surgery, hair or tattoo removal, Lasix, cosmetics, podiatry or dentistry. In those therapies, laser is used to cut, scale or remove tissue.
One of the foremost organizations advancing the use of therapeutic lasers is the World Association of Laser Therapy (WALT), comprised of researchers, doctors, laser manufacturers, and teachers.
They have summarized the many beneficial effects of Laser Therapy as:
1. Improved circulation and oxygenation
2. Resolution of Inflammation
3. Pain reduction
4. Limits fibrous scar tissue formation
5. Accelerated tissue remodeling and repair
This means that if you are experiencing pain, swelling, inflammation or tissue damage you have the opportunity to break free from this injured or dis-eased state. When a part of the body is injured, the local energy producing mitochondria are sluggish and swamped with noxious chemicals. When laser light is absorbed by chromophores on these mitochondria, their enzymes kick into overdrive and resume their normal and even assume enhanced function. New injuries heal faster and old injuries are able to recover to their natural state and function.
What conditions are best treated by laser therapy? Our clients are experiencing amazing results when laser is used to treat chronic low back and neck pain, tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, sprains and strains, broken bones, trigeminal neuralgia, rotator cuff syndrome, a torn labrum or meniscus, post-surgery pain, wounds, TMJ syndrome and even acute injuries like falls and automobile accidents.
A laser therapy session lasts about 10 minutes, wherein the patient lies or sits comfortably. The practitioner holds the laser applicator close to or on the skin either in one spot or with slow circular movements. The laser is not hot – rather it gives off a relaxing warmth. A normal course of treatment involves two sessions per week for three to six weeks depending on the individual and the condition. Some people notice improvement immediately, while others notice the effects more gradually.
If you are suffering from any condition that involves swelling, inflammation, pain or tissue damage, you are a good candidate for laser therapy. This therapy is relatively new and offers an exciting alternative to drugs or surgery. The next article will describe the various laser/light therapy options on the market, to help you make the best decisions regarding your healthcare.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Laser Therapy, feel free to contact us by phone or email.