Laser Therapy

 

The newest innovation of spinal therapy is now being offered at Delaware Injury Care.

IS LASER THERAPY SAFE?

The FDA has cleared laser therapy for the treatment of many pain syndromes. The investigation of a broad array of conditions has been completed and more are presently underway. The FDA considers laser therapy to be a safe and effective modality when used properly by a licensed practitioner.

HOW DOES LASER THERAPY WORK?

Laser Therapy is the use of laser energy to create therapeutic effects. Research has shown that these effects include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling.

Dose Response. 2011;9(4):602-18 

When laser light is absorbed by living tissue, it triggers biological reactions in the cells. Chemical substances are produced, released and carried by blood and lymphatic flow to other parts of the system. In this way, the effects of cold laser light create broad systemic effects.

 

In the United States, Laser Therapy has only been approved for the treatment of pain. However, although pain treatment is the most common use of laser, there are many other problems that are treated successfully with laser therapy. Research on humans and animals document:

 

·  Decrease in pain by causing production of natural pain killer endorphins.

·  Reduction in inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, pain and heat.

·  Enhanced lymphatic drainage, which increases circulation and reduces swelling.

·  Release of tight muscles that create chronic pain, joint problems and decreased mobility.

·  Faster bone repair by stimulating fibroblastic and osteoblastic proliferation.

 

Tuner, J., & Hode, L. (2010). The New Laser Therapy Handbook. Grangesberg, Sweden: Prima Books.

HOT VERSUS COLD LASERS?

There are two broad categories of lasers, HOT and COLD. Hot lasers are used for surgery, skin resurfacing, destroying tumors, and, when the power is lowered, for pain relief. However, the heat that so effectively destroys tissue becomes a problem because the heat may slow down healing and cause burns. Hot lasers may retard healing. As the heat increases, it initially produces tissue over-heating, followed by tissue damage. The Apollo laser used by your clinician is a safe, powerful cold laser.

 

WHAT CONDITIONS DOES IT TREAT?

There are thousands of published studies that describe the beneficial therapeutic effects of cold laser therapy, including hundreds of carefully controlled scientific trials that have demonstrated its clinical effectiveness. The following is a partial list of conditions that have shown successful outcomes in recent studies:

Arthritis

Disc Herniation/Pinched Nerve

Soft tissue injuries

Tendinitis

Whiplash

Sprains/Strains

Low back pain and Neck Pain

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fibromyalgia

Knee Pain

Shoulder Pain

Muscle Pain

Plantar Fasciitis 

Tennis Elbow

Sciatica

Nerve Pain

Bursitis 

Peripheral Neuropathy

Fractures

Headache & Migraines

 

Tuner, J., & Hode, L. (2010). The New Laser Therapy Handbook. Grangesberg, Sweden: Prima Books

 

Is cold laser therapy painful?

No. Low level lasers do not generate perceivable heat. Therefore, when the laser contacts the skin the patient experiences no warmth or burning as a result of the laser. Most people feel nothing at all while a few may feel a slight tingling during the treatment.

Can laser treatments benefit me?

For most patients, the results have been sustainable.

While some patients get immediate results, others require several treatments before there is a lasting effect. Since each person’s condition varies, the doctor will determine, after review of your case, if laser treatments can benefit you.

Has laser therapy been proven?

There are more than 3000 scientific research studies on laser therapy. These investigations verify the clinical value and effectiveness of laser therapy.

Is it safe over implants?

People with a pacemaker or other types of implants or prosthesis can still safely receive cold laser treatments. It may be necessary to adjust treatment times and dosage for patients with artificial joints since implanted metal can reflect laser light in a way that increases absorption. We suggest you contact your clinician and discuss dosage prior to treatment.

How will I know if the laser is working?

Many people will see a reduction in symptoms immediately. Others will experience relief more gradually. How fast your symptoms improve will help your clinician design the most effective treatment regimen.

Why laser therapy instead of electrical stimulation or ultrasound?

Alternative modalities may relieve pain but do nothing to promote deep healing of damaged tissue. Electrical stimulation is often uncomfortable. It lacks the consistent pain reduction of laser and does not provide the same stimulation of tissue healing. Ultrasound is not as efficient at blocking pain and is not as effective with tissue regeneration.

How many treatments will I need?

A patient usually comes in for a treatment several times a week. The number of treatments can range anywhere from 2 to 20, depending on the nature and severity of the condition.

 

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