The concept that light energy from a laser can reduce inflammation and pain, hasten healing in damaged tissues, relax muscles, and stimulate nerve regeneration appears far fetched. Science, however, tells us these effects do happen.
“Power and wavelength ascertain the capability of the laser to penetrate into the body. Once you are in the infrared spectrum and above 800 nanometers in wavelength, laser energy penetrates like X-rays, but to attain depth you need substantial electricity or energy,” Dr. Bruce Coren told Spine Universe.
Two Categories Utilized in Physical Therapy
You can find just two groups of lasers being used in physical therapy; group 3 and 4. “Category 3 lasers are much less than 500 milliwatts, mw, in power while class 4 lasers are greater than 500 mw,” Dr. Coren said. Class 3 lasers are occasionally known as cold lasers, while the treatment may be called LLLT for low-level laser therapy. In contrast, class 4 laser treatment might be called HPLT for high power laser therapy.
“The majority of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions respond better to a higher power and a greater dosage, which will be a function of power output and time,” Dr. Coren commented. The best results are going to be obtained with a laser that’s 30 watts of power or more. A 10-minute treatment using a 30-watt laser will generate 18,000 joules, which gives a critical pain relieving, anti inflammatory and healing effect.”
Although 5 or more sessions may be required to solve the problem, patients usually begin to feel better after 1 or 2 treatments. “ The more extensive the injury and the more chronic, the more treatments are usually needed,” he included.
Properties of High Power Laser Treatment
Pain Relief: Laser decreases nerve sensitivity by decreasing bradykinin; a pain generating compound. It normalizes ion channels, gatekeepers that are mobile, and releases endorphins, body’s natural pain reliever, and enkephalins, that is related to endorphins, that generate an analgesic effect. Additionally, it has a pain-blocking effect on specific nerve fibers. This increased energy accelerates the repair processes of the cell. Laser additionally causes a widening of the arteries and veins around the damage which really helps to remove damaged cellular debris and increase nutrients and oxygen. White blood cell activity is improved leading to a more fast repair process.
Gifted Tissue Repair and Cell Growth: Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. As a result of exposure to laser light, the cells of nerves, ligaments, tendons and muscles are repaired quicker.
Improved Vascular Action: Laser light raises the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue, which closes wounds quickly, and speeds up the healing process.
Cause and Acupuncture Points: Laser is very effective in extinguishing painful trigger points. It’s likewise a highly effective method of stimulating acupuncture points with no distress related to needling.
Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation: Laser therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from burns, cuts, scratches, repetitive motion injuries or surgery.
Faster Wound Healing: Collagen is the essential protein necessary to repair injuries or to replace old tissue. Because of this, the laser is effective on burns and open wounds. Laser raises the number of stem cells, which enhances healing.
Conditions Treated Where Laser Therapy is Administered
High power lasers are typically present in physical therapy clinics and chiropractic offices. Neck, back or joint pain generally responds immediately to laser therapy.
“Lasers are also rather powerful for inflammatory conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, tendonitis, bursitis, and capsulitis. Sprains, strains, and repetitive motion injuries all have an inflammatory component and may be successfully treated with laser,” he remarked. “There is no specific state that reacts more quickly to laser. Nonetheless, some patients will respond faster than others for precisely the same condition as individual healing rates can change.”
Laser therapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or with rehabilitative exercise therapy. “Rehabilitative exercises and laser therapy complement each other nicely,” explained Dr. Coren.
Precautions of Laser Therapy
There are a few precautions with laser treatment. Eye protection is required for both therapist and the patient, and laser must not be performed over malignancies, pacemakers, spinal stimulators or within the midsection of pregnant women.
High power laser treatment is just one of the quickest, most powerful modalities therapists now need to treat inflammation and pain. “Sadly, laser just isn’t covered by insurance, and high-power lasers could be difficult since they are high-priced to locate. Most importantly, results are reached by the quantity of energy produced, 18,000-30,000 joules per treatment being the sweet spot,” Dr. Coren reasoned.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Chiropractic and Sciatica
Sciatica is identified as a group of symptoms rather than a single injury or condition. Low back pain is common among a variety of individuals, but when symptoms of numbness and tingling sensations are accompanied with pain and discomfort, there may be unnecessary pressure being placed against the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica can occur due to a variety of factors and chiropractic treatment can help relieve the symptoms. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment option available for restoring the health of the spine and reducing sciatica symptoms.
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