What is Laser Therapy?
Simply put, Laser Therapy is the application of red and infrared light over injuries to improve soft tissue healing resulting in relief of both acute and chronic conditions. Laser therapy uses monochromatic light emission from a laser diode or any array of high intensity super luminous diodes to treat musculoskeletal injuries, chronic and degenerative conditions and to heal wounds. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate the soft tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell functions and enhancement of the body’s healing processes.
How Does it Work?
The light stimulates the cell’s mitochondria into hyperactivity. The Krebs Cycle of metabolism occurs on the inner membrane of this structure, liberating energy from the chemical bonds present in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules. The cell is provided with more energy and is now in an optimum condition to play its part in the healing process.
When a cell is working to repair itself, it needs a great deal of energy. Most cells continue to work at their usual rate, which is why repair of some tissues takes so long. In some instances, the cells stay so busy dealing with inflammation and bi-products that are present in the injured tissue; they don’t have enough energy left to provide effective repair.
When cells are stimulated with Laser Therapy, their activity is increased so that they can perform better, faster and more effectively. The result is wound and injury healing that is enhanced and that takes less time to complete. The function of immune cells and the lymphatic and vascular systems are also stimulated.
What Conditions/Injuries can be treated by Laser Therapy?
- Rotator Cuff Tears
- Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow
- Fractures with Soft Tissue Damage
- Ligament and Tendon Tears
- Sprains and Strains
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Chondromalacia Patella
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What are the key biological effects of Laser Therapy?
- Increased cell metabolism
- Increased beta-endorphins
- Increased cell replication
- Increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced fibrous tissue formation
- Formation of new blood vessels
- Improved histamine response
- Stimulated nerve function
- Stimulated cell growth
- Modulation of white blood cells
- Edema reduction
- Collagen deposition
- Increased lymphatic drainage
Will I need to keep coming back for treatments?
Most conditions that are treated with Laser Therapy can resolve completely so there is no need to return for more treatments. There are some conditions which require additional treatments occasionally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Laser Therapy a cure for arthritis?
Although Laser Therapy isn’t a cure for arthritis, it does treat arthritis at the cellular level. It helps to improve the condition rather than just mask the pain. After an initial round of 12-15 treatments, patients can see up to 100% improvement which is long lasting. Then they are able to reduce or eliminate pain medications, are more active and getting more exercise, and are able to sleep better. To maintain this level of improvement, they have an additional treatment occasionally. The timing varies widely from patient to patient, from once a month to once a year.
Will Laser Therapy help me avoid surgery?
Sometimes surgery is the best solution for an injury. In the case of necessary joint replacements, Laser Therapy can help prolong the need for those replacements as well as dramatically reduce the amount of pain while waiting for the surgery. And in many cases, Laser Therapy has been able to help patients with shoulder, knee, foot, back and Achilles tendon injuries avoid surgery completely.
I am a professional athlete and sustain many injuries every season. Is Laser Therapy right for me?
Yes. There are numerous professional athletes and sports teams using Laser Therapy to help them get back in the game faster and stay there. Laser Therapy is used not only for acute injuries, but also for preventative treatments after intense training. The following is just a short list of some of the athletes/teams using Laser Therapy.
- Lance Armstrong
- Tiger Woods
- Mark Washington
- Harvey Stables
- Donovan Bailey
- Paul McCallum
- Damon Allen
- Vince Carter
- Steve Jones
- Mark McGuire
- Jamie Allison
- Chris Wilson
- Lori Gulas
- Bruny Surin
- David Wells
- Toronto Raptors
- Phoenix Suns
- Dave Dickenson
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally patients experience a slight exacerbation of pain for a varying period of time – usually for less than 24 hours after treatment. If this occurs, utilize pain medication and/or ice and let the therapist know prior to the next treatmen
How many treatments will I need to receive?
This depends on the condition and each individual’s response to Laser Therapy. On average 5-20 treatments varying from 30-60 minutes in duration are required. Acute, or recent, injuries tend to need fewer treatments than chronic conditions. Treatments are best done 2 to 3 times per week.
When will I start to see positive results?
Some people start seeing results after just the first treatment. For most patients, the change is noticeable between the 3rd and 5th treatment.
Are Laser Therapy treatments covered by insurance?
If you have coverage through your extended health plans for chiropractic care, than yes. We will submit your visit under chiropractic as it is under the umbrella of care provided by chiropractors.