For years, the most common and effective treatments for chronic pain involved invasive surgery or a reliance on prescription pain medication. However, with new medical developments, safer alternatives are now available that can be just as effective as traditional methods with less risk involved. One treatment that has received a lot of attention as of late is laser therapy, but many people still don't understand how it works or what to expect during the treatment process. In order to clear any confusion you may have and see if laser therapy is right for you, following is description of how it works and what you can expect during the treatment process.
How Laser Therapy Works
Laser therapy, also referred to as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is a treatment that accelerates the healing process by utilizing specific wavelengths of light to interact with damaged tissue. The primary function of laser therapy is to energize the living systems in the body and kick start its ability to heal. When laser light is applied to affected regions of the body, it floods the damaged tissue with photons that energize damaged cells and increase healthy blood circulation to the painful areas. By increasing energy that is readily available in the body, laser light is able to stimulate the biological function of cells, tissue, and healing systems, allowing the body to naturally heal itself safely and effectively.
The Benefits of Laser Therapy
Beyond preventing the need for invasive surgery or a reliance on pain medication, there are many healing benefits that laser therapy offers. These include tissue regeneration, reduced inflammation, analgesia, and enhanced immune function. Laser therapy has also been shown to stimulate the regeneration of bone, blood, the lining of blood vessels, cartilage, nerves, and muscles, and has even been documented to enhance the quality of healed tissue. The treatment can be used to heal a number of acute and chronic conditions, helping reduce pain, swelling, and spasms, and increasing functionality.
What to Expect During the Treatment Process
Laser therapy treatments last between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the condition being treated, with patients typically seeing results after three to five sessions. The laser is administered directly to the skin over the effected region and provides a warm, deep, and soothing sensation to the applied areas and muscles. Depending on your unique medical condition, the therapy may also be administered with a contact hand piece. The contact hand piece allows the practitioner to physically manipulate the affected tissue while administering the treatment. This helps the light penetrate deeper into the tissues while providing the relaxing benefits of massage therapy.
Combination with Other Treatments
Laser therapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments. Most medical professionals will combine it with chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy. This multi-faceted approach to pain relief improves the overall effectiveness of each of the treatments, in turn helping the body heal itself faster than one method alone.
Laser therapy is a safe and effective solution to chronic pain relief that can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. If you suffer from chronic pain and want to avoid invasive surgery or rely on prescription pain killers, contact your local chiropractor to see if laser therapy can work for you.
Dr. Kevin Christie is a Chiropractic Physician and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in Miami, FL at Health-Fit Chiropractic & Sports Medicine where he treats college athletes, as well as professional athletes from the NFL, MLB, and NHL. Dr. Christie was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to the Board of Athletic Trainers as the Chiropractic Advisor. He is also part of the IRONMANÂ® Provider Network through A.R.T., which sets up a treatment tent for every IRONMAN event to provide treatment to athletes.