The Benefits of Therapeutic Laser Therapy
As Physical and Occupational Therapists, we see pain and inflammation quite a bit throughout our day. Each patient we see is unique and their body presents pain and inflammation differently. As therapists, we have been taught and learned quite a few approaches to treating pain over our careers. Depending on the disease, injury, or surgery, we will choose from our arsenal of techniques; ice, heat, stay off your feet, walk to stretch your body, prescription medications or NSAIDs, and various topical products. Now at our fingertip is a new, leading-edge, more natural approach to treating pain and inflammation, therapeutic laser therapy. What we have seen from the research already is the many benefits of therapeutic laser therapy.
Physical and Occupational Therapy is thought of as an alternative treatment to high levels of medications and costly surgeries and injections. It is with the use of therapeutic laser therapy we can relieve pain, resolve inflammation and increase the speed, quality, and tensile strength of tissue repair in a safe, more natural way. Laser therapy is also effective in increasing collagen production, bone repair, reducing edema, increasing lymphatic drainage, and increasing the production of capillary beds. The therapeutic laser allows our patients to benefit from the advances in technology and science. While patients are not typically better within 1 treatment, 1-6 treatments have been shown to deliver beneficial changes in the patient’s pain, quality of life, and mobility.
Here are some commonly asked questions about therapeutic laser therapy.
What is Laser Therapy for pain?
Most recently, the use of therapeutic laser therapy has become more popular. There is quite a bit of information floating around about what therapeutic laser therapy is and how it works. Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to create therapeutic effects. These effects include, but are not limited to, improving healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation, decreased swelling, and vasodilation.
Can Laser Therapy treat pain?
Yes! With close to 50 million Americans suffering from pain due to injury, disease, or accident, therapeutic laser therapy can help treat and reduce pain. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. Therapeutic Laser therapy has also been shown to stimulate the immune system, resolve the infection and improve the function of damaged neurological tissue.
Not all lasers are created equal
The Berman Medical Laser available at all 4 Freedom Physical Therapy Clinics is different than other lasers on the market. Our laser is administered on the skin versus a big machine that requires the laser to travel through the air before reaching the skin. Having contact on the skin allows for less scatter compared to others, local, specific treatment to the area in need, and deeper penetration of the laser light to aid in faster recovery and healing. The 60W therapeutic laser is a high-power laser that decreases treatment time. Due to this, fewer treatment sessions are required to get at the desired results.
Will the results last?
Research has found that the results from the therapeutic laser last 3-4 days after the first treatment. Results can vary from person to person, but typically the period of pain relief increases as more treatments are performed. Some notice a warm sensation when receiving the treatment. Treatment sessions last from 5-20 minutes depending on the area, depth of penetration needed, and structures involved.
What can the laser be used to treat?
There is a long list of beneficial effects of using the therapeutic laser. Included here are some that we see most commonly in the clinic.
– Anti- pain (analgesic)
– Accelerated tissue repair and wound healing
– Increased range of motion
What conditions can therapeutic laser help?
Many conditions can be helped with therapeutic laser therapy. Anything from inflammation of tendons, ligaments, and muscles (Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow), acute or chronic pain (arthritis, spine pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, hip, shoulder, knee, ankle, or foot pain), neuropathy, and sports injuries can be significantly helped through the use of the therapeutic laser.
Not sure if therapeutic laser therapy is right for you? One of our therapists is more than happy to discuss with you if Therapeutic Laser Therapy may be helpful in your recovery process. Get pain treatment in Southeast Wisconsin with Freedom Physical Therapy Services.