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Healing at the speed of light?

25 Nov 2010

Laser surgery

Laser Therapy is on its way to becoming the future of medicine. Currently laser therapy is being used for vision corrections and anti aging procedures. In the rehabilitation field, low level lasers or cold lasers, as they are sometimes referred to, are being used for wound healing, inflammation reduction and pain relief.

As a chiropractor I treat a variety of muscle and joint conditions and have used laser therapy on at least 80% of my patients.  It is a non invasive and pain free method to treat common conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Athletic injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis/golfer’s elbow etc…

What is Laser Therapy?

The word laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  Laser therapy was first developed 30 years ago and used predominately in Europe and Asia. It is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries or wounds to improve healing and relieve both acute and chronic pain.

How does it work?

It involves the use of light which penetrates the skin’s surface and underlying tissues to stimulate our body’s natural repairing process. When low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effective throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell. Laser therapy is accurate, safe and effective.

Is it safe?

Low level therapy is a safe procedure. The lasers used are low level and non thermal. This means that there is no tissue damage or other hazards that may be associated with higher powered lasers. Ocular damage is the main concern with the use of the low level lasers, therefore safety goggles are provided to patients during treatment and both patient and practitioner should avoid staring directly into the laser beam.

Is it expensive and what does it cost?

Cost of treatment will vary depending on the clinic you attend and what you are getting treatment for. At my clinic, treatment prices vary from $40 to $85 per treatment.

Are there any risks to laser therapy?

Although not may there are a few risks which include:

  • Pregnancy (specifically treatment over or near the womb)
  • Recent cortisone/corticosteroid injection
  • Carcinomas/Cancer
  • Over the thyroid
  • Certain heart diseases
  • Direct irradiation of the eyes

How long and how many treatments does one require?

Length of treatment and treatment frequency are dependant on the condition being treatment.  Treatment length may vary between 3mintues to 15 minutes. Larger areas being treated will take longer to treat. For example a sprained pinky finger may take 3-6 minutes to treat where as sciatic may take 10-20 minutes to treat.  As for treatment frequency, most patients report a moderate improvement after 3-4 treatments.

It is important that you consult with your health care practitioner and decided whether laser therapy is an option for you.

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