LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The first therapeutic laser cleared FDA approval in 2002.
How it works (low tech)
Light energy is directed towards cells in the body to speed up cell metabolism and increase the rate at which the body can heal.
How it works (the technical side)
In a process called photobiomodulation, photons of light from the laser stimulate parts of the cell. The photochemical reaction, through various cell cascades, leads to normalization of cell function, pain relief and healing. Compromised cells respond more readily than healthy cells to the energy transfer from laser therapy. Unlike other modalities, laser therapy has been shown capable of causing regeneration. And, because it does not exacerbate the inflammatory process, it can be used immediately post injury.
The laser is approved by the FDA to emit energy in the infrared spectrum to elevate tissue temperature for the purposes of relief of muscle and joint pain, arthritis, muscle spasm and stiffness.
Laser is a nonionizing form of energy.
NB – Surgical lasers cut and destroy tissue by using excess heat (thermal reaction). Therapy laser works by stimulating cell function (photochemical reaction).
We have successfully used the laser for:
-Osteoarthritis pain management, post-op comfort and healing of surgical wounds, slow to heal wounds and fractures, ear infections, aural hematomas, anal sacculitis, and others – we keep finding new ways to use it!
- Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, faster wound healing,
- Reduced inflammation, swelling and edema; reduced scarring,
- Increased cell metabolism
- New blood vessel formation, increased circulation,
- Enhanced antioxidant levels,
- Improved nerve function,
Possible Adverse Effects of Laser Therapy
- Mild temporary increase of pain during application
- Mild pain the day after treatment
- Mild bruising from the application tip
- Skin reaction
- Temporary dizziness
Chronic problems can respond to two treatments per week. Response may take 2-20 treatments. Chronic conditions may be maintained with once monthly treatments.
Acute problems may be treated daily or EOD, and may respond in 2-6 treatments.
A 3-2-1 protocol works for most issues – 3 in week 1, 2 in week 2, 1 in week 3, and then as needed to maintain comfort.