Cold Laser / Photobiomodulation
(Photobiomodulation: the term used for how near-infrared helps the body heal and relieve pain.)
WHAT IS IT?
The Thor Laser used at COMPHYSIO, is a form of cold laser therapy for healing and pain relief. Laser and LED beams of light can stimulate the cells in the body that repair tissue, reduce inflammation, relieve pain in musculoskeletal disorders, and transmit pain.
Therapeutic Benefits of Laser Therapy
- Anti-inflammatory Action: Laser light reduces swelling, leading to decreased pain, less stiffness, and a faster return to normal joint and muscle function.
- Rapid Cell repair: Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and healing.
- Faster Wound Healing: Laser light stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
- Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation: Laser light reduces formation of scar tissue, leading to more complete healing, with less chance of weakness and re-injury later.
- Increased Vascular Activity: Laser light increases blood flow to the injured area.
- Stimulated Nerve Function: Laser light speeds nerve cell processes, which may decrease pain and numbness associated with nerve-related conditions.
HOW COLD LASER THERAPY WORKS
Cold lasers are handheld devices used by our therapist and are often the size of a flashlight. The laser is placed directly over the injured area for 30 seconds to several minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated and the dose provided by the cold laser unit.
During this time, the non-thermal photons of light that are emitted from the laser pass through the skin's layers (the dermis, epidermis, and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin). This light can penetrate 2 to 5 centimeters below the skin at 90mw and 830 nm.
Once the light energy passes through the layers of skin and reaches the target area, it is absorbed and interacts with the light sensitive elements in the cell. This process can be compared to photosynthesis in plants - sunlight is absorbed by plants, which is then converted to usable energy so that the plant can grow.
When cells absorb this light energy, it initiates a series of events in the cell that is theorized to eventually result in normalizing damaged or injured tissue, a reduction in pain, inflammation, edema and an overall reduction in healing time by increasing intracellular metabolism.
In addition, high intensity single point lasers can release trigger points and treat acupuncture points instead of needles.
Advantages of Low Level Laser Therapy over Medical Treatment
- Safe and quick results. Can be used immediately after injury, over pins, plates and bony prominences.
- Drug free pain relief without the unwanted side-effects. It doesn’t have side effects like some anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers.
Safety of Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Low level laser therapy is not harmful.
- Lasers used for tissue stimulation have insufficient strength to damage cells.
- Thirty years of clinical studies and clinical use have shown only mild, occasional adverse effects.
- There are normally no adverse effects from LLLT, however you may occasionally experience mild ache after treatment.
- This is due to a re-stimulation of the inflammatory phase and should settle down after 24 – 48 hours.
Frequency of Treatments
While some patients get immediate results, others require 6-10 treatments before seeing a lasting effect.
Less severe or acute injuries will require fewer treatments than chronic or severe conditions.
The treatment frequency recommendation is 1-2 times / week for 2-4 weeks, then 1 time / week for 2-6 weeks. This clearly will vary from one person to the next depending on the type of injury, the length of time it has been present and how well you heal.
The use of a laser in combination with manual therapy and exercise will help your injury heal quicker, reduce the pain and get you back to normal activities faster!
If you would like to find out if Laser Therapy is right for your condition, give us a call at (705) 728-9333