What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy, also known as cold laser therapy or low-level laser therapy, is a safe, painless, non-invasive treatment that uses laser light to help relieve pain, treat soft tissue damage, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. The low intensity light energy creates chemical reactions in the body to boost the body’s natural healing process. This technique is called “cold” laser therapy because it uses low levels of light that are not enough to heat body tissue.
Laser Therapy is an effective treatment to help conditions such as, but not limited to:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ligament and tendon strains/sprains/tears
- Tendonitis, tendinopathy, or bursitis
How does Laser Therapy work?
Light waves pass through the skin and stimulate the cells’ powerhouse – the mitochondria. Mitochondria produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel cell function. When you are injured, most cells in that area are busy fighting inflammation as well as infection so there is a lot less energy available for repair if the mitochondria are working at their usual rate. Low intensity light helps to stimulate the mitochondria so that they generate a lot more ATP for the cells to use it to detoxify, rebuild, reduce inflammation, and overall aid the healing process of injured tissue.
The general effects include:
- Faster cell reproduction and growth
- Faster wound healing – It stimulates collagen formation. Collagen is very important in the replacement of old tissue and repair of tissue injuries. When collagen is produced faster, it will lead to less scar formation.
- Decreased pain – Not only are is this because of the accelerated healing process, but also due to the increased release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help relieve pain and induce a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
- Reduced fibrous tissue formation – This reduces the formation of scar tissue.
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased vascular activity – Photons from the laser induce temporary dilation of blood vessels which increases blood flow to the site of injury and removes waste products.
- Stimulated nerve function – It speed up the process of reconnecting nerve cells to stimulate recovery from nerve damaged areas. It brings numb areas back to life.
What are laser treatments like?
During this treatment, you will feel the laser probe against your skin, but it does not create heat, sound, or vibration. For your safety you must wear protective eyeglasses so that there is no direct eye exposure to the light rays, as the laser can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
How long are laser treatments?
Each cold laser therapy treatment is about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the injury being treated.
Is laser therapy right for me?
Patients will go through comprehensive screening by the physiotherapist to see if laser therapy will be an effective treatment for their individual needs. Laser therapy should not be used on patients that are pregnant or that have cancer.