Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
The FDA has approved cold laser treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and has been used internationally for the last 18 years to treat soft tissue injuries, back pain, neck pain, arthritis, TMJ (temporal mandibular joint of jaw joint) pain, tendonitis, plantar fascitis (pain in tissues on the bottom of the foot), shoulder and elbow conditions, sports injuries as well as repetitive movement strains and overuse injuries.
The therapeutic benefits of laser therapy:
Rapid cell grow – LLLT accelerates cellular reproduction and growth for faster wound healing i.e. Sports injuries, and repetitive movement injuries.
Faster wound healing – LLLT stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissues. Collagen is the essential protein used to repair damaged tissue. It is the substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity i.e. Soft tissue injuries, sports injuries, and overuse injuries.
LLLT Increases metabolic activity – Causing higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for cells thus causing greater production of ATP (energy). ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells. Increases in ATP allow cells to accept nutrients faster and get rid of waste products faster by increasing the energy level in the cell resulting in faster and better wound healing i.e. Soft tissue injuries, sports injuries, arthritis and overuse injuries.
Reduced fibrous tissue formation – LLLT reduces formation of scar tissue. By increasing collagen production less scar tissue is formed at the damaged site. Scar tissue has little elasticity i.e. Sports injuries, soft tissue injuries, and repetitive movement strains and overuse injuries.
Anti-inflammatory action – Cold Laser or LLLT helps to reduce swelling to offer enhanced joint mobility following injury i.e. Sports injuries, soft tissue injuries, arthritis and tendonitis.
Increased lymphatic system activity – Edema, which is the swelling or natural splinting process of the body, has two basic components. The first is the liquid part, which can be evacuated by the blood system. The second is comprised of proteins, which have to be evacuated by the lymphatic system. Research has shown that the lymph vessel diameter and the flow of the lymph system can be doubled with the use of laser therapy. The venous diameter and the arterial diameters can also be increased. This means that both parts of edema (liquid and protein) can be evacuated at a much faster rate to relieve swelling and thus reducing pain as well i.e. Sport injuries, soft tissue injuries, and overuse injuries.
Increased phagocytosis – The process of cleaning up dead or degenerated cells i.e. Sports injuries, soft tissue injuries, arthritis, tendonitis, and shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle injuries for the purpose “clean up.”Clean up must take place before healing can occur.
Reduce the excitability of nervous tissue – Laser light speeds nerve cell processes, which may decrease numbness, associated with certain conditions. The photons of light energy enter the body as negative ions. This calls upon the body to send positive ions like calcium and others to go the area being treated. These ions assist in firing the nerves thereby relieving pain i.e. Arthritis, soft tissue injuries, sports injuries and tendonitis.
Low lever laser therapy is not harmful. Cold lasers have been used for tissue stimulation have insufficient strength to damage cells. 30 years of clinical use have shown no adverse effects.
We have had great results employing the use of cold laser along with other modalities in order to speed up the healing process.
Ken Whidden, DC
Emerald Coast Chiropractic