Leave the Light on for Pain Relief: How Laser Therapy Energizes Healing on the Cellular Level
Are you living with chronic pain or discomfort that isn’t responding to common treatments? The way many people look at pain management has changed with the introduction of laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) therapy for pain. Take a look at what you need to know about laser therapy if you’re looking for holistic, cutting-edge pain management.
It’s really a new day for pain relief. Previously, patients had very limited options for managing intense, chronic pain that made it difficult to enjoy life to the fullest. Most treatment paths focused on invasive surgeries or long-term usage of pain medication. Not everyone necessarily has the time, budget or health history to make these options optimal. What’s more, traditional options for pain management don’t necessarily focus on restorative healing at the tissue level. It is possible to treat pain without surgical scalpels or pills! For many people, light offers a way to heal tissue to restore mobility and function without downtime or pain. Take a look at what you need to know.
The Basics of Laser Therapy: How Light Beams Can Bring Healing on the Cellular Level
Laser therapy utilizes light for healing. However, this is no ordinary light source. Laser therapy relies on specific wavelengths that that help to speed up the healing process in tissue at the cellular level. Many patients find that laser therapy helps them to enjoy the following:
- Pain relief.
- Reduction in swelling.
- Reduction in spasms.
- Increased functionality and range of motion.
The most common type of laser therapy is “cold laser” therapy. With this option, the laser used does not produce heat. This means that patients don’t need to worry about any cuts or burns when a laser is applied to the skin. However, laser therapy can also refer to laser technology that uses light beams strong enough to cut through steel for surgical procedures. When surgical lasers are used, the tissue area being treated is heated.
Cold laser therapy has been found to be particularly beneficial for helping to treat musculoskeletal pain. Lasers are capable of stimulating cellular activity in nerves, muscles, ligaments and cartilage. As many pain sufferers know, these can often be some of the most challenging areas to treat using traditional pain-management tools. One of the big benefits of laser therapy is that care providers are able to focus on one area of tissue with precision without disrupting other areas. Ultimately, this is a targeted treatment that addresses specific areas of pain and injury as efficiency as possible.
What Happens During a Laser Therapy Session?
First, it’s important to know that there are many different types of lasers that are used by physicians. In some cases, a laser may be part of a much larger unit. You may also encounter handheld lasers. Generally, a laser is placed directly over the injured tissue for several seconds. If necessary, the laser may be moved around to treat mobility issues in joints and muscles. A full laser treatment session often lasts just 10 to 15 minutes. In most cases, patients begin to feel noticeable differences after just one or two treatments. While relief can be very easy to come by with laser therapy, it’s usually advised that patients stick with this treatment for up to five or more sessions to achieve full results that resolve pain or injury on a long-term basis. More intense injuries will often require several treatment sessions to ensure that a patient can get the maximum healing benefits without risks of “going backwards” as soon as they stop treatment.
During laser therapy, the beam that is emitted is absorbed by the cells in the body using a process called photobiomodulation. When that beam is absorbed, it triggers an increase in the production of cellular energy. This increase triggers the body’s ability to protect itself against inflammation that is causing pain. It also boosts circulation. The overall impact is that the cells in the injured or inflamed area are suddenly supercharged for healing.
Laser therapy is considered a painless treatment. However, some patients do feel a slight sensation of warmth during treatment. While this warmth feels very soothing, it is not actually a sign that your treatment is working. The heat felt during laser treatment is simply the sensation of energy being applied to your tissue.
What to Expect After Laser Therapy
The period immediately following laser therapy is uneventful. However, some patients do begin to feel significant relief from pain and inflammation after the first session. Some of the positive effects to expect include pain relief, reduced inflammation, better mobility, improved joint flexibility, reduced muscle tightness and stabilized muscle spasms.
Who Should Get Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy is something that’s really open to all types of patients. Of course, your medical history will be looked at prior to treatment to ensure that this option is truly a good fit for helping you to treat pain. Certain types of injuries may not be ideal for treatment with laser therapy unless some degree of stabilization has been reached. Additionally, laser therapy is not recommended for pregnant women. Here’s a look at some common reasons why people seek laser therapy:
- Back pain.
- Neck pain.
- Knee pain.
- Ear pain.
- Sprains and tears.
- Motion injuries.
- Carpal tunnel.
- Golfer’s elbow .
- Tennis elbow.
- Plantar fasciitis.
- Herniated discs.
- Bulging discs.
Laser therapy can be tailored for specific areas of the body. When discussing laser therapy with a physician prior to treatment, you’ll discover that there are actually several different types of attachments designed to deliver maximum precision for different tissue groups. Laser intensity is also tailored for each patient’s needs.
Can Laser Therapy Be Used With Other Treatments?
Laser therapy is commonly used with other rehabilitation techniques. The noninvasive nature of laser therapy opens up many doors for combining different recovery options because you aren’t dealing with downtime and recovery time. Some patients also find that laser therapy is enough to provide results on its own without the need for additional therapies.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Exploring Laser Therapy for Pain Relief
People with chronic pain and inflammation are finding that laser therapy can significantly speed up recovery time. This is owed to the fact that laser treatments help to heal the body from a cellular level instead of just temporarily “neutralizing” pain. If you’re interested in a holistic, noninvasive way to treat tissue pain and injury that goes beyond special exercises, laser therapy may be the piece that’s been missing from your recovery plan! Laser therapy can be an appropriate treatment option for both new and lingering injuries. It can also be used in cases where other types of therapies have not been effective for providing pain relief and healing in significant ways. We’re now entering a time when innovative therapies are making it possible to get pain relief while also speeding up healing. See what that means for you by finding out more about laser therapy!