I’ve written a lot about Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center’s multi-disciplinary approach to wellness. Because we take a holistic view of health, our facility incorporates a number of strategies to treat the whole patient. In addition to chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage, I am also a big believer in the use of Low Level Laser Therapy (also known as Cold Laser Therapy).
What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
This treatment involves the application of red and near infrared light over injuries or lesions with the purpose of improving wounds or soft tissue damage. We often use this in conjunction with other therapies because it can help to increase the speed and quality of tissue repair, therefore helping to relieve both acute and chronic pain.
Low level laser therapy works by producing the following results:
• Healing: Cellular production is accelerated, leading to faster healing. This is accomplished when the laser light stimulates fibroblast development. (Fibroblasts are the cells that make up connective tissues.) It also aids in the synthesis of collagen, the main protein in connective tissues.
• Reducing Inflammation: Laser therapy reduces pain by addressing inflammation. This action helps patients return to normal joint and muscle functioning.
• Scar Tissue Prevention: This therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue, which helps to prevent re-injury.
• Nerve Function: Cell processes are accelerated with laser light therapy; this may help to decrease the symptoms (such as pain and numbness) associated with nerve-related conditions.
• Blood Flow: Laser light therapy helps in the healing process by increasing blood flow to injured areas.
Low Level Laser Therapy is particularly suited for working in conjunction with chiropractic because it helps to improve the function of damaged neurological tissue. It blends seamlessly with our other wellness strategies in that it is a safe, non-invasive, and a drug free form of accelerated healing.
But HOW does it work?
Do you remember learning about plant photosynthesis when you were in school? Low Level Laser Therapy’s mechanism of action is quite similar. The light of the laser affects cell membrane permeability (that is, what can go in and come out of cells) and aids in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the main energy storage and transfer molecule in the cell. With more ATP molecules, more processes—including healing—can take place within the cell.
New Study Proves Efficacy of Low Level Laser Therapy
A recent review investigated the efficacy of Low Level Laser Therapy in neck pain patients. Published in The Lancet*, this inquiry searched databases of studies in order to compare the results of Low Level Laser Therapy with placebo treatment.
The result of this analysis confirmed my understanding of Low Level Laser Therapy—that it reduces pain immediately after treatment. According to the Lancet’s findings, the treatment continues to reduce pain 22 weeks into treatment for chronic neck pain patients.
Even more exciting, Low Level Laser Therapy compared favorably with other forms of pain relief, including pharmacological intervention—without the dangers and side effects of taking pain medication!
Low Level Laser Therapy at Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center
Low Level Laser Therapy is generally used in conjunction with our chiropractic and physical therapy services. It is effective in speeding up the healing process in soft tissue injuries, chronic pain conditions, and wounds. It also aids in nerve regeneration.
Contact Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center to learn more about Low Level Laser Therapy and our holistic approach to healthy living.
*The Lancet, Volume 374, Issue 9705, Pages 1897 – 1908, 5 December 2009Contributed by Dr. Thomas Dandrea
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