Chronic Pain? Try Laser Therapy
Apr 01, 2017 01:10AM
by Eric Winder, DC
Laser therapy gives many patients at our clinic pain relief when other treatments have failed. However, when low level laser therapy (LLLT) first started making waves over 10 years ago, I was skeptical. I wasn’t hearing direct reports of success with LLLT from other doctors, and research studies were promising but few.
Fast forward a few years, and I heard from an associate doctor about LLLT relieving her intractable elbow pain. Patients told me about dogs experiencing relief from hip pain with LLLT performed by their veterinarian, and dogs aren’t susceptible to the placebo effect. LLLT equipment technology was improving, as was the understanding of how it worked and how to apply it.
My interest in LLLT changed to involvement when patients began to request the therapy. After careful research, we added a therapeutic laser to our practice. I was the first patient, using LLLT to successfully clear up chronic headache pain. This pain had persisted for months after a severe concussion but was completely gone after just two sessions of LLLT. As we began to introduce LLLT to patients, relief was reported for migraines, sciatica and hip pain.
LLLT State of the Art
LLLT has been approved for use in the United States since 2002 and grows in usage every year with every NFL team, over 50 U.S. Olympic teams, and many other professional or collegiate teams using LLLT extensively. The most recent models of therapeutic laser are more powerful and use as many as four different wavelengths of light to penetrate deeper into the tissue.
Research shows results with LLLT for many problems, ranging from neck pain and tennis elbow to chronic back pain and hand arthritis. We have seen positive results with plantar fasciitis, sciatica and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, as well various other types of pain.
How Laser Helps
LLLT helps improve tissue health in a number of ways. When sufficient laser light reaches a cell’s “energy factories,” called mitochondria, cell metabolism is boosted which means more energy is produced in the cell.
Oxygenation is also boosted by LLLT. When red blood cells receive enough laser light illumination, they give off the oxygen they carry more easily which means more oxygen for the surrounding tissue. LLLT also stimulates increased circulation and can produce an immediate analgesic, or pain-relieving, effect. Relief typically begins within one to three treatments.
Learn More About LLLT
I invite you to attend a program on April 26, delving deeper into LLLT, how it works and what types of pain it helps to relieve. We will discuss case examples and hold a Q&A session following the presentation. Arrive at 6:45 p.m. for refreshments, and the program itself will take place from 7–8 p.m.
This event is located at 3131 S Tamiami Trail, #102, Sarasota. To register, call 941-957-8390. Dr. Eric Winder has been practicing chiropractic for 19 years with a focus on fascial treatment and soft tissue therapies for the past 16 years. He can be reached at Gentlebay Chiropractic via GentleBay.com. Dr. Winder’s practice focuses on relieving pain and restoring alignment and motion through soft tissue therapies without forceful manipulation.