Lasers have enjoyed a presence within the medical community for decades. While they are most commonly known for their ability to accurately cut tissue, certain configurations can be used to address a host of health issues. These are often known as low-level lasers and they differ dramatically from their high-powered counterparts. How do these lasers function? What conditions can they treat and what are some of their primary advantages? If you have been suffering from musculoskeletal pain or discomfort, the information found below could prove to be quite useful.
What is the Medical Effect of Low-Level Laser Therapy?
As the term may already suggest, low-level lasers employ a lower (longer) wavelength of light. This wavelength is generally found within the infrared spectrum. Thus, it is normally not visible to the naked eye.
The effects of low-level laser therapy involve how the cells of the body react when exposed to certain types of light. This is sometimes referred to as a “photochemical response”. Cells which have become damaged produce a substance known as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide effectively displaces the oxygen from within these cells. As a result, they become inflamed and in some situations, the cells may even die.
The use of low-level laser light destroys any nitric oxide that is present; allowing the cells to reabsorb oxygen. This helps to reduce feelings of pain and inflammation. In other words, the health of nearby tissues can be restored.
What are Some Conditions Which Can be Treated by this Type of Therapy?
It is important to mention that evidence supporting the beneficial effects of low-level laser treatments is still contentious. This partially arises from the fact that the exact biochemical processes are not yet fully understood. We also need to stress that research is in its early stages. The chances are high that more data will be compiled over time. Having said this, it is thought that several conditions might benefit from low-level lasers. These include:
- Arthritis within the extremities (such as the wrists, fingers and toes).
- Lower back pain
- Issues with trunk and pelvic flexion
So, it is clear that low-level laser treatments could very well be useful to those who might not have experienced benefits with more traditional forms of therapy.
What Specific Advantages Might Patients Experience?
Perhaps the most notable benefit of low-level treatments involves the fact that they do not require any type of physical manipulation (unlike other types of physical therapy which could cause certain patients a significant amount of pain). These lasers may also be employed to target extremely small areas of the body that are associated with discomfort. This treatment can likewise be used alongside more well-known chiropractic techniques.
Would you like to know more about low-level laser therapy or do you wish to schedule a consultation with one of our chiropractors? If so, please feel free to book a free screening. We can offer a host of useful solutions.