What is Laser Therapy?
Simply put, Laser Therapy is the application of red and infrared light over injuries to improve soft tissue healing resulting in relief of both acute and chronic conditions. Laser therapy uses monochromatic light emission from a laser diode or any array of high intensity super luminous diodes to treat musculoskeletal injuries, chronic and degenerative conditions to heal wounds. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate the soft tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell functions and enhancement of the body’s healing processes.
How does it Work?
The light stimulates the cell’s mitochondria into hyperactivity. The Krebs Cycle of metabolism occurs on the inner membrane of this structure, liberating energy from the chemical bonds present in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules. The cell is provided with more energy and is now in an optimum condition to play its part in the healing process.
When a cell is working to repair itself, it needs a great deal of energy. Most cells continue to work at their usual rate, which is why repair of some tissues takes so long. In some instances, the cells stay so busy dealing with inflammation and bi-products that are present in the injured tissue; they don’t have enough energy left to provide effective repair.
When cells are stimulated with Laser Therapy, their activity is increased so that they can perform better, faster and more effectively. The result is wound and injury healing that is enhanced and that takes less time to complete. The function of immune cells and the lymphatic and vascular systems are also stimulated.
What Conditions/Injuries can be treated by Laser Therapy?
What are the key biological effects of Laser Therapy?
What if I’ve had a chronic condition for many years and I’ve tried other therapies with little or no success, can Laser Therapy still help me?
Laser Therapy has an excellent success rate, even when patients have tried numerous other therapies and have suffered for years, even decades, without relief.
Will I need to keep coming back for treatments?
Most conditions that are treated with Laser Therapy can resolve completely so there is no need to return for more treatments. There are some conditions which require additional treatments occasionally.
Why is it beneficial to use Laser Therapy for an acute, or recent, injury?
Am I too young or too old for Laser Therapy?
Laser Therapy is for people of any age.
Is Laser Therapy a cure for arthritis?
Although Laser Therapy isn’t a cure for arthritis, it does treat arthritis at the cellular level. It helps to improve the condition rather than just mask the pain. After an initial round of 12-15 treatments, patients can see up to 100% improvement which is long lasting. Then they are able to reduce or eliminate pain medications, are more active and getting more exercise, and are able to sleep better. To maintain this level of improvement, they have an additional treatment occasionally. The timing varies widely from patient to patient, from once a month to once a year.
Will Laser Therapy help me avoid surgery?
Sometimes surgery is the best solution for an injury. In the case of necessary joint replacements, Laser Therapy can help prolong the need for those replacements as well as dramatically reduce the amount of pain while waiting for the surgery. And in many cases, Laser Therapy has been able to help patients with shoulder, knee, foot, back and Achilles tendon injuries avoid surgery completely.
I am a professional athlete and sustain many injuries every season, Is Laser Therapy right for me?
Yes. There are numerous professional athletes and sport teams using Laser Therapy to help them get back in the game faster and stay there. Laser Therapy is used not only for acute injuries, but also for preventative treatments after intense training. The following is just a short list of some of the athletes/teams using Laser Therapy.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally patients experience a slight exacerbation of pain for a varying period of time-usually for less than 24 hours after treatment. If this occurs, utilize pain medication and/or ice and let the therapist know prior to the next treatment.
How many treatments will I need to receive?
This depends on the condition and each individual’s response to Laser Therapy. On average 5-20 treatments varying from 30-60 minutes in duration are required. Acute, or recent, injuries tend to need fewer treatments than chronic conditions. Treatments are best done 2-3 times per week.
When will I start to see positive results?
Some people start seeing results after just the first treatment. For most patients, the change is noticeable between the 3rd and 5th treatment.
What is meant by “radiation”, when referring to Lasers?
“Radiation” is often misinterpreted since it is also used to describe radioactive materials and ionized radiation. The use of the word “radiation” in terms of laser light is merely an expression of energy transmission.
Can Laser Therapy cause cancer?
No. Laser Therapy is very safe because it generally utilizes wavelengths above 632nm. Therefore the laser beam is not producing ionizing radiation (which can cause cancer) like x-rays, Gamma rays etc. It is even safer then ordinary sunlight. Sunlight contains cancer-causing wavelengths (below 320nm) such as ultra violet light.
Is Laser Therapy Scientifically well documented?
There are over 2500 research reports published documenting the effectiveness of Laser Therapy. Some of these are listed on our website under Clinical Studies. The book “Low level Laser Therapy (Clinical Practice and Scientific Background)” by Jan Tuner and Lars Hode, is the most recent reference guide for literature documentation. The first systemic scientific research on the biological effects of low level laser was conducted by the late Professor Endre Mester of the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest, Hungary, 1966.
What is the cost of Laser Therapy treatment?
$50 per 30-minute treatment. Although it varies, the average patient with a chronic condition requires ten 30-minute treatments at a total cost of $500. The average patient with an acute injury requires five 30-minute treatments at a total cost of $250. In comparison, Laser Therapy is on par with or much less expensive than most other types of therapies.
Are Laser Therapy treatment covered by insurance?
Although Provincial Health Care does not cover the cost of Laser Therapy treatments, there are some extended health care policies which do offer coverage. Contact the clinic closest to you to discuss insurance options.