Laser therapy employs low power or 'soft' laser light to aid the natural healing process of the body safely and effectively.
It has been used for over 30 years and is widely available in the medical field for treatment of pain, wound healing and musculoskeletal conditions.
Laser therapy achieves improved outcomes in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, post nail avulsion, neuropathic and phantom pain, diabetic ulceration, rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, joints, chronic oedema, warts and verrucae.
Low level lasers should not be confused with surgical lasers which are a different classification of laser. Low level laser therapy cannot burn or harm the skin. Its effects are photo-biochemical, not thermal.
In addition to their direct healing applications, low level lasers also provide an alternative needle-free acupuncture medium.
How It Works
The physiological effects of laser therapy have been extensively researched and the details of the mechanisms are increasingly becoming understood.
Particular wavelengths of light stimulate the body’s healing cells: initial absorption by the mitochondria leads to increased fibroblast cell proliferation and migration, with modulation of cytokine levels, growth factors, inflammatory mediators and increased tissue oxygenation - all part of the natural healing process.
Essentially by directly treating the damaged tissue with appropriate light, laser therapy helps the body to heal itself. It is especially effective for chronic conditions, or where the immune system is compromised, as it can also re-start a stalled healing process.
In addition to the local cellular effects, research on low level laser therapy has demonstrated both enhanced levels of endorphin release, and the suppression of pain messages previously sent to the brain.
Combining these effects with those from its use in stimulating acupuncture and ‘trigger’ points, low level laser is an excellent therapy for treating pain.
Patients can benefit from resolution of chronic wounds and pain syndromes without the discomfort and side effects of many other forms of treatment.
Musculoskeletal conditions which have previously been managed with orthotics are regularly brought to resolution when laser therapy is introduced.
Patients respond quickly when treating soft tissue conditions and pain, with results usually evident in the first 1-2 treatments. Other conditions vary with verrucae often requiring 5-10 treatments. Treatment times per session are relatively short so overall treatment time shows no significant increase against that of most traditional treatments.
Over and above reductions in dressings and drugs for the clinic, laser therapy is associated with reduced infection rates and post surgery scarring presenting real benefits for the patient.
Information and images courtesy of Omega Laser Systems
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