What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy, or photobiomodulation, is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include improved healing, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling in the body. Laser therapy has been widely utilized in Europe by physical therapists, nurses and doctors as far back as the 1970’s. After FDA clearance in 2002, laser therapy is used effectively and extensively in the United States.
Fast Facts About Laser Therapy
During laser therapy, the infrared laser light interacts with tissues in the body at the cellular level, and metabolic activity (the set of chemical reactions that happen within the body to maintain life) increases within the cell, improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the release of nitric oxide, leading to many beneficial effects, and increasing cellular function and health.
Laser therapy creates an optimal healing environment, reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area heals, normal function is restored and pain is relieved. There is little if any sensation experienced during treatments. Occasionally, one may feel a mild, soothing warmth or tingling sensation. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction is experienced.
During more than twenty years of use of laser therapy by healthcare providers across the globe, very few side effects have ever been reported. Occasionally, old injuries or pain may exist for a few days (as the healing response is more active after treatment). Improvement in conditions (usually pain reduction) can occur after the first treatment, while there are circumstances where improvement may not be felt for a number of treatments. This does not mean that nothing is happening. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 to 4 sessions. The number of treatments depends on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions, as little as 1 or as many as 6 treatments may be sufficient. Chronic conditions, such as severe arthritis, may require more treatments.
HVC often uses laser therapy in conjunction with physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage, soft tissue mobilization, electrotherapy and following surgery. The alleviation of pain is our specialty. Let us help you regain your quality of life by eliminating your pain.