How Can Laser Therapy Help Treat Inflammation? |The Answer in Brief
One of the biggest symptoms of any disease, and one that every patient lives in fear of, is pain. It is no wonder then that so much research has been dedicated to pain management solutions.
The fear of pain is also the leading cause of opioid dependency in patients that suffer from chronic conditions, such as cancer. This is why the emergence of alternative pain treatment techniques is always welcomed in the medical profession.
One such technique is the use of laser therapy for pain management, reduction, and elimination. Although the widespread use of laser light therapy is relatively new, its importance in medicine has been known for several years now.
In this article, we will look deeper at how laser treatment for pain works against inflammation and its benefits compared to traditional pain management solutions.
What Is Laser Light Therapy?
Laser light therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light on patients suffering from acute and chronic pain to:
- Relax muscles
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Stimulate nerve regeneration
- Accelerate healing of damaged tissues
When laser light reaches above 800 nm in wavelength, and with the addition of sufficient power, it will be able to penetrate the cells in the same way as X-rays do. However, unlike an X-ray, laser light therapy will have a definite effect on the cells with which it manages to contact.
Two Types of Laser Light Therapy
Laser therapy for pain can generally be divided into two types depending on the amount of power used in each procedure. The therapy can use either class 3 or class 4 lasers to treat pain and the two types of therapies are known as:
- Low-level laser therapy (cold therapy)
- High-power laser therapy
The choice between the two usually depends on the severity of the pain, the location of the injury, and the number of treatment sessions you want before the pain is eliminated.
While high-power laser therapy does use significantly more power than low-level laser therapy, it does not necessarily mean it has greater risks associated with it. In most cases, when used in the right way and by a qualified technician, the two procedures are very safe.
However, if the damage being treated is significant, high-power laser therapy will produce better and quicker results when administered in sufficient doses.
Which Conditions Respond to Laser Therapy for Pain?
Not all kinds of pain will respond well to laser light therapy, which is why it is important to use this treatment only after being recommended to do so by a physician.
The following are some of the common conditions that are regularly treated with laser therapy for pain:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Foot and ankle conditions
- Low back pain
- Knee pain
- Sports injuries, like sprains and strains
- Disc problems
Benefits of Laser Treatment for Pain
Laser treatment for pain is quickly becoming very popular in many clinics and medical institutes because of the following benefits it has over traditional pain management techniques:
- Quick Treatment Sessions
A single laser light therapy session will usually take less than 10 minutes to complete, which means even busy individuals can make time for it during the day. When treating mild pain, the effects can be immediate but for guaranteed long-lasting results the patient will have to return for five or six more sessions.
- Non-invasive Procedure
One of the best things about laser treatment for pain is that it is a non-evasive procedure that requires little to no preparation. Apart from the slight numbness around the treated area, there are no lasting side effects.
- Feel-Good Sensations
Patients have reported that laser therapy for pain feels good while the procedure is being conducted, which plays a significant role in helping patients to complete the required number of sessions.
- Customizable Treatment
Simply increasing or reducing the power of the laser will allow the technician to accurately customize the treatment procedure according to the needs of the patient. In most cases, the sessions vary in terms of the duration of each session, the power of the laser, and the rest intervals between treatments to get the best possible results.
- Good for Both Acute and Chronic Conditions
The same type of laser treatment device for pain can be used to treat acute and chronic conditions with similar success in both cases. The best thing to do is to go for treatment sessions as soon as possible to increase the chances of eliminating the pain.
- No Serious Side-effects
A patient can go for a laser light therapy session during lunch and be back at work 30 minutes later as if nothing happened at all. This is just to show how safe and free from side effects laser therapy for pain is.
The best way to treat inflammation using laser therapy is to first seek the advice of a medical practitioner or laser therapy professional. They will be able to advise you on the type of laser treatment you need as well as the number of sessions required.
After that, all that is left to do is to go for your first session as soon as possible and stick to the program until the end.