Are you struggling with a chronic or acute injury?
Are you struggling with pain?
Have you got nerve issues or maybe joint issues?
Well, read on below; laser therapy, or photobiomodulation, might be for you!
Here is everything you need to know about what Photobiomodulation does and how laser treatment work.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive modality that can have effects on both chronic and acute pain through the process of photobiomodulation (PBM). PBM occurs when an effective dose of light energy is applied to injured tissue. The general mechanism for PBM involves biochemical stimulation of the electron transport chain in eukaryotic cells, which triggers several positive biochemical changes in injured tissue. These changes to musculoskeletal tissue and nerve tissue can decrease pain and inflammation and accelerate tissue healing.
My laser machine, that I use in clinic, is a class 4, medical grade laser with a high output power, up to 15 watts, which is adjustable depending on the condition being treated. It is a CTX laser system than includes a therapeutic laser and optical delivery system that is used for the treatment of minor muscle and joint pain, muscle spasm, pain and stiffness associated with arthritis for promoting relaxation of the muscle tissue and for temporary increase in local blood circulation. The optical delivery system consists of a handpiece with interchangeable treatment heads attached to a flexible optical fibre. A custom software application allows me to select and adjust treatment protocols to tailor make sessions to the patient.
Effectiveness of Photobiomodulation
There is more and more evidence emerging proving the effectiveness of PBM in the management of chronic pain as well as acute pain and injuries. People have reported positive effects from the use of PBM on a whole range of differing conditions and symptoms, including but not exhausted to:
- Fractures & stress fractures
- Sprains/strains/repetitive strain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries – tears, pulls, strains, tension
- Arthritis – osteo and rheumatoid
- Nerve pain
- Bell’s palsy
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Disc herniation
- Facet joint syndrome
- Tennis/golfer’s elbow
- Dupuytran’s contracture
- De Quervains disease
- Meniscal strains/sprains
- Patellofemoral syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- TMJ disorder
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Neck pain
Contraindications to PBM are:
- Over the abdominal and/or lumbosacral region in pregnant females
- Over the epiphyseal lines in children
- Over the thorax or over a pacemaker in patients with pacemakers
- Directly over the thyroid, ovaries and testicles
- On patients who are taking medications that are heat or light sensitive
- Over any suspected tumour or cancer
- Over any actively haemorrhaging lesion
- Directly over the eyes
- Over any area recently injected with any medications
Treatment sessions are short but are dependent on the area being treated. For example, a superficial, small wound may only take a couple of minutes, whereas the hip joint may take 8-10 minutes depending on the problem.
There are no side effects to this painless treatment. Patients have reported warmth and sometimes a mild tingling sensation only.
A one-off treatment won’t have any effect at all. It works accumulatively and sessions are generally advised at three treatments per week for the first two weeks and then either spacing out the sessions over a period of weeks to a maintenance dose eventually once or twice a month, or ceasing the treatment once the issue has been resolved.
The time it takes to help with symptoms depends on the issue being addressed, the nature of the symptoms and the patient themselves. For a case of an osteoarthritic knee, for example, it may take 6-10 sessions before a benefit is noted, particularly if it is progressed, but with an ongoing dialogue with patients and clear communications expectations are managed. An arthritic finger or a sore calf muscle from a recent sporting event will usually respond much faster than a neck that is sore from a car accident that occurred a decade ago.
If no benefit is derived after the 6-10 treatments, then the patient’s options need to be reviewed in light of their individual condition and needs.
Treatment is directly on skin and cannot be administered through dressings, clothes or plaster casts. Skin needs to be clean and oil free and protective eyewear is given to anyone in the room with the laser in operation.
The treatment time can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (for small wounds, blisters etc) to approximately 8-10 minutes for a large single zone. Multiple zones would of course take longer.
The price of the treatment depends on the area that needs to be treated. If more than one area, or bilateral treatment is needed then additional areas can be tagged on at a reduced added price. But as a general rule of thumb, that is subject to the specific condition being presented, is represented below.
PBM for Animals
It is also worth noting that whilst primarily this laser machine will be used in clinic for my human patients, it can also be used on animals. I have a separate range of treatment heads for the animals and the device is portable. So, if you have a furry member of the family struggling with any issues covered in the above list then get in contact.
If you want to find out more then please visit my contact page below where you can fill out the form or find my details to call, message or email me.