At BodaHealth, we’re committed to helping patients who have been injured or are struggling with pain. We understand that when you experience pain, it can change your life and prevent you from doing the things you want to do. Pain can keep you from going to work or school, and it can interfere with the activities that you enjoy. We’re also aware that current Western pain relief treatments often provide short-term results. The use of over-the-counter analgesics, prescription opiate medications, steroid injections, and surgery all carry some degree of risk and often don’t address the source of your pain.
Our goal at BodaHealth in Vancouver is to offer our patients safe, effective and drug-free treatments. In keeping with that goal, we have included cold laser therapy to our array of healing modalities. We offer low level laser therapy (LLLT) sessions to be used as an individual treatment for pain, or as a way to augment other therapies offered at BodaHealth.
LLLT is a cold laser therapy, which uses low intensity red and infrared light as a way to reduce pain and stimulate healing. Cold laser produces red and infrared light that penetrates deeply into both soft and hard tissue to produce reactions at a cellular level that triggers a healing response. The effectiveness of cold laser is due to the fact that the light is absorbed by your cells; it does not cause thermal changes in your tissues. The action of LLLT has been compared by some scientists as similar to photosynthesis in plants, in which light from the sun is absorbed by the plant’s cells which stimulates chemical changes.
How Cold Laser Therapy Promotes Healing
Researchers have documented a number of biochemical changes in tissue that’s been treated with low level laser therapy. This includes increased production of:
- Fibroblasts, which are connective tissue cells necessary for building collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives structure to your body, including your bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin.
- Lymphocytes, the white blood cells important in your body’s immune response and controlling inflammation.
- Keratinocytes provide a protective barrier at the deepest level of your epidermis.
- Endothelial cells, which line your blood vessels and allow for the exchange of nutrients between your bloodstream and the surrounding tissues.
What all this means is that cold laser therapy helps make new blood vessels, promotes circulation and increases collagen synthesis to help your body heal from musculoskeletal injuries and pain conditions. The effects of cold laser occurs in stages. A reduction in pain can occur as quickly as minutes after treatment through the reduction in pain signals and reduced muscle spasms in the affected tissue. For the next several hours and for a few days, inflammation and swelling is decreased. Long-term results in the form of tissue healing begin within the first week or so, and can last for months or longer if your condition completely resolves.
Conditions and Treatments
Cold laser therapy has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of conditions. It may be used to treat:
- Muscle strains and tears
- Whiplash and auto accident injuries
- Frozen shoulder
- Neck and back pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Back pain due to spine and disc problems
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Chronic regional pain syndrome
- Headaches, migraines, and TMJ issues
- Nerve pain, such as peripheral neuropathy and shingles
At BodaHealth, treatments with cold laser last from 15 to 30 minutes. When appropriate, LLLT can be used in conjunction with other therapies, such as acupuncture or massage, or it can be used as an effective stand-alone therapy. The number of treatment sessions you’ll need depends on the nature of your injury or condition. For acute problems that have occurred suddenly or in the past few weeks, we recommend 5 to 10 sessions. For more chronic or stubborn conditions, we recommend 10 to 20 sessions. The frequency of sessions in both cases should be one to three times per week.
Depending on the nature of your condition, your practitioner will determine the site to target for the most effective results. For example, cold laser may be directed to the site of your injury to maximize healing and to reduce inflammation. However, nerves may be targeted for optimal pain relief, trigger points may be targeted for muscle pain and spasm, and lymph nodes may be the focus as a way to reduce swelling and inflammation.
In conclusion, cold laser therapy can be an effective treatment for pain relief and can stimulate your body’s tissues to heal. More than 4,000 studies have concluded that LLLT is an effective treatment for both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. It’s important to note, however, that it cannot correct problems that are structural in nature. Cold Laser Therapy in Vancouver is safe, has few side effects, and can treat a wide variety of conditions. If you are suffering from an injury or pain and would like to know more about how low level laser therapy can help you, please contact BodaHealth for more information.