If you have visited our office within the last several months, you might have noticed some informational pamphlets on our new laser proudly displayed on our bulletin boards. Or perhaps you’ve seen the high-tech.-looking device being rolled from treatment room to treatment room. I’ve certainly had a number of my patients stare at it quizzically before asking me, “What is that?”.
We have been using low level laser therapy at our office for several years now, however, we have just added a newer and more powerful laser to our toolbox to help treat a variety of common conditions. Although usually used as an adjunct to manual care, whether it be chiropractic or massage therapy, laser therapy can also be used as a standalone treatment.
Without going into overly in-depth science, here is the general explanation of how low level laser therapy works:
Low level laser therapy (LLLT), otherwise known as cold laser therapy, uses a combination of specific wavelengths of light to penetrate the surface of your skin and to target specific tissues. The TLC-2000 laser that we now use at Active Back to Health provides completely personalized treatment for each patient; Individual characteristics such as age, sex, skin colour, height, and weight are entered into the computer. The area or condition treated is then selected. The probes are placed on the patient’s skin, where the laser then penetrates for a few seconds to measure tissue depth in that particular patient. At this point, the technology automatically calibrates the ideal power, wavelength combinations, and treatment duration necessary to achieve optimal results in that particular patient. You now have these personalized settings saved under your name in the computer, ready to access quickly at every treatment. Furthermore, progress reported by you is saved in the system log at every treatment.
The wavelengths used by the TLC2000 decrease pain and inflammation, and accelerate healing. It is a cold laser, meaning absolutely zero heat or pain is felt during the treatment, or afterwards. This is important to note for patients who are worried about burning or scarring. As with any intervention, there are a few contraindications for treatment, which your provider will discuss with you when determining whether or not laser therapy is right for you.
Laser therapy can be used to decrease pain and inflammation in a number of musculoskeletal conditions, whether acute or chronic. Some of the conditions we have seen wonderful results with are:
- Sciatica and other nerve pain
- Knee arthritis
- Hip bursitis
- Low back and neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- Jaw pain and clicking
Treatment plan length varies depending on chronicity, severity, and nature of the condition.
Although laser therapy has been only been offered at Active Back to Health for roughly 5 years, laser therapy has been widely used by a variety of health care practitioners for approximately 30 years. Its efficacy and associated low risk with application have even led scientists at numerous hospitals around the world, including Canada’s world-class cancer research hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, to investigate further utilizations of low level laser therapy in the health care arena.
If you are curious to know more about laser therapy and to see if it can help you feel and function better, please inquire at the front desk about booking a complimentary consultation with one of our chiropractors.
Yours in health,
Dr. Julia Viscomi