What can Laser Therapy help me with?
Updated: Mar 13, 2021
The Laser therapy that we use at CoreOxford, the ASA Multiwave Locked System (MLS), has been shown to help a variety of soft tissue injuries like muscular sprain, strains and contusions as well as osteoarthritis and sciatic pain in a host of studies from the University of Florence.
In my personal practice, I found it to be remarkably effective in reducing pain and improving healing in Achilles tendinopathy, sprained ankles, long-term and short-term backpain, disc issues, trigger points especially rotator cuff and TMJ issues, long-term whiplash associated disorder as well as improving post-operative healing and range of motion.
How does Laser Therapy work?
The MLS laser combines two wavelengths, 808nm and 905nm of light, in a continuous and pulsed emission system that dovetails to produce a simultaneous decreasing of pain, inflammation and oedema while improving cellular regeneration.
The laser effects the body locally and systemically in a wide variety of ways that I will cover in another article but let’s look at some of the main areas.
As the laser penetrates the treatment area it:
- Decreases some of the signals sent by pain receptors,
- Increases production of pain relieving endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and adrenal glands
- Reacts with mitochondria to release nitric oxide
- Produces ATP (the main energy system of the cell) at a higher rate leading to increased cellular healing.
The release of nitric oxide improves vasodilation, the opening of the blood vessels, and that in turn reduces swelling and some pain pathways. The lymphatic system is also stimulated to further increase drainage of the treated area.
What does it feel like when you’re treated with laser therapy?
The laser treatment is completely painless with about 80% of clients reporting an immediate significant reduction of pain.
It depends on your injury, how long is had the injury and other factors as to how much pain induction there is and when you start to notice the effect.
Does that mean that the tissue is completely healed straight away?
The tissue is not completely healed immediately but there is a reduction in pain and your body’s healing process has been greatly stimulated. This reduction in pain is especially useful in helping people move on to rehabilitate injuries like ankle sprains or shoulder issues when exercises are used to improve movement patterns.
What does a normal treatment session look like?
Laser therapy is integrated into the normal injury assessment and treatment protocol that we do. So once we have taken a full case history and assessment, depending on the injury, we might do a scanning protocol with the laser of the general area moving quickly over a large area and then use a more concentrated direct application to 4 or 5 points where the injury is.
As the injury heals, we might do passive movement (where the therapist moves your body) or active movements (where you move your body) with the laser.
Other soft tissue therapies techniques like dry needling, muscle energy techniques, manipulations or other soft tissue techniques and taping might be used as well to get you out of pain and moving better.
How many treatments of Laser Therapy would I need?
This depends on the injury you are coming in with. While some issues can take a longer duration to treat, the most common protocol used for sprains and strains is for three treatments in week one, two treatments in week two and one treatment in week three.
For serious soft tissue injuries in a professional sporting environment e.g. a professional footballer with a GradeI/II hamstring tear, it’s often 3-5 treatments a week for 2–4 weeks. This often results in a quicker return to play of about two weeks and no evidence of a tear being found on ultrasound examination at the end of treatment.
I have personally seen some great results in improving osteoarthritis symptoms in the hands and feet after one or two treatments and you will see some of the people in our testimonials have just needed one treatment to significantly reduce the pain of old impact injuries.
The most important thing is for us to understand you, your injury and how we can get you back to being in health and moving freely as quickly and efficiently as possible.