Low Level Laser Therapy
Low Level Laser Therapy is a tool I use in my clinic to help many of my patients.
Low Level Laser Therapy (or Cold Laser Therapy) is the application of light energy to targeted damaged cells throughout the body. The cells absorb the light energy and are stimulated to repair.
How does Low Level Laser Therapy complement Chiropractic Care?
Your brain is constantly sending and receiving signals through the nervous system to monitor the entire body. When you have joint misalignment or damaged tissues, those signals can be interrupted (read more about Chiropractic Care).
That’s why utilitsing chiropractic AND Low Level Laser Therapy can be very beneficial in repairing the body back to optimal function as soon as possible, because we are tackling the problem from two angles.
Low Level Laser Therapy helps to speed the healing response by reducing the formation of scar tissue after an injury. In my clinical experience, the sooner you treat the body after the injury, the quicker it heals. Early treatment also reduces the chance of re-injury and reduces lasting tissue damage.
When should I consider Low Level Laser Therapy?
Any time you have an injury, sprain, strain or surgery or various injuries.
Low Level Laser Therapy is beneficial where inflammation (swelling and heat) is present as the treatment allows for better lymphatic drainage. It also increases the available oxygen that damaged cells need to repair. This is particularly beneficial when treating conditions related to osteoarthritis and sports (or overuse) injuries as well.
Clinical studies have shown significant reduction of pain from osteoarthritis in knees 1-3 months after the end of therapy. (1) I can personally vouch for the improvement of my own knee issues using Low Level Laser Therapy!
Other conditions that can be helped with Low Level Laser Therapy are:
Neck pain (2)
Muscle fatigue recovery or injuries (3)
Ankle sprain swelling relief (4)
Back and leg pain (5)
Pre-sporting events for improved performance (6)
Many patients with various other conditions have found relief, improvement and recovery with this treatment protocol. If you have tried everything else, try Low Level Laser Therapy and see if it can make a difference for you!
Gur, A. Efficacy of different therapy regimes of low-power laser in painful osteoarthritis of the knee: A double-blind and randomized-controlled trial. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. Vol33, Iss5, pp330-338, Dec2003.
Chow, R et al Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo or active treatment controlled trials. Lancet. 2009. 5;374(9705): 1897-908.
Douris P et al. Effect of phototherapy on delayed onset muscle soreness. Photomed Laser Surg. 2006. 24(3):377-82.
Stergiuolas A. Low-level laser treatment can reduce edema in second degree ankle sprains. J Clin Laser Med Surg. 2004 Apr;22(2):125-8.
Konstantinovic LM et al. Acute low back pain with radiculopathy: a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Aug;28(4):553-60.
Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal Junior, PT, PhD et al. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2010 Volume:40 Issue:8 Pages:524532 DOI:10.2519/jospt.2010.3294
Graston Technique® combined with Low Level Laser Therapy
A questioning look, a pause, and the question “what is Graston Technique®?” is usually what follows when I explain to a patient that I believe this kind of therapy could be ideal for them. Graston Technique® is a manual form of tissue mobilisation. It uses specially designed tools to address adhesions in soft tissue and fascia.
What are adhesions?
Adhesions are just what they sound like: sections of tissue that are stuck together that, in a perfectly healthy person, wouldn’t be stuck. These can occur through everyday activities, overuse, surgery, etc. Adhesions are normally quite small and you may not be able to feel them by touch. I often see adhesions as the root cause of stuck or frozen joints, limited range of movement, and muscular pain.
What is fascia?
The fascia is a thin tissue that covers a muscle or organ. So when adhesions are present, they can skew where the fascia is meant to sit. Or they can stick muscle fibres together, preventing the muscle from working as it should.
How does Graston Technique® help?
When I see a patient with adhesions, I may use the Graston Technique® to manually encourage adhesions to dissipate. Effectively, Graston Technique® ‘unsticks’ adhesions, freeing the muscle layers and fascia to work as they should.
The process involves repeatedly running specially shaped stainless steel tools along the muscle, to a pressure you are comfortable with.
Does it hurt?
Graston Technique® may be a little uncomfortable, but it should not hurt. There are plenty of videos online showing very strong use of this method of therapy. I do not feel it necessary to use this much pressure, getting results just as effectively with a gentler method.
I use the Graston Technique® for many ailments including plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder and other joints, muscle pain, and more. If you think it’s something that might help you, please feel free to contact me or ask me about it at your next appointment.
The amount of sessions of therapy someone will need will vary from person to person. Combined with good chiropractic care, and/or low level laser therapy, the Graston Technique® may be just what you need to finally feel relief.