Laser therapy employs low power or 'soft' laser light to aid the natural healing process of the body safely and effectively. It has been used for over 30 years and is widely available in the medical field for treatment of pain, wound healing and musculoskeletal conditions. Laser therapy achieves improved outcomes in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, post nail avulsion, neuropathic and phantom pain, diabetic ulceration, rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, joints, chronic oedema, warts and verrucae. Low level lasers should not be confused with surgical lasers which are a different classification of laser. Low level laser therapy cannot burn or harm the skin. Its effects are photo-biochemical, not thermal. In addition to their direct healing applications, low level lasers also provide an alternative needle-free acupuncture medium.
How does it work?
The physiological effects of laser therapy have been extensively researched and the details of the mechanisms are increasingly becoming understood. Particular wavelengths of light stimulate the body's healing cells: initial absorption by the mitochondria leads to increased fibroblast cell proliferation and migration, with modulation of cytokine levels, growth factors, inflammatory mediators and increased tissue oxygenation - all part of the natural healing process. Essentially, by directly treating the damaged tissue with appropriate light, laser therapy helps the body to heal itself. It is especially effective for chronic conditions, or where the immune system is compromised, as it can also re-start a stalled healing process.
In addition to the local cellular effects, research on low level laser therapy has demonstrated both enhanced levels of endorphin release, and the suppression of pain messages previously sent to the brain. Combining these effects with those from its use in stimulating acupuncture and 'trigger' points, low level laser is an excellent therapy for treating pain.
Patients can benefit from resolution of chronic wounds and pain syndromes without the discomfort and side effects of many other forms of treatment. Some musculoskeletal conditions which have previously been managed with orthotics are regularly brought to resolution when laser therapy is introduced. Patients respond quickly when treating soft tissue conditions and pain, with results usually evident in the first 1-2 treatments. Other conditions vary with verrucae often requiring 5-10 treatments.
Treatment is quick, pain-free, easy to apply and effective. Appropriate probes are placed on the skin at particular points on or relating to the damaged area and light, which is controlled for wavelength, power, pulsing rate and duration passes into the tissue.
Depending upon the condition to be treated, each clinic appointment will take between 15 and 30 minutes, once or twice per week. The patient will feel nothing at the point of application, but many report a wonderful relaxed feeling.
Established and safe
Laser therapy is extremely safe. Low level lasers are used to treat a wide variety of conditions in medical organisations across the world. Often called 'soft' or 'cold' laser, the low intensity laser beam does not cut or burn and has no side effects, other than the feeling of relaxation. Laser goggles are worn as precautionary eye protection. Most people are suitable for the therapy although there are certain cautions and contraindications as with any form of electrotherapy equipment - your clinician will advise.