Laser Treatments for Pain and Neuropathy
Low-level laser therapy or cold laser therapy is an emerging treatment for pain, inflammation, and nerve regeneration. Low-level lasers have been used with therapeutic applications for the last 30 years. With increasing technology and production advancements, laser therapy is emerging as an effective treatment option.
Lasers emit specific wavelengths in the infrared spectrum. Specific wavelengths trigger mechanisms and cellular processes within the body. For example, wavelengths in the 680 nm range have been known to decrease pain and inflammation in the body, inflammation that often triggers pain nerves to fire and send pain signals to the brain. Other wavelengths increase cellular repair processes within nerves or increase blood flow around the nerves to enhance healing and regeneration. Others have been shown to increase ATP or energy production within nerves and cells in the body.
Each of these wavelengths cause different reactions within the body. They activate cell receptors and stimulate normal cellular processes. By ramping up an increase in the cellular processes we are able to enhance normal repair, regeneration, and healing within the body.
Advancements in engineering have now made it possible and cost effective to produce low-level for an office environment. Older lasers were not as strong or powerful as the newer class IV cold laser. Lasers are broken into classes based on power output. Class III lasers produce between 6 to 10 J per minute of it energy. Class IV lasers produce between 400 – 600 J of energy per minute. In addition, the newer lasers have a greater depth of penetration. Class III lasers were limited in their wavelength penetration of 2 – 3 cm. Class IV cold lasers can penetrate closer to 8 – 10 cm. The newer and stronger lasers are able to emit more energy deeper into the tissue to trigger repair and healing processes.
The greater energy production and depth of penetration allows the laser to have therapeutic applications. A tremendous amount of energy is required for the cellular processes to be turned on within the body. A class III laser cannot produce enough energy to stimulate the tissue appropriately. Over the last 10 years, advancements have been made in the application of laser therapy for decreasing pain, inflammation, and irritation around cell tissues and nerves.
A combination of various wavelengths and frequencies provide greater benefit than any single laser frequency by itself. Additionally, low-level laser therapy combined with traditional conservative treatments provides greater benefit and healing for patients.
Low-level laser therapy is a tremendous treatment in the hard-to-reach places of shoulders, elbows, knees, wrist, fingers, hips, ankles, and feet. It is tremendous at decreasing the pain and inflammation inside of arthritic joints, in both degenerative osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Cold laser therapy is also very effective at decreasing neuropathy symptoms, especially the pain, numbness, tingling, and burning felt by many patients. Cold laser has helped improve carpal tunnel symptoms because of its effects on inflammation,nerve regeneration, and repair of the median nerve.
Low-level laser therapy treatments are very effective in patients because it ramps up normal processes within the body. Laser therapy is stimulating normal receptors or communication pathways within the body. It is similar to stepping on the accelerator on your car, the engine will ramp up in response. In essence we are ramping up the normal cellular processes of energy production, repair, healing, and regeneration in muscles, tendons, ligaments, cells, and neurons. Ramping up these cellular processes increases healing and recovery time, while minimizing scar tissue formation, inflammation, and pain.
Class IV cold laser or low level laser therapy is an emerging treatment for conservative treatment for pain, inflammation, and neuropathy symptoms. All tissues in the body have these receptors which is why muscle tissue, tendons, ligaments, and neurons all respond to this treatment.
Yankee Stadium and K Cold Laser Treatment