What is it?
Laser Therapy is a treatment option that naturally helps your body speed up the healing process by using a process called Photobiomodulation (PBM). This process can help to decrease your pain and swelling after just one treatment.
How does it work?
When the light from the laser is placed on your skin, it gets absorbed in the cells of your muscles. Just like how plants use light from the sun to grow, your body uses the light from the laser to repair itself.
When you get injured, you go through three phases of healing:
The injured area gets red and puffy and might even feel a little warm to the touch. This is your body’s natural response to any injury. Unfortunately, the swelling you experience can be painful. Imagine you are trying to put your foot in your shoe. On any normal day, this is no problem and causes you no pain. However, if you put on three layers of socks, space in your shoe quickly disappears and after walking for a little bit you start to get blisters. Your body has the exact same response when an injury occurs! Inflammation is just blood flowing into that area to help heal the damaged tissue. Increased blood flow creates less space for movement in that area, which results in pain.
This is where Laser Therapy starts to come into play. Your body will increase blood flow to an injured area in order to bring in cells that can repair the damaged tissue. Laser Therapy and the process of PBM speed up the healing process by giving energy to the cells that are responsible for healing tissue, therefore decreasing the amount of time that someone can spend in the inflammation stage.
The final stage of the healing process is remodeling. This simply means training the repaired tissue to perform all the tasks that it had performed prior to injury. Laser Therapy is still beneficial in this stage because not all of the tissue is repaired by this point. The most beneficial thing you can do at this stage of healing is to come to Physical Therapy. With the help of a therapist, you can regain normal movement and improve the strength in the repaired tissue so that you never injure that body part again for the foreseeable future.
Is Laser Therapy for Me?
If you are in pain, have swelling, or an injury that is old and nagging or is more recent, Laser Therapy may be a treatment option for you. This treatment is a game changer in the rehabilitation realm. Decreased time in pain means faster tissue repair and remodeling. This can mean quicker recovery and less money coming out of your pocket for the medical care of that body part. Patients who have used Laser Therapy in combination with Physical Therapy have prevented surgery, cancelled injections, and have stopped taking pain medications altogether!