Friday, 11 August 2017

All About ... Laser Therapy

Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) Therapy uses light to stimulate the natural healing process.  Depending on the intensity of the light and the time for which it is applied cells can be stimulated or inhibited.  Low Level Lasers (sometimes known as Cold Laser Therapy) are used for therapy!

Light has been used for healing for centuries,  Hippocrates (5BC) used the sun's rays to treat patients.  More recently numerous trials have shown that lasers can heal soft and hard tissue in addition to reducing pain and inflammation.

Used for:
 ·         Muscle, tendon and ligament injuries
·         Back pain
·         Wound healing
·         Inflammation and swelling
·         Degenerative disease

The laser channels the energy contained in white light.  White light is made up of a spectrum of colours which each have a different wavelength, the laser concentrates the whole spectrum into a single beam of infrared light.  The light will travel through layers of tissue, but won't cause a critical rise in the temperature of that tissue!   This light is high energy but the therapeutic laser's are designed to be safe.  

The light can be continuous or pulsed.  Cold-wave lasers (continuous) are usually used to apply the light to acupuncture points, instead of needles but is also used for wound healing and some skin conditions.  Cold-pulse lasers are used for muscle strains etcetera as the light will penetrate to deeper layers of tissue.  The laser will emit alternating red and infrared light which ensures the tissue is not burnt or damaged. 

How does it work?

Light is a type of energy.  The laser directs light into damaged cells which (due to the increased energy) increase their activity.  More healthy cell tissue is then produced which speeds up the healing process.

The light also stimulates the circulatory system which will improve the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged tissues.

Laser therapy is best delivered as soon as an injury occurs. 

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