Laser treatment is a non-invasive therapeutic modality, or treatment, designed to reduce and relieve chronic pain that can happen as the result of a variety different orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. The FDA-cleared Multi Radiance Medical laser we use at OrthoCarolina is an alternative to drugs and surgery and can work for many different issues including pain control, swelling and edema, as well as aid in tendon repair, soft tissue injuries and nerve injuries.
How does the Multi Radiance Medical Laser work?
Using a focused beam of light set to specific wavelengths, the laser is administered directly to the skin and usually takes just minutes. Sometimes I compare the process to photosynthesis; light stimulates cells in the body and encourages them to produce more energy and blood flow. The laser stimulates parts of the cells that help with rebuilding so that they begin working faster, and pain sensations to the brain decrease so that the injury hurts less overall. In general, it makes the body a more optimal environment for the healing process to occur, and encourages it do so more rapidly. We try to optimize tissue saturation, or cover as much of the affected area as we can.
How safe is the laser?
The Multi Radiance Medical Laser is approved by the FDA, who says that lasers “…are indicated for the temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain, arthritis and muscle spasm, relieving stiffness, promoting relaxation of muscle tissue, and to temporarily increase local blood circulation where heat is indicated.”
Multi Radiance Medical laser technology has been used safely and effectively for over 5 years in the United States and for over 20 years in other countries in physical therapy, orthopedics, outpatient clinics and elite athletics. It offers a safe alternative to other treatments because there are virtually no negative side effects.
What conditions is the laser used for?
It can provide temporary pain relief associated with back pain, muscle spasms, arthritis pain, elbow pain, muscle strain and other conditions. Neuromas, or pinched nerves, often respond well to the laser. Blood flow and pain for diabetic conditions and peripheral neuropathies, as well as tendonitis and general post-operative healing, tend to see good results.
What are the benefits to using the laser?
- Effective/reduces pain
- Easy to apply
- Alternative to analgesics, NSAIDs, other medications, other modalities and surgery
Patients generally see results after two to five laser treatments, but your medical provider will individualize a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
Ken Breath, PT, ATC, LAT is the manager of OrthoCarolina Huntersville’s physical therapy clinic.