If you have been living with a condition that causes chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain, you have a number of options for pain relief. While medication can be effective, the risk of addiction and unpleasant side effects doesn’t make this a good long-term solution to your problem. Medication can help with extreme pain that is unmanageable otherwise, but you need a treatment that will actually improve your condition.
There are different forms of laser therapy available for the treatment of chronic pain. The kind of treatment usually depends on the type of laser being used. There are several names these go by. These include cold laser therapy, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and class 3 laser therapy, among others. These concentrated light beams are of varying wavelengths. This means one type might be beneficial for your condition and another might not be. Your primary care doctor or therapist can advise you on the laser treatment that is most likely to improve your condition and relieve your chronic pain.
1. Improves Circulation
Low-level laser therapy has been proven to have a positive effect on blood flow in areas where it’s applied. When circulation is improved in wounded or inflamed areas of the body, it also improves the chances of healing. It’s the blood that carries oxygen to all parts of the human body, and the right kind of laser therapy for your particular condition can help facilitate this.
2. Supports Cellular Health
The concentrated light energy from a laser provides each cell in the treated area with more energy. The cells are then able to absorb nutrients and remove waste products faster and more efficiently than they would otherwise. Cells of damaged tissue are repaired much faster with laser therapy, and this translates into faster healing of wounds and injuries.
3. Convenient and Fast
Laser treatments for chronic pain and other conditions are usually fast and convenient. Outside of going for a consultation and being examined, the treatment itself can last anywhere from five to twenty minutes, although there are exceptions. Often times, more than one treatment is necessary to start feeling the results.
4. Releases Pain-Fighting Endorphins
When painful, injured and/or inflamed tissue is heated with a laser, it tells the pituitary gland to release pain-relieving endorphins. These not only relieve the pain, but they can improve your state of mind. Note that these are the same kinds of endorphins that are released during strenuous exercise, making you feel calm and relaxed. The deeply penetrating heat from a laser is just another way of triggering the same response from the body.
5. Encourages Growth of New Tissue
In many ways, laser treatments actually just trigger the natural healing abilities of the body that have remained stagnant or dormant. When the heat from a laser heats tissue on a deep level, the brain recognizes this as a minor injury and alerts the immune system. This forces the body to produce more collagen, a necessary building-block protein that is found everywhere in the human body.
Collagen is found in connecting fibers like cartilage and ligaments. Tissue that has deteriorated is rebuilt as a result of this. This is what makes laser therapy so effective for knee pain and other chronic pain associated with connective tissue deterioration.
6. Reduces Inflammation
When parts of the body are inflamed and in pain, laser therapy can help reduce this inflammation and encourage healing. The faster the swelling and inflammation can be controlled, the faster healing can occur in the treated area. The heat from the laser increases cellular metabolism, ridding the tissue of impurities and decreasing inflammation.
It’s not advisable to perform laser treatments on yourself with lasers that can be purchased online. Be sure that the type of laser you or your therapist is using has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these purposes.