Light has been used to heal people since the days of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. People have noted how prolonged absence of light harms human health, with conditions like rickets and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) being prime examples of how an absence of light can play a role in overall wellness. Similarly, the human body needs sunshine in order to make Vitamin D.
During Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Dr. Lidstrom uses red and near-infrared light to improve the healing process of the body. She will place the light source on the skin and let the light energy or photons penetrate the tissue, and the photons will pass through the layers of skin to reach the source of the inflammation and pain. The photons are absorbed and become biomechanical energy that stimulates the cells. That stimulation will restore normal cellular function and increase circulation. Unlike surgical lasers, LLLT does not break the skin.
Most patients need more than one session to get desired results. LLLT’s results appear to be cumulative, which means it will probably take several sessions for them to fully manifest. Some patients need 8 to 30 treatments depending on their condition, and those with severe pain or inflammation may need two to four sessions per week. LLLT does not require a recovery period, and the patient may read or relax during the treatment, which typically lasts half an hour.
LLLT has many other names. They include cold laser, soft laser, biostimulation laser, non-thermal laser, low-power laser, and low-intensity laser therapy. The FDA has approved it as a safe treatment for pain.
Doctor Lidstrom’s first task is determining the cause of the pain and making sure the patient does not have a condition that would make using LLLT dangerous. For example, LLLT should not be used on pregnant women. If the patient has skin lesions or blemishes, further evaluation may be required.
She will also need to know the exact location of the pain, its cause, intensity and frequency, as those will determine how many treatments the patient should have and how often.
LLLT causes the smaller lymph vessels and arteries to increase in size, a process called vasodilation. This aids the healing process by letting edema, inflammation and swelling get cleared from the target site quickly and more effectively. Vasodilation also promotes drainage of the lymph fluid in lymph nodes and causes bruises to heal faster.
Many athletic trainers of professional and Olympic athletes use LLLT for pain management. Evidence has shown that athletes who use LLLT recover more quickly and fully from sports injuries than those who use other methods. Many major league pitchers use LLLT as a normal warm-up routine, and athletes regularly use it as part of their rehabilitation.
Chiropractors also utilize LLLT to treat common sports injuries such as hamstring pulls, plantar fasciitis, and various types of strained muscles.
Lakeside Sports Chiropractic Center and Motorsports Rehab offers several chiropractic and pain management techniques, including low-level laser therapy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lidstrom.