What does laser help with?
While our initial thought is to answer this with everything, let’s stick to the facts based on trials and evidence. Laser provides tissue repair and relief from pain & inflammation in conditions including:
- Soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains, muscle strains and muscle trigger points
- Knee Pain
- Achilles Tendinitis heel pain
- Plantar Fasciitis heel pain
- Post-surgical healing, swelling reduction and pain relief
- Joint conditions (e.g. synovitis, degeneration)
- Arthritis (e.g. osteoarthritic joints, gout, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neuropathic (nerve) pain (e.g. diabetic neuropathy)
- Wound healing (e.g. chronic ulcers)
- Morton’s neuroma
Who can’t use low-level laser?
We can’t use LLLT if you have cancer or are currently receiving treatment for cancer. Laser also can’t be used in the eye or thyroid area, though this is not a problem in Podiatry. While there is no evidence for any side effects in pregnancy, because no studies can be performed on this group, we always like to be cautious and avoid treating women who are pregnant. Tattoos may also absorb laser energy and heat up, so if your tattoo is directly over your injury site, we may be unable to treat the area. Before any treatment is commenced, your suitability for laser is always determined.
How long does a treatment take – and is there any discomfort at all?
One treatment takes approximately twenty minutes, and if it is your first appointment, your Podiatrist must assess and diagnose your condition first so we know that laser will be right for you. This is a cold laser, so there is no heat, no pain and no discomfort.
To shed some light into the technical aspect of how low-level laser achieves its function, here’s the technical info.
LLLT uses low-intensity, coherent light in specific wavelengths to penetrate the damaged tissue without hurting or heating the skin. When a specific intensity and time is used, infrared light reduces oxidative stress and increases ATP production (which means energy for the cell!). Inflammation is reduced by increasing the production of nitric oxide that increases the width of the blood vessels and brings oxygen and other molecules while metabolising the injured tissue and promoting cell health. Great pain relief is produced by stimulating the body’s own production of endogenous opioids, serotonin and other pain reducing molecules. It also has an inhibitory effect on pain receptors.