Cold Laser Therapy
The Erchonia PL5000 Cold Laser is being used by the leading health care practitioners in the world, including Dr. Jeffrey Spencer. Dr. Spencer treats many professional athletes, including Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods. They depend upon his expertise to keep them performing at an exceptional level. I am pleased to report that I have been personally trained by Dr. Spencer on how to properly integrate this therapy into my practice! More importantly, Dr. Spencer has even shared his personal treatment protocols that can be used on any patient!
So what exactly is Cold Laser Therapy? When the body has an injury, the cells are damaged and fail to function within normal parameters. Basically, these cells have their “light switch” turned off; therefore, they don’t even realize they are not operating correctly. Low level lasers from the Cold Laser machine penetrate deeply into the skin and work by restoring this abnormal cellular function. This turns the “light switch” back on so that it can perform normally. Cold Laser uses a non-heat producing light laser, which is locked at a specific wavelength and can penetrate deeply into tissue, which is optimal for treatment.
The biological effects of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) havebeen shown to significantly accelerate and enhance the body's natural defense and repair abilities when injured. By reducing the duration of inflammation as well as enhancing specific repair and healing process, LLLT has been proven to provide pain relief, reduce damage due to the injury and loss of function. LLLT enables the body to have a more rapid repair and stronger tissues once healed.When working with the US Cycling Team, Dr. Spencer reported that he was able to prevent inflammation from even occurring if it was treated within the first 24 hours of injury.
Physiologic effects include improved metabolism, circulation and tissue healing. Laser therapy may be useful for several conditions, including the following: tendonitis, sprain-strains, scar tissue, chronic or acute pain, wound healing, arthritis, migraines, disc herniations, minor nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome and many other conditions!
Accelerated healing, the primary goal for any kind of injury, is hard to demonstrate in one laser session. However, we can demonstrate the ability to increase your ranges of motion (ROM) and increase muscle strength by testing you before and after the laser treatment. By increasing your ROM, you are preserving the function and structure of your cartilage and discs. Movement brings vital nutrients and fluids to cartilage and discs. The less your neck, spine or joints move, the sooner breakdown of their tissue begins. The muscle strength test is performed in order to test nerve root function, not just muscle performance. Restored muscle strength after the laser treatment actually indicates that the nerve root has been reactivated. With a properly functioning nervous system, balanced muscle strength is available to optimally perform three vital functions: to move the body and joints, to stabilize joints and to inhibit pain at the spinal cord level.
This innovative treatment is being used by some of the leading physicians in the country and we are very excited to bring this to our patients! If you would like to learn more about this latest treatment, please contact our office to set up anappointment.
ARTICLE FROM RUNNER'S WORLD-July 2007
Injury Prevention:Injury Treatment
Should You Get Laser Therapy?
Can a laser therapy cure heel and arch pain?
By Melanie Radzicki McManus
Plantar Fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, cripples many runners--me included. For four months, I pool-ran, swam, and biked, but what I really wanted to do--run--was too painful. I followed the standard rehab: stretching and icing my heel, popping anti-inflammatories, wearing orthotics, sleeping in a night boot to stretch the plantar fascia overnight. I also tried massage, active-release techniques, and reflexology--even two shots of cortisone in my heel. Nothing worked. Then I heard about low-level laser therapy, a noninvasive treatment that recently got FDA approval. A light beam is placed on the injured area to stimulate cellular reactions that are believed to fight inflammation, reduce pain, and speed recovery, says Robert Duggan, D.P.M., an Orlando-area foot and ankle surgeon. When added to a rehab plan, Duggan says, runners may feel immediate relief. Desperate, I decided to try it for a month.
Day 1: I see a local chiropractor for low-level laser therapy (forking over $15 for my insurance copay). He moves the laser over sore spots on my heel and arch. It's completely pain-free, and my foot seems to feel better right away. Placebo effect?
- Day 2: Duggan says that if the laser is going to help, patients should notice improvement within one to three sessions, and indeed, I use the elliptical machine for 90 minutes without any foot pain.
Day 5: Today's the real test--a run. My first in 13 weeks. I do two easy miles with minimal discomfort and no flare-up afterward. Later in the day, I have my second laser treatment.
- Day 12: I'm up to running five miles comfortably, so I try hill repeats. My heel feels tight as I'm finishing. After my run, I have my third treatment.
- Day 24: Four treatments have allowed me to steadily increase my miles (zero to eight over three weeks) and the intensity of my workouts. Still, my foot feels sore walking around the mall.
Day 30: Some people respond when the laser is also applied to trigger points in their hip and calf, which can refer pain to the plantar fascia, so my chiropractor lasers these points today during my fifth treatment. I didn't detect a change, though.
Bottom Line: My four-month layoff decreased the acute pain, but it was the laser treatment that gave immediate, near-total relief, and that got me out running again. Well worth five appointments and $75.