What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy is a medical treatment that uses focused light to stimulate a process called photobiomodulation (PBM). During PBM, photons enter the tissue and interact with the cytochrome c complex within mitochondria. This interaction triggers a biological cascade of events that leads to an increase in cellular metabolism, decrease in pain, reduction in muscle spasm, and improved microcirculation to injured tissue. This treatment is FDA cleared and provides patients a non-invasive, non-pharmacological alternative for pain relief.
How Does Laser Therapy Work?
Laser therapy works by stimulating a process called photobiomodulation (PBM) in which photons enter the tissue and interact with the Cytochrome C complex within mitochondria. To receive the best therapeutic outcomes from laser therapy, a sufficient amount of light must reach the target tissue. Factors that maximize reaching target tissue include: Light Wavelength, Reducing Reflections, Minimizing Unwanted Absorption and Power.
Laser therapy has been adopted as an essential pain management tool by athletic trainers in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, FIFA and Olympic teams. LiteCure Medical is the preferred laser therapy manufacturer of professional trainers because we deliver consistent results. Elite athletes consistently rejoin the team faster when this energizing treatment is part of the treatment plan.
This unique therapy can be used as…
- An adjunct to prescription drugs
- substitute for surgery
- A pre-surgery treatment
- post-surgery treatment to accelerate healing
- A long-term pain management system
- Acute injury treatment
Laser therapy is used to treat acute and chronic conditions as well as post-activity recovery. It is also used as another option to prescription drugs, a tool to prolong the need for some surgeries, as well as pre and post surgery treatment to help control pain and swelling.
Therapy lasers for acute conditions is particularly effective when it is administered as soon as
With chronic conditions, research has shown that therapy lasers can be used to help combat
LightForce Therapy Lasers can be found on the sidelines of many pro, college, and Olympic sports
Clinical Applications for LightForce Laser:
- Joint swelling
- Muscle strain/ pain
- Myofascial pain
- OA related pain
- Neck and back pain (chronic and acute)
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendon pathology
- DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
- TMJ pain
Class IV Laser Therapy
What is a Class IV Therapy Laser? Effective laser therapy administration is a direct function of power and time as it relates to the dose delivered. Administering the optimal treatment dose to patients produces consistent positive outcomes. Class IV therapy lasers provide more energy to deep structures in less time. This ultimately assists in providing an energy dose that results in positive, reproducible outcomes. Higher wattage also results in faster treatment times and provides changes in pain complaints that are unachievable with low power lasers. LightForce® lasers provide a level of versatility unrivaled by other Class I, II, and IIIb lasers due to their ability to treat both superficial and deep tissue conditions.
Class IIIb Laser
LightForce Class IV laser
Is laser therapy painful? What does laser therapy feel like?
Laser therapy treatments must be administered directly to skin, as laser light cannot penetrate through layers of clothing. You will feel a soothing warmth as the therapy is administered. Many patients receiving LightForce® Therapy Laser treatments report enjoying the experience, especially when a massage-ball treatment head is used to deliver what is often referred to as a “laser massage.”
Patients receiving treatments with higher-power lasers also frequently report a rapid decrease in pain. For someone suffering from chronic pain, this effect can be particularly pronounced. Laser therapy for pain can be a viable treatment.
Is laser therapy safe?
Class IV laser therapy devices were cleared in 2004 by the FDA for the safe and efficacious reduction of pain and increasing micro-circulation. Therapy lasers are safe and effective treatment options to reduce musculoskeletal pain and inflammation due to injury. The biggest risk to injury during laser therapy treatments is to the eye, which is why certified, protective eyewear is always required during LightForce® treatments. We will not do laser on patients with a pacemaker, stimulator, on antibiotics or is pregnant.
How long does a therapy session last?
With LightForce lasers, treatments are quick usually 3-10 minutes depending on the size, depth, and acuteness of the condition being treated. High-power lasers are able to deliver a lot of energy in a small amount of time, allowing therapeutic dosages to be achieved quickly. For patients and clinicians with packed schedules, fast and effective treatments are a must.
How often will I need to get treated with laser therapy?
Most clinicians will encourage their patients to receive 2-3 treatments per week as the therapy is initiated. There is a well-documented support that the benefits of laser therapy are cumulative, suggesting that plans for incorporating laser as part of a patient’s plan of care should involve early, frequent treatments that may be administered less frequently as the symptoms resolve.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
The nature of the condition and the patient’s response to the treatments will play a key role in determining how many treatments will be needed. Most laser therapy plans of care will involve 6-12 treatments, with more treatment needed for longer standing, chronic conditions. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan that is optimal for your condition.
How long will it take until I notice a difference?
Patients often report improved sensation, including a therapeutic warmth and some analgesia immediately after the treatment. For noticeable changes in symptoms and condition, patients should undergo a series of treatments as the benefits of laser therapy from one treatment to the next are cumulative.
Does insurance cover treatments?
Insurance does not cover laser treatments despite there being codes that can be used to submit for the service. Laser treatments are handled as a cash transaction between the clinic and the patient. Average cost of a treatment varies across the country. Many clinics offer discounts when purchasing visits in packages. We recommend checking with your provider to get specific pricing.
Do I have to limit my activities?
Laser therapy will not limit a patient’s activities. The nature of a specific pathology and the current stage within the healing process will dictate appropriate activity levels. Laser will often reduce pain which will make it easier to perform different activities and will often help restore more normal joint mechanics. That being said, reduced pain should not overshadow the advice of a medical professional that understands how the laser will fit into a rehabilitation protocol when deciding how aggressively to push functional limits.
LightForce® therapy lasers work by flooding the tissue with photons, which energizes cells resulting in increased circulation to the injured area and ultimately pain reduction, in a process called photobiomodulation (PBM).
Laser therapy allows your body to utilize its own healing powers by inducing a series of healing responses in your body. During treatment you will feel a soothing warmth that identifies the beginning of an 18-24 hour process of modulated cellular activity leading to decreased pain and improved local circulation to the area treated. Most patients see results within 3 to 5 short treatments.