Low Level Laser Therapy is FDA approved for treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and other neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the number one repetitive stress injury in America today and is a leading cause of worker lost time and disability. More than one million Americans acquire CTS symptoms each year, and over 200,000 surgical procedures are performed in the treatment of CTS at an annual cost of over $10 billion. Private insurance companies and governmental health plans bear most of that cost.
Although CTS can begin suddenly, its onset is usually gradual. If not treated, CTS may lead to reduced hand function with possible permanent nerve and muscle damage. With early diagnosis and treatment, however, complete recovery usually occurs. Anything that causes swelling of the synovium that surrounds wrist tendons, or produces repeated pressure on the median nerve, can lead to CTS or make it worse if the condition already exists. It should be mentioned that when a medical drug or device is approved for use with a particular condition (this is the usual FDA procedure), the doctor has the option of using it for other conditions if in her medical opinion, it is indicated. The laser is now being used for treatment of sprains, strains, bursitis, fibromyalgia, plantar fascitis, tennis elbow, tendonitis and more.
Low Level Lasers have been affectionately called "the world's most expensive flashlight," have a multitude of uses. Perhaps the most appealing single factor about this unit is the possibility that it may help conditions where all previous therapies have failed.
How Does Low Level Laser Therapy Work?
LLLT is a non-thermal laser capable of penetrating deep into tissue. Once delivered, the light energy promotes the process of photobiostimulation. In human tissue the resulting photochemical reaction produces an increase in the cellular metabolism rate that expedites cell repair and the stimulation of the immune, lymphatic and vascular systems. The net result, observed in clinical trials to date, is the apparent reduction in pain, inflammation, edema and an overall reduction in healing time.
What to Expect During a Laser Therapy Treatment Session
For most people, laser therapy is quite passive. There are no creams, gels or ointments that need to be applied prior to treatment. No pulsating shocks are felt as in forms of electric stimulation. The most notable sensation is the pressure of the probe head of the laser as it comes in contact with the skin.
Some patients (3-5% of those undergoing light therapy) have reported a slight tingling or tapping in a nerve or along a nerve pathway. Some have noted that they are able to sense a slight feeling of warmth. But for the most part, the treatment, which may last from 5 to 20 minutes, is not noticed at all.
Following (and even during) a laser therapy session, some patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present.
Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4-5 or 10-18 treatments. Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. There are some conditions that will never completely resolve but can be helped and maintained with laser therapy. If your condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived.
Effects & Benefits of LLLT
- Biostimulation including Improved metabolism & Increase of cell metabolism
- Improved blood circulation and vasodilatation
- Analgesic effect
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects
- Relieves acute and chronic pains
- Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
- Increases blood supply
- Stimulates the immune system
- Stimulates nerve function
- Develops collagen and muscle tissue
- Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
- Promotes faster wound healing
Interested? Call my office today. (561) 965-8665