Chiropractic laser therapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment option for individuals suffering from various musculoskeletal conditions. This form of therapy involves the use of laser technology to treat pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms, among other issues.
Laser therapy has been used in chiropractic practice for many years, Laser therapy has been used in various medical fields since the 1960s, and it was first introduced to chiropractic practice in the 1980s. Laser therapy works by stimulating cellular regeneration, reducing inflammation, and increasing blood flow to the affected area.
How Chiropractic Laser Therapy Works
Chiropractic laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that involves the use of specific wavelengths of light to stimulate cellular regeneration, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow to the affected area. The light from the laser penetrates deep into the tissue, where it is absorbed by the cells, triggering a cascade of biological processes that promote healing.
Types of lasers used in chiropractic practice
There are two main types of lasers used in chiropractic practice: low-level lasers (LLLT) and high-power lasers.
Also known as cold lasers or soft lasers, low-level laser, Class 3 lasers. These lasers are required to have a continuous output of less than 500mW per laser diode (such as those emitting at 650nm or 808nm), which emit a low level of light that and is safe to use on the skin. These lasers are used to treat superficial tissue, such as the skin, muscles, and connective tissue.
Low-level lasers work by stimulating the cells in the targeted area, promoting cellular regeneration and healing. They also help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area.
A Class 4 laser is Also known as Class IV lasers, high-power lasers emit one or more beams with an output of 500mW or greater, such as those emitting at 810nm, 905nm or 980nm. These lasers, ranging from 1/2 watt to 60 watts that can produce heat and is used to treat deeper tissue. These lasers are used to treat conditions that require deeper penetration, such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and other deep tissue injuries.
Class 4 lasers are only intended for use by professional institutions, such as clinics or hospitals, and those who use them must possess a laser therapist certification and receive training from the manufacturer. While more and more patients buy the class 4 laser to treat at home to save the money to visit the practitioners.
High-power lasers work by producing a photo-thermal effect, which means that the light energy is converted into heat energy, causing a thermal response in the cells. This thermal response helps to promote healing and reduce inflammation by increasing blood flow to the affected area.
Conditions that can be treated with laser therapy
Chiropractic laser therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Back pain: Laser therapy can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and sciatica.
- Neck pain: Laser therapy can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with conditions such as whiplash, cervical radiculopathy, and muscle strains.
- Joint pain: Laser therapy can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis.
- Muscle strains and sprains: Laser therapy can help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process for muscle strains and sprains.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: Laser therapy can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Benefits of Chiropractic Laser Therapy
Chiropractic laser therapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment option for individuals suffering from various musculoskeletal conditions. Here are some of the benefits of chiropractic laser therapy:
- Pain Relief: Laser therapy helps to relieve pain by reducing inflammation and promoting cellular regeneration. This can help individuals with chronic pain, acute injuries, or post-surgery pain.
- Reduced Inflammation: Laser therapy helps to reduce inflammation by increasing blood flow to the affected area. This can help individuals with conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis.
- Accelerated Healing: Laser therapy promotes cellular regeneration, which can help to speed up the healing process. This can help individuals with injuries such as muscle strains, sprains, and fractures.
- Improved Range of Motion: Laser therapy can help to improve range of motion by reducing pain and inflammation. This can be particularly helpful for individuals with conditions that limit mobility, such as spinal stenosis or sciatica.
- Non-invasive Treatment Option: Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that does not require surgery or medication. This can be particularly appealing for individuals who prefer to avoid invasive procedures or who are looking for alternative treatment options.
What to Expect During a Chiropractic Laser Therapy Session
If you're considering chiropractic laser therapy as a treatment option, it's important to know what to expect during a typical session. Here's what you can expect:
Duration of the Session: A typical chiropractic laser therapy session can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition being treated and the severity of the symptoms.
- What to Wear: It's important to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to the area being treated. Avoid wearing jewelry or clothing with metal zippers or buttons, as these can interfere with the laser therapy.
- What Happens During the Session: During a chiropractic laser therapy session, you'll lie down on a treatment table while the chiropractor uses a handheld device to deliver the laser therapy to the affected area. The laser emits specific wavelengths of light that penetrate deep into the tissue, stimulating cellular regeneration and reducing inflammation. You may feel a slight warming sensation, but the treatment should not be painful.
- Post-Treatment Care: After the session, the chiropractor may recommend stretching or other exercises to help maintain range of motion and promote healing. It's important to drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours following the treatment to allow your body to properly heal.
Safety and Side Effects of Chiropractic Laser Therapy
While chiropractic laser therapy is generally considered a safe and non-invasive treatment option, it's important to understand the potential risks and side effects associated with the treatment. Here's what you need to know:
- Safety Measures Taken During Treatment: To ensure the safety of patients, licensed chiropractors follow strict safety guidelines when using laser therapy. These guidelines include wearing protective eyewear, avoiding direct exposure to the laser beam, and monitoring the treatment area for any signs of discomfort or adverse reactions.
- Possible Side Effects and How to Manage Them: While rare, there are some potential side effects associated with chiropractic laser therapy. These can include mild discomfort or tingling sensations, redness or swelling around the treatment area, and temporary changes in sensation or motor function. These side effects are typically mild and should subside within a few hours after the treatment. In some cases, patients may experience more serious side effects, such as burns or skin damage. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, it's important to contact your chiropractor immediately.
- Who Should Avoid Chiropractic Laser Therapy: Chiropractic laser therapy is generally considered safe for most individuals. However, there are some people who may be at increased risk for complications from the treatment. These include individuals with a history of skin cancer or other skin conditions, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and individuals who are taking certain medications that can increase sensitivity to light. If you have any concerns about the safety of chiropractic laser therapy, it's important to discuss them with your chiropractor before undergoing treatment.
Chiropractic Laser Therapy vs. Other Chiropractic Treatments
Chiropractic laser therapy is a unique treatment approach within the field of chiropractic care. Here's how it compares to other commonly used chiropractic treatments:
- Spinal Adjustments: Spinal adjustments involve the manual manipulation of the spine to restore proper alignment and improve joint function. This technique is often used to treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches. While spinal adjustments are highly effective for many patients, they may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions or injuries.
- Soft Tissue Therapy: Soft tissue therapy involves the manipulation of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues to reduce tension, improve range of motion, and promote healing. Techniques such as massage therapy and myofascial release are often used to treat conditions such as muscle strains, sprains, and tension headaches.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and relieve pain. This technique is often used to treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and migraines.
- Laser Therapy: Laser therapy uses light energy to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation in the body. This technique is often used to treat conditions such as soft tissue injuries, joint pain, and neuropathy, wound, etc.
Compared to other chiropractic treatments, chiropractic laser therapy is a non-invasive, painless treatment option that can be used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. It's especially effective for conditions that involve soft tissue injuries or inflammation, and it can be used in conjunction with other chiropractic treatments to enhance their effectiveness and promote faster healing.