One of the greatest challenges of healing injuries in modern society is healing tissue faster than a patient can aggravate it during activities of normal living. The doctors utilizes a very powerful helium neon laser unit which is designed to do just that – heal tissue faster than a patient is able to aggravate it during normal activities of life or faster than they can aggravate their tissue during recreational activities such as golf, curling, baseball etc.
Laser therapy is the use of monochromatic light emission from a low intensity laser diode (250 milliwatts or less) to treat musculoskeletal injuries, tendonitis, bursitis, surgical wounds, ligament injuries, and chronic and degenerative conditions.
The Kos Chiropractic Centre utilizes a helium neon infra red scanning cold laser. The light scans the tissue allowing the photon energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell function and enhancement of the body’s healing processes.
Low intensity laser energy initiates general stimulation and activation of the metabolism, in turn promoting the occurrence of multiple physiologically beneficial effects in the repair of human cells. It is widely used in the medical and cosmetic fields, principally because it is non-destructive to the target tissue.
Short Term Effects
- Production and release of beta-endorphins (these are morphine like substances produced by various cells in the body that inhibit the sensation of pain)
- Increased production of superoxide dismutase which scavenges free radicals found in damaged tissue
- Cortisol production is increased (cortisol is the precursor of cortisone). This enables the body to combat the stress associated with trauma or the disease process
- The short-term effect is significant in 5-10% of cases during or after the conclusion of the initial treatment, but is not as important as the long term or cumulative effect
Long Term or Cumulative Effect
- ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production is increased resulting in improved cellular metabolism
- DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) production, the protein building block of tissue is substantially increased
- Neurotransmission is facilitated due to elevated levels of serotonin and acetylecholine
- Mitochondrial activity is stimulated resulting in cell replication etc.
- Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells
- Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels)
- Regulates cell membrane potential, essential in Na, Cl and K ion transfer (electrolyte balance)
- Cytokines and other chemicals enhancing cellular communications are released
- The immune response is stimulated
- Lymphatic drainage is improved
- The histamine response is positively altered
- Production of growth hormone is increased
- Stimulation of the healing processes is accompanied by relief of symptoms
It should be noted that many other positive physiological activities are modulated and extensive research is currently in progress to fully explore these changes.
How many treatments are required?
This will vary from patient to patient. Just as every medical case is individual, so are the responses to therapy. The onset of initial pain relief as a result of treatment varies due to each patient’s particular rated release of endorphins and cortisol. In a recent clinical report on 151 consecutive cases using Low Intensity Laser Therapy, 11 treatments was the average number required for maximum improvement.
Whether two or twenty treatments are required, most patients will be asked to moderate their behaviour during the therapy period. The laser increases the energy in the treated tissues and healing continues to take place between sessions. Two distinct reactions occur during therapy; the immediate due to the release of the body’s own endorphins and cortisone production and the more important or cumulative effect, resulting from progressive therapy.
Absorption as a result of photon bombardment of various bio-molecules in the cell results in the transformation of light into biochemical energy. This has a cumulative effect and requires sufficient stimulation in order to initiate response. Typically 5-20 treatments varying from 15-60 minutes in duration are required. The end result of low intensity laser irradiation is the restoration of normal function of the cell unit. Conversely, worldwide research to date has failed to record any negative effects from this process. It should be noted that normally functioning cells are not adversely affected by the irradiation. In contrast to other therapies, Low Intensity Laser Therapy is curative rather than simply modulating symptomatology. Continued research at Meditech and other laboratories should further enhance the effectiveness of this existing technology.
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