High-Intensity Laser Therapy
A different type of treatment
The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that pain is the most common reason Americans access the health care system. Chronic pain is the leading cause of long-term disability and it affects more people than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined, according to the National Institute of Health.
There are a variety of options for treating acute and chronic pain. Surgery can be very expensive with its own set of major risks. The average recovery often leaves patients unable to return to work for weeks or months and the success rates are not as high as you might expect.
Pain medications and spinal injections may provide temporary comfort, but they do not address the root of the problem. Due to accompanying side effects including other health problems, depression, and addiction, the regulations of these types of treatment are getting more strict which limits the treatment options for both doctors and patients.
Laser Therapy is Safe.
High-Intensity Laser Therapy (HILT) is an FDA-approved, non-surgical, drug-free approach to pain relief that treats the underlying cause of pain with no side effects. Laser therapy has been used to treat pain symptoms since the early 1970's. As the research has grown over the last 40+ years, more practitioners are engaging in varying types of laser therapy to treat chronic and acute pain.
Leaders in Laser Technology
Our 60-watt, Class IV, medical grade alpha laser is the most advanced laser technology in the country. It emits light at a wavelength proven to have a healing effect on the body's tissue to reduce pain and speed repair. This FDA-approved laser has been shown to be 80% effective in improving function and reducing symptoms of pain. This level of laser technology has been trusted for years by Olympians and professional athletes. Currently this drug-free, non-surgical option for pain relief is available to all. See what our patients are saying about how high-intensity laser therapy helped them!
Many other clinics offer low-level laser therapy with cold lasers that generally emit 0.5 - 7.5 watts of power. These lasers have proven to be helpful for certain superficial ailments, but results have been limited to the restrictions in the depth the light can penetrate. The wavelength and the power of our 60-watt laser is far superior and unique in it's ability to penetrate through bone, soft tissue, and muscle to deliver healing light energy to the cells of the body.
How laser works
Low-Level Laser vs. HIgh-Intensity Laser
Light energy emitted from the laser penetrates through the tissues of the body. The light affects the mitochondria (power center) of the cell to produce more energy units (adenosine triphosphate - ATP) for the cell. This allow each cell to function at a higher level and causes a cascade of effects that lead to the reduction of pain. Listed below are some beneficial effects of HILT.
Accelerates cellular repair and growth
Cellular reproduction and growth accelerates by the activation of DNA and RNA replication inside the cells. Cells of cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscles are repaired faster as a result of exposure to laser lights.
HILT stimulates the activation of a lymphatic drainage system and the expansion of blood vessels (vasodilation) to provide an anti-inflammatory effect. As a result there is a reduction of swelling caused by stress, trauma, overuse, or other systemic conditions.
Improves blood flow
The formation of new capillaries (angiogenesis) increases in damaged tissue and vascular activity improves with laser therapy. This in addition to vasodilation discussed above, enables the body to deliver more oxygen and other vital nutrients to an area to speed healing.
Increases nerve function
Laser therapy has a trifold effect on the nervous system. First, the reduction of inflammation mentioned above reduces nerve interference. Second, HILT directly increases the repair and growth of nerve cells, just like with any other cell. Third, this improved function of the nerve cells allows for accelerated communication between the body and the brain, escalating the repair process naturally.
Softens scar tissue
Existing scar tissue is softened and the formation of new scar tissue is reduced following tissue damage. This is important because after an injury the body heals with a tight fibrous network of scar tissue. Scar tissue is less elastic, has poor circulation, is sensitive to pain, is weaker, and is more prone to re entry than the original tissue. Laser can soften scar tissue to lengthen the fibers enabling more movement and mobility.
Resets chronic pain cycle
Chronic pain signals are actually memorized in the nerve switching stations in the body called interneurons. For example, the pain that is felt in the knee is memorized in the interneurons near the spinal cord. This way some who has suffered an amputation may still have 'fantom pain' in the removed limb. The laser light reaches into the interneurons to help reset the pain memory. It doesn't help erase it completely, but acts as an analgesic to suppress the nerve signal that transmits the sensation of pain to the brain.
In addition to all of the above mentioned changes that indirectly reduce pain in the region, HILT also directly reduces pain by increasing the production of the body's natural pain killing chemicals such as endorphins and enkelphalins from the brain and the adrenal gland.
What to expect during treatment
The penetrating light from the laser feels warm to the body. Many patients find the soothing warm sensation to be very relaxing. The therapeutic affects of HILT continue to work within your body even after your treatment session is complete. It is important to know that HILT has been shown to have a cumulative effect. This means that it requires a series of treatments for the laser to be able to do its job. Some people feel relief after just a few treatments, but for many others the response is more subtle and gradual.