Rehabilitation of sports injuries is all about one thing, getting back in the game as fast as possible. We are finding low level laser therapy is accomplishing this in a fast, safe and effective way. Dr. Oz has actually called it the “no-pill pain buster.”
Trauma that occurs from a sports injury causes damage to the cells that make up the surrounding soft tissues. The damaged cells then release chemicals that provoke a natural inflammatory response in the body, which results in redness, swelling, warmth and pain in the injured area. Sports injuries can affect anyone from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete.
The effects of low level laser therapy are photochemical, like photosynthesis in plants. The laser affects the cell membrane permeability and increases the production of ATP (the energy for our cells), thereby providing the cell with more energy, which in turn means the cell is in peak condition to play its integral part in the natural healing process. Low level laser therapy works to stimulate damaged cells by specific wavelengths of light. Once the photons reach the cells of the injury site, they promote a cascade of healing.
Low level laser therapy can increase the production of enzymes, stimulate mitochondria (ATP synthesis), increase vasodilation and lymphatic drainage and elevate collagen formation substances to prevent scar tissue. This is a crucial step in reducing chronic, disabling myofascial pain syndromes. Cold laser wavelengths are adjusted according to the type of injury being treated. Simply put, low level laser therapy enables athletes to get out of pain faster and heal at the same time with no side effects.
Low Level Laser Therapy can be used to treat a wide range of sports injuries including:
• Sprains and strains
• Muscle fatigue
• Tennis elbow
• Rotator cuff injury
• Knee joint injuries
• Shoulder pain
• Shin pain
I have found the laser to be a superior tool for the rehabilitation of athletes. The laser we use is manufactured by the Erchonia Company. With 15 FDA market clearances, Erchonia laser products have been proven to safely assist patients in pain management. Recently, Erchonia has received the first and only low level laser on the market to be FDA cleared for low back pain.
The ease of using the laser and the speed with which the athletes respond are key features of laser therapy. In my experience, its versatility is unmatched because it can be a stand-alone treatment or used in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments, soft-tissue release, instrument-assisted treatments or any rehab-oriented protocol.
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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene, 208-966-4425.