Red light laser therapy, otherwise known as low-level laser therapy (3LT®), is a promising emerging treatment used to treat a number of medical concerns including joint and back pain, among many others. Researchers have noted the effective biochemical and physiologic effects of therapy. 3LT® has specifically been shown to target inflammation reduction, tissue healing acceleration, and pain modulation. These positive effects have proven to pain practitioners that laser therapy is an effective and safe way to manage these chronic conditions.
Since the treatment is still new to the market, professionals and patients have many questions about its uses and safety concerns. Here’s why laser therapy for pain is perfectly safe for your patients. Of course, medical professionals must provide guidance for their patients. Here’s where you can start…
How Does Low-Level Laser Therapy Work?
Low-Level Laser Therapy encompasses light therapies that utilize lasers in the red and near-infrared (NIR) range. These devices emit LED light at specific wavelengths, penetrating into the skin and providing powerful therapeutic effects at the cellular level.
These highly concentrated lasers stimulate cells to support the mitochondria, known as the “power generators” of the cell. As laser therapy is performed, the mitochondria absorb the light and increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s fuel. The cells transform ATP into energy and cells become more energized, allowing them to perform their functions more efficiently as well as repair and regenerate damage.
Scientists have discovered under performance of mitochondria leads to adverse physical effects such as pain, and skin and immune deficiencies. Research has shown that light therapy in the red and NIR reduces pain for patients.
Related reading If you are interested in learning more about how 3LT® works.
Is Low-Level Laser Therapy Safe?
3LT® is an extremely safe, non-invasive treatment and is not associated with any side effects at this time. The treatment is also fully painless.
The treatment is nontoxic and less harsh on the skin compared to topicals used to target the same concerns.
As with any treatment, overuse and abuse of laser therapy could lead to damage of the skin or eyes if proper protection is not used. Proper handling of the devices is imperative to their effectiveness and safety. Only practitioners who are qualified and trained in these therapies should be providing these treatment solutions.
What is Low-Level Laser Therapy Used For?
The list of benefits for low-level laser therapy is extensive. Here are some of the reasons why practitioners in varied practices, use 3LT® to aid their patients:
Relieves pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Reduces chronic neck, shoulder, and low-back pain
Reduces post op pain for:
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Coronary bypass surgery with internal mammary artery grafts
Tibial fracture surgery
Aids in fat loss
3LT® has potential to improve patients’ overall health. By increasing cellular energy the treatment creates a positive chain reaction in the whole body. Similarly to how your energy levels affect your ability to perform at your best, whether that is in a sport, at work, or when facing obstacles, energized cells allow other parts of your body to perform at their peak.
Are There any Side Effects?
No short-term side effects have been observed in any clinical trials and long-term effects are unlikely. However, the treatment continues to be reviewed and tested for further examination.
Given the often severe side effects of drugs and medications, light therapy is a great alternative for patients looking to stay away from painkillers. With the current opioid crisis, keeping patients away from potentially dangerous and addictive drugs is a priority.
Medical practitioners should consider 3LT® in their treatments and an alternative to prescription drugs. It is natural, safe, and effective. It can potentially treat many of the same symptoms and provide relief fast with none of the side effects.
As with any treatment, proper training and use of the device will ensure the safety of the treatment. 3LT® shows promising results in the treatment of numerous conditions including those of the skin, pain modulation, tissue restoration, and reducing inflammation. Within the scientific community, there is still continuing research and education in progress. However, 3LT® has shown to be a completely safe treatment with only positive outcomes for the patient.
How You Can Reduce Inflammation for Patients with Laser Treatment
Inflammation is one of the top causes behind the chronic pain many U.S. citizens struggle with in their daily lives. Whether it be from injury, infection, or an overreaction by the immune system, finding non-invasive treatment methods could be of interest to medical professionals across a multitude of different practice areas.
In today’s blog post, we’ll dive into how low-level laser therapy (3LT®) could be a solution to inflammation problems and why you should consider investing in a 3LT® device for your practice.
What is Inflammation?
As physicians and practitioners know, inflammation is a natural immune response to injury or infection. The swelling is caused by a fluid containing extra white blood cells which can remove debris and other infection-causing bacteria. The process is meant to protect your body from re-injury.
When inflammation triggers and then later reduces, it is known as acute inflammation. When inflammation does not dissipate after healing is complete, it can lead to other serious health concerns.
Defined as inflammation lasting three months or more, chronic inflammation is behind much of the chronic pain that as many as 50 million U.S. adults experience in their daily lives.
In addition to the discomfort brought on by the swelling, the prolonged immune response also means an excess of white blood cells remains at the site of infection or injury. These white blood cells can throw off free radicals, which can damage healthy blood cells.
How Does Laser Treatment for Pain & Inflammation Work?
From minor injuries and post-surgery recovery to chronic inflammation and pain, there is no shortage of opportunities for laser therapy treatment for pain and inflammation. This treatment method is also known as phototherapy or photobiomodulation.
The science behind laser therapy hinges on providing energy to your cells, specifically the mitochondria. By providing your cells with energy from the laser light, the cells become more active. This takes advantage of the natural healing power of the human body. By simply enhancing the natural healing process, there are little to no side effects of laser light therapy. This, in addition to its non-invasive nature, makes laser therapy treatment a perfect tool to treat inflammation and pain.
The science behind laser therapy hinges on providing energy to your cells, specifically the mitochondria.
What Conditions Benefit the Most from Laser Treatment for Pain & Inflammation?
While laser therapy can be used in place of invasive surgeries, sometimes surgery is unavoidable. Laser treatment can be a useful tool in aiding the recovery process. Much of the recovery time for surgery is managing inflammation as it dissipates. The reason for surgery plus the surgery itself can aggravate the immune system.
Using laser therapy following surgery can speed up this process, allowing patients to restore their range of motion and reduce any pain they may feel following their operation.
Recovery from Injury
Outside of surgery, another short-term inflammation problem 3LT® can help with is reducing pain post-injury.
Similar to what was said above, keeping inflammation to a minimum can aid in the recovery process. In the case of physical therapists, building strength after injury (to prevent injury from reoccurring) is vital, but can be hindered if there is excess inflammation.
According to the National Institute of Health, roughly 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. There are a variety of methods to treat back pain without surgery. However, 3LT® has shown to have some of the strongest, drug-free results. In addition to being non-invasive and drug-free, laser therapy treatment for pain and inflammation has also been shown to have long-lasting results. This is an ideal outcome for those with chronic back pain.
According to the National Institute of Health, roughly 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life.
Arthritis & Tendonitis
Arthritis and tendonitis are other common instances of inflammation. Affecting the joints and tendons respectively, arthritis and tendonitis can severely limit the range of motion and fine motor skills of those afflicted. Common treatments heavily rely on prescriptions or over-the-counter treatment in order to manage pain. For those interested in reducing their medicine intake or those who do not find relief in medications, laser therapy is a promising solution.
How Your Practice Can Leverage Laser Treatment for Pain & Inflammation
As we’ve shown, laser therapy can be an excellent treatment option for those experiencing pain and inflammation. However, these patients can only access this type of treatment if their doctors or physical therapist carries a laser therapy device at their practice. Here is a summary of some of the top benefits your practice can provide with a laser therapy device:
Non-invasive treatment or post-trauma therapy
No side effects, for those worried about drug treatments
No pain, which can reduce patient anxiety
Short treatment times, allowing you to see more patients
Treats both acute and chronic conditions
Flexible treatment depending on laser head type
Inflammation is a natural immune response to infection or injury. If left unchecked, inflammation can cause other serious health problems such as chronic pain. Laser light therapy offers a non-invasive, alternative treatment to drugs and surgery, and can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions. If you regularly treat patients struggling with chronic pain and inflammation such as those with chronic back pain, arthritis, or tendonitis among other conditions, then providing laser light therapy will greatly benefit them. As a practice, you can leverage laser light therapy as a treatment for pain and inflammation to better treat a greater number of patients.
Contact Erchonia today to learn more about how our low-level laser therapy treatment can transform your practice.
With the cost of healthcare rising, small practices in particular have to be more frugal than ever. That’s why it pays to know how profitable low-level laser treatments (LLLT) can be.
They can be big money-savers—not just for your practice, but for your patients as well. Now that more studies are showing the efficacy of Low Level Laser Treatments, there’s no better time to take advantage of this non-invasive, drug-free tissue repair technology.
Here are five reasons why this type of treatment saves practices money:
1. Insurance Companies Love It
In today’s healthcare environment, every penny counts. As a practice owner, you know that you need to do everything you can to keep your overhead low and keep your patients happy. The good news is that low-level laser laser therapy helps you do both.
Insurance companies are always looking for ways to make their clients happier. They want to see your patients happy, and they want you to be happy. With LLLT, you can show them that you’re helping your patients get better faster and saving them money. They’ll be more likely to approve reimbursement for the cost of your treatments.
2. Less Time Spent With Patients
Low-level laser therapy also helps reduce the amount of time it takes for patients to get better. With traditional therapies such as physical therapy or chiropractic care, patients often need several sessions per week over an extended period before they start feeling better. The process of LLLT is requires less time per patient. This efficiency is good for both the patient and the client, and in some cases, LLLT has the potential to be more effective. This may result in less sessions needed and a faster road to recovery.
3. Facility Upgrades Are Minimal
If you’re upgrading or growing your practice, it may require adding more space for office visits, therapy sessions, and waiting rooms. Success can sometimes lead to growing pains like the cost that comes with facility upgrades. Generally, low-level laser therapy can be performed easily in any office space with little or no modification required. It doesn’t require expensive equipment replacement or repair. Many doctors choose low-level laser therapy because of its affordability and ease of use.
4. Boosts Patient Satisfaction
Studies have shown that patients who received low-level laser therapy treatments were more likely to report less pain and stiffness, improved range of motion, and increased function than those who did not receive the treatment for symptoms such as chronic neck and shoulder pain and aid to liposuction and reduction of pain associated with surgery. This can lead to increased patient satisfaction, which can translate into more repeat business for your practice.
With the cost of healthcare increasing and the number of health plans that cover expensive chiropractic treatments decreasing, the use of LLLT is becoming a viable option for patients and doctors. In this way, LLLT has truly becoming one of the safest, least expensive, and effective methods of pain relief.
For many patients, LLLT is the best option for managing pain without the use of opioids and long therapy sessions to see results. Both by keeping patients out of unnecessary appointments and by allowing you to spend more time focusing on the treatment plan at hand, it’s not hard to see why decision makers in clinics are turning to this technology.
The Best Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery
Roughly 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life according to the National Institutes of Health. While many will undergo surgery to treat their chronic back pain, there is no guarantee that surgery will resolve your symptoms.
In fact, these surgeries can sometimes make your pain worse. Overall, there are many reasons to consider non-surgical treatments to manage chronic back pain. Read on to learn more about non-invasive treatment options for chronic back pain.
Common Causes of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for 3 months or more. Chronic back pain is usually a result of growing older. However, it can also be the result of overuse or an injury. Specific causes of chronic back pain are typically one of the following:
Arthritis of the spine — the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
Spinal stenosis — narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
Myofascial pain syndrome — unexplained muscle pain and tenderness
Much of our pain and tenderness is also caused by inflammation or swelling. Inflammation is our body’s response to injury or infection and can be recognized by redness, heat, swelling, and tenderness around injury or infection. This protective collection of fluid brings increased blood flow and white blood cells. In addition to the natural compression it provides, this increased blood will aid in the healing process. However, this inflammation can be painful and severely limit motion. This can be a problem if the body overreacts to injury, which can be often.
Non-invasive Treatment for Chronic Back Pain
Most back pain issues stem from a minor injury or chronic stress on the muscles, both from everyday activities. Therefore, the easiest way to treat it is to make lifestyle adjustments. One-time injuries can be hard to foresee, but avoiding situations where the muscles in your back experience chronic stress can prevent most pain.
Correcting posture and wearing supportive footwear over something like heels or thin-soled sandals can do wonders for maintaining the alignment of your legs, hips, and back. This in turn will help keep your back muscles operating as intended and in the healthiest way possible.
Additionally, increased activity and changes in diet can help fight inflammation associated with chronic back pain. The idea of exercise while you’re in pain may seem inadvisable, but engaging in light to moderate activity can help increase blood flow, release pain-relieving endorphins, and restore range of motion.
Foods high in trans fat, refined sugars, and processed food can be highly inflammatory and should be avoided. To eat an anti-inflammatory diet, we recommend prioritizing foods such as:
Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes
Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel
Green, leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli
Healthy, monounsaturated fats, such as avocado, olive oil, and canola oil
Nuts, including almonds and walnuts
Seeds, such as chia, sunflower, and pumpkin
However, it’s important to note that severe chronic back pain may not be fully managed by these lifestyle changes. Depending on the cause and severity of your pain, you may need to employ additional treatment measures in tandem to these changes in lifestyle in order to treat chronic back pain without surgery.
Physical therapy is commonly used after injury, but it can also help in alleviating pain caused by daily tasks. During physical therapy, you will work with a specialized physical therapist to improve your strength and flexibility through easy stretches and exercises. These simple activities can help you retrain your posture and fortify the area specific to your injury. The goal of physical therapy is to not only heal from the current injury, but also prevent injury in the future.
Another non-surgical treatment option to consider is laser therapy for chronic back pain. How laser therapy machines work is by emitting photons or particles of light carrying electromagnetic radiation, which are then absorbed by your cells. These photons provide your cells with a boost of energy, allowing them to optimize their performance and aid in healing.
In addition to giving your cells an energy boost, low-light laser therapy improves circulation and speeds up tissue healing. Only cells and tissues that are normally dormant absorb the light energy emitted by a low-light laser therapy device, and it does not affect healthy cells. We recommend talking to a laser therapy provider to see if low-light laser therapy is right for you and your chronic back pain.
Some chronic back pain can be appropriately managed by daily medicine or regular injections. Anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other medications can be useful for treating chronic back pain. Injections can include nerve blocks, epidural steroids, and sacroiliac joint injections among others.
If your chronic back pain is the result of an injured or strained muscle, massage therapy may be the treatment option for you. Regular massages can help increase blood flow and stretch muscles into releasing tension. Since it’s also a popular method for stress relief, you may find it aids in easing your chronic pain by managing your stress.
While you might think of the chiropractor as someone who makes your bones crack, these health and wellness professionals actually focus on re-aligning your body. This alignment involves using the hands to adjust, massage, or stimulate the spine or other body parts. The popping noise often heard after adjustment is the gas escaping from between your joints after pressure is released.
Lastly, acupuncture is an alternative treatment for back pain. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine. It involves inserting very thin needles at strategic points across your body. The thought is that these needles – most of which you would not feel – will help balance the flow of energy known as chi. Western medicine agrees the points where needles are inserted help stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. This would act as a natural painkiller.
The majority of the population has or will experience back pain at some point in their lives. When pain occurs, there are a multitude of non-surgical treatment options to choose from. We recommend talking with a medical professional about your chronic pain symptoms to determine which treatment option is best for you.
How to Reduce the Need to Prescribe Opioids for Back Pain
Opioids are a family of medications commonly prescribed to treat back pain. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, a rise in opioid prescriptions has led to a rise in misuse, addiction, and overdoses. As a result, physicians have been tasked with weighing the possible benefits of opioid use against its risks. What is required is effective non-opioid alternatives that have an acceptable low-risk profile, like Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), to treat musculoskeletal pain.
Apart from the LLLT and opiate pain medications, other therapies include steroid injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and surgery. However, patients should be aware of the specific risks associated with each approach. This article teaches how to reduce opioids prescriptions for back pain by using LLLT and other alternatives.
What are Opioids and How Do They Work
Also known as narcotics, opioids are medications prescribed by physicians to treat severe or chronic pain. They are commonly used by patients experiencing acute postoperative pain, people with chronic back aches or headaches, and those having severe pain due to cancer. Doctors can recommend opioids to children and adults who have suffered severe injuries after a fall, car accident, and other incidents.
How do these medications work? Opioids attach to opioid receptors in the brain, gut, spinal cord, and other body parts and block pain messages sent via the spinal cord to the brain. While they relieve pain, increased use of opioids can have serious risks and lead to addiction.
In most cases, opioids are taken in pill form, but they can also be taken as lollipops or lozenges. Doctors may also administer them through IV, injection, or a patch placed on the patient’s skin. Because of their side effects, opioids should be used only under a doctor’s supervision.
Different Types of Opioids and Potential Side Effects
There are many types of opioids that doctors prescribe. They come in different names, including:
They are sold under different brand names like Percocet, Palladone, OxyContin, and Vicodin. Sleepiness, nausea, and constipation are commonly reported opioid side effects. However, there are other life-threatening side effects of an opioid overdose that should be reported to a physician as soon as possible. They include:
Slowed heart rate
Loss of consciousness
Addiction can also occur after prolonged use of opioids and patients may find themselves taking more drugs to relieve the pain.
Low-Level Laser Therapy as an Alternative to Prescribing Opioids for Back Pain
The majority of people have experienced back pain at some point in their lives and some of them end up developing chronic back pain. In search of a cost-effective and safe treatment that can reduce opioid prescription for back pain, LLLT was developed and is being used by various specialties worldwide.
What is LLLT?
Also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy or Photobiomodulation, Low-Level Laser Therapy is a low-intensity light therapy that causes biochemical changes within body cells. It is a non-invasive low-light treatment with no sound, heat, or vibration.
LLLT is likened to the photosynthesis process in plants, where cellular photoreceptors absorb photons and trigger chemical changes. Many physiotherapists use LLLT to treat lower back pain. Different wavelength lasers (varying from 632 to 904 nm) are used to treat musculoskeletal pain. These wavelengths can penetrate soft or hard tissue and skin to treat inflammation, pain, and tissue repair.
Potential LLLT Benefits
Low-Level Laser Therapy is one of the best options that can provide pain reduction or relief, especially for patients seeking treatment that does not require surgery or medication. Since the therapy is a non-invasive procedure, it doesn’t require prolonged recovery. LLLT addresses several orthopedic conditions and promotes faster healing. Also, there are no severe side effects associated with LLLT when used appropriately by a doctor.
While LLLT is a non-invasive procedure and promotes faster healing, patients may take a series of treatments to get total relief. The number of treatments can range from 8 to 30, depending on the duration and severity of the pain.
Other Alternative Treatments for Back Pain
Apart from LLLT, other alternatives to opioid use for back pain relief are available. Non-opioid drugs that are available by prescription or over the counter include acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bayer), ibuprofen (Motrin), and steroids. Patients who want to avoid the side effects of opioids may prefer using these drugs.
Also, a doctor may recommend other non-drug therapies that can be effective alone or in combination with pain relief drugs. These therapies include:
A physician or a physical therapist specializing in rehabilitation and physical medicine may recommend an exercise program to help decrease back pain and improve your overall health. Deep muscle massage, whirlpools, and ultrasound may help relieve pain too. Motor control exercise helps restore, control, coordinate, and strengthen muscles supporting and controlling the spine.
Patients have reported finding pain relief in acupuncture, where thin needles are inserted at different spots in the skin to interrupt pain signals. The therapy is well-tolerated with less serious side effects.
Surgery may be the next option for severe back pain that persists for six to twelve weeks of other nonsurgical treatments. In rare cases, an immediate surgery procedure is performed for low back pain.
A doctor may recommend a decompression surgical procedure to alleviate back pain due to pinched nerves. Surgery may be performed if the patient is unable or has limited ability to function normally in everyday life.
Back pain injections help treat inflammation and spinal stenosis. Also, physicians use injections to treat other back pain types. They may use nerve block injections, discography, or epidural injections.
In pain management, clinicians may recommend the use of opioids. While the safest possible treatment is to stop opioid prescription for back pain, abrupt cessation of opioid medication can also have adverse effects on the patient. Patient safety should be the top consideration in treatment procedures, and doctors should focus on other alternatives to an opioid prescription for back pain.
There is so much misinformation about the science of low-level lasers and how manufacturers have manipulated the science to gain a sales advantage – it is hard to separate fact from fiction. One example is; that longer wavelengths penetrate deeper. However, this “marketing claim” is backed by no clinical research and goes against the established physics of light. Published literature demonstrates that depending on the laser wavelength either a photochemical or photophysical reaction will occur.
The first law of Photochemistry states, that the energy in the photon (electron volt or EV) has to be absorbed by the cell to create a photochemical effect in the body. Photochemical reactions in tissue only occurs with visible light, this is well known and has been published in many papers and scientific journals. Visible light (400nm – 660nm) has sufficient energy to displace electrons in atoms to a higher energy state, without causing ionization. Once the energy inside the cell is absorbed the cell then uses what energy it needs then passes the excess energy to the next cell. The more energy (ev) the photon has the more energy it has the pass on to the next cell, then the next to create a stronger photochemical effect. For this reason, high energy photons from visible light are capable of creating greater systemic effects than longer wavelengths, since the initial electron charge is higher the more transfer of elections is possible
The easiest way to understand how photochemistry works would be to look at biochemistry or how drugs work. If you are taking 200mg of a drug like an NSAID you swallow the pill, it enters your stomach and after your stomach starts to break down the drug it starts a biochemical response that reduces inflammation. There is a therapeutic dose that is most optimal, by increasing the dose all you are doing is increasing milligrams and the side effects. Biochemical responses are not natural, unlike laser light which is natural and with visible light there are no known side effects. Each wavelength of visible light (red, blue, green) will produce a distinct photochemical effect, through similar, if not the same biological pathways of pharmaceutical drugs. Published research from The University of Chicago Illinois (UCSD) and other Universities using the Erchonia laser, that depending on the condition there is a peak wavelength absorption for simulating the desired biological pathways such asreducing apoptosis, necrosis, TNF-a, mitochondria production, stem cells, nerve regeneration, immune function, etc.
Infrared Lasers (Photophysical Effects)
Infrared Light (IR) is not energetic enough to initiate photochemical processes, instead, the result of infrared absorption is heat formation due to a increase in molecular vibrational activity, this is referred to photophysical effect. For direct photochemistry to occur, it is reported the (eV) must be 1.7eV, equal to 730nm. In fact, since the photon energy is so low in the IR wavelengths, the light is strongly absorbed by water molecules leading to superficial heating of the skin (Georgia State University), which is contrary to the propaganda that manufacturers state that these wavelengths penetrate deeper than visible light.
The longer the wavelength 730nm-12,000nm the less energy (ev) in the photon. By increasing the laser power all you are doing is shooting out less energetic (ev) photons. Again, the shorter the wavelength the more energy the photon, when you get below 380nm there is so much energy in the photon that the body does not absorb the energy and the photons bounce off the bone which is how x-rays work. These lower wavelengths are so energetic they are referred to as ionizing radiation and due to the high energy photons, they can cause cancer.
Infrared lasers are absorbed by the water in the upper layers of the tissue, the water starts vibrating and slowly starts a warming reaction by the cells vibrating in humans and plants. By increasing the power of the laser all you are doing is heating the tissue faster. Tissue ablation works by increasing power in microseconds to the point where you are killing the upper layers of the dermis (apoptosis) for skin rejuvenation. Increasing power does not increase how far the laser penetrates unless you are measuring how deep the heating of the tissue will reach.
Red light therapy, also referred to as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), is a safe, non-invasive treatment. So, how does red light therapy work and how does it apply to your practice?
Medical professionals have found it beneficial in helping treat various conditions including chronic neck and shoulder pain, chronic lower back pain, and over three-hundred nociceptive pain issues.
Its non-invasive nature and effectiveness have made red light therapy devices popular among patients who do not want to resort to painkillers. With the opioid crisis spiraling, this type of technology should be considered by medical practitioners. Especially, those who are looking for alternatives to prescription drugs for their patients.
The technique works by exposing skin cells to concentrated wavelengths of low-level red light targeted to help increase cell reproduction. Here’s a deeper dive into how red light technology works.
The Body’s Powerhouse
Red light therapy works by affecting the body’s mitochondria – also referred to as the body’s powerhouse. Mitochondria is responsible for fueling the body and more specifically each cell. They are similarly described as the body’s power plant because they produce adenosine triphosphate which a cell can use as energy.
Scientists have discovered an undeniable relationship between the mitochondria’s optimum performance and the body’s overall wellness. The sub-optimal performance of mitochondria leads to undesirable physical effects such as aches and pains, unhealthy skin, and immune deficiencies.
Light is capable of providing the body with various nutrients that contribute to overall wellness. An excellent example of this is how the skin synthesizes vitamin D from sunlight while blue light affects the circadian rhythm and, consequently, your sleep pattern.
Both UV light and blue light are part of a group of lights known as bioactive lights. Near-infrared light and red light initiate a biochemical reaction that supports the mitochondria’s ability to absorb oxygen.
Increased oxygen absorption has the potential to improve cell regeneration and healing. Red light puts temporary stress on the skin cells giving the potential of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses. Healthier skin cells are nurtured by these responses. Applying temporary stress is like exercising. It’s putting temporary stress on your body subsequently improving overall health.
The best part is that red light laser therapy has proven to show virtually no side effects. It doesn’t need any heat or freezing temperatures and doesn’t require any downtime. Importantly, it causes no unnecessary pain.
Why You Should Use Low-Level Lasers for Chronic Pain at Your Practice
Low-level light laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that has been used in the medical field for decades to aid in the rebuilding of the body at a cellular level. It has rapidly grown in popularity as a form of treatment for a wide variety of common ailments.
It’s a drug-free, non-invasive form of inflammation treatment that has been researched and studied, with many clinical trials to back its effectiveness. Studies show success in patients with chronic lower back pain as well as those with chronic neck pain, and those recovering from injury or surgery.
In this guide we will walk you through everything you need to know about setting up a low-level laser therapy program with success in your medical office.
The Benefits of Low-Level Laser Therapy for Your Practice
It is a low-risk, cost-effective treatment that can help relieve pain and shorten recovery time for various needs. In addition to the pain relief mentioned above, this technology can support recovery from conditions like plantar fasciitis and onychomycosis. The low-light laser technology can be integrated into various healthcare fields including physiotherapy and podiatry.
It’s not hard to see why this is such an attractive option for many physicians. Here’s a few benefits that low-light laser therapy brings to your medical establishment:
The non-pharmaceutical treatment can attract more patients to your office who do not want drugs as their primary solution.
There are rental options and financing opportunities that can ease the burden of outright purchasing this laser technology equipment. In some cases, this allows more liquidity and increased cash on-hand.
Using low-level laser therapy at your practice helps you serve the growing number of people in the United States with back pain. According to the CDC, 39% of Americans experienced back pain in 2019. Equipping your practice with a variety of treatment options for chronic back pain, including low-level laser therapy can help you treat a larger demand and increase patient flow.
It can help you treat different medical conditions, including fat loss in obese patients (up to 40 BMI), toenail fungus, plantar fasciitis, and lower back pain. It allows you to provide effective treatment for your patients. For example, your clients won’t need to worry about side effects and long downtimes as with some traditional surgeries or procedures. The cold laser therapy device uses lower frequencies and wavelengths, ensuring tissue protection.
Low-light laser therapy promotes a shorter recovery period for your patients. It is non-invasive, and your customers can overcome health concerns like chronic pain without excessive, added pain. Today, many people understand the importance of non-invasive treatment. It could explain why many shy away from traditional surgeries.
Tips to Achieve the Benefits of Low-Light Laser Therapy
Now that we’ve delved into some of the benefits, here’s some tips on how to make them happen at your practice. Here’s where to start:
Review Your Patient Demographics
One of the best ways to satisfy your patients is by understanding their demographics. Diving into where they are from and what geographical issues impact their lives will allow you to get a better understanding of what they want to achieve with the treatment.
You’ll likely deal with older adults, personal injury patients, and athletes. Understanding everyone’s unique needs ensures you deliver customized services.
Don’t Ignore Marketing Your Service
Regardless of the service you provide, marketing is essential. This is especially true for professionals offering low-light laser therapy. For example, your patients will want to know how this treatment can help them recover.
How do you reach out to potential clients? How will you help them to understand that low-light laser therapy is effective? This is where marketing your service comes into play.
Incorporate a broad range of marketing strategies, including social media posts and direct mailing. Here are tips to get you started:
Radio & print ads
Videos to explain your service
Office brochures and posters
These marketing strategies will help you explain the low-light laser therapy to potential patients to evaluate whether they need it. For example, you can describe the protocols, process, and what they can achieve with the treatment. Keep everything simple to leverage the power of marketing.
Educate Your Staff About Low-Light Laser Therapy
If you’re looking to integrate new technology into your medical practice, education can give you the confidence you need. You can leverage the available online materials, including research, tips, videos, and webinars to equip your employees with knowledge and skills.
You also need to know what to expect when dealing with different patients. How will you handle temperamental patients? When marketing your service, don’t over promise your potential patients. Explain what they need to expect after treatment and deliver high-quality services as promised.
Low-light laser therapy might be foreign to many individuals, but it has proven to be effective. Practitioners can leverage this to succeed in their service delivery.
Get the Best Out of Your Laser Therapy Equipment
The first step to getting your low-light laser therapy program up and running is to research the right equipment for your practice. Here are some essentials to look for when shopping for low-level laser therapy machines.
The Intensity of the Laser Beam
The intensity of the laser beam is an essential consideration when deciding which device is suitable for your practice. Low-intensity beams are used more often than high-intensity beams because they have a softer range of frequencies and can be tolerated by more people.
For example, suppose an individual has sensitive skin. In that case, they may not tolerate higher levels of intensity from a low-level laser beam. Still, they could tolerate it from a more moderate or low-intensity beam depending on their specific skin sensitivity level and duration exposure time needed per day.
The Type of Laser Therapy Device
When considering a laser therapy device for your practice, you’ll need to decide what type of light is best for your patients. The type of treatment you choose depends on the condition being treated and the experience level of the clinician.
A few different types of treatments include low-level lasers, high-power lasers, and infrared light. If you’re starting with a low-light laser therapy program in your practice, it’s best to start with a low-level laser or infrared light device.
Wavelengths are also important when selecting a device. They determine which type of tissue will be stimulated by the treatment process and how deep into those tissues it will reach to reduce inflammation and pain.
Low-light laser therapy is a cost-effective way to offer your patients safe and effective treatment. With the proper guidance and enough research, you can have a successful low-laser light therapy program.
Learn about Erchonia’s new FDA market cleared FX 635. the only laser on the market proven through clinical trials to treat chronic low back pain.
There are numerous lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) available that work for various medical applications. While LEDs may be effective in some instances, many fall short of the true potential power that real laser therapy offers. When compared to true lasers, LEDs can only deliver a smaller portion of energy into the body tissue. Alternatively, low-level laser therapy can provide more robust energy delivery and can apply to numerous medical situations.
What Is Laser Light?
The term laser stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser is a mechanism designed to emit electromagnetic radiation through the process of stimulated emission. It concentrates its power into packets of energy called photons that penetrate the body’s tissues, allowing physicians to effectively target a treatment area, such as treating chronic back pain.
Some of the main characteristics of laser light include:
Monochromatic: Laser light consists of a narrow range of wavelengths, making lasers ideal for absorption into the tissue.
Coherent: Coherence is one of the most important aspects of laser light, responsible for the total distance traveled and the penetration capabilities of the light. Light coherence is what makes the light energy able to have a beneficial effect on a deeper level.
What Are LEDs?
A light-emitting diode, more commonly referred to as an LED, is a light emitting diode. An LED has characteristics between a laser and a light bulb. When an LED activates, the electrons can reconnect with electron holes located in the device. This reconnection causes an energy release in the form of photons. The color of the emitted light directly defines the light’s properties and corresponding energy emission.
Earlier forms of LEDs would emit red light of low intensity. With modern innovations, LEDs are available in a more extensive selection of wavelengths, including infrared, which is often required for deep tissue penetration. LEDs are a non-coherent and divergent light source, meaning the light radiates in all directions. While LEDs can switch quickly, they can’t super-pulse.
Comparing Laser Light and LEDs
One of the most important differences between the light emitted by an LED and that of a laser is the LED light is non-coherent and divergent. Because LED light is divergent, it wastes more energy and requires more specialized optics to focus the available energy into the desired areas. Alternatively, lasers waste less energy and can precisely target a treatment area more effectively.
Low divergence: Lasers are ideal for targeting specific areas of the body as they have a low divergence.
Coherence: Laser light is coherent, while LED light isn’t.
Efficiency: Laser light is significantly more effective and efficient at delivering energy to the body’s tissues.
Are Lasers More Effective Than LEDs?
Therapeutic depth is the process of delivering an adequate amount of light energy to the treatment area to improve symptoms. Lasers are significantly more efficient at reaching a therapeutic depth and properly delivering energy. Because a significant amount of light energy is lost as it passes through the body’s tissues, the laser must have a higher initial power at the surface, improving the laser’s ability to provide adequate amounts of energy at various depths.
Applications for Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy is a versatile treatment that can improve various medical conditions. Cold laser therapy, also known as a cold laser treatment, is a fast and painless process that can relieve multiple symptoms. Another benefit of cold laser therapy is that it’s non-pharmacological, meaning laser therapy can help manage painful symptoms and be a helpful alternative to opioid medications.
Physicians regularly use laser treatments because it’s safe and effective. Additionally, laser treatments can help patients avoid extensive surgery, often accompanied by a lengthy recovery period and painful side effects. While traditional surgery may be necessary in some cases, it’s often recommended to avoid extensive surgery if a non-invasive treatment option exists.
Low-level laser treatments are a practical option for those looking to contour the body or treat chronic pain or foot fungus. A typical low-level laser treatment is performed in approximately 30 to 40 minutes but will vary from patient to patient. Most patients receive three laser treatments a week for two weeks, totaling six treatments in all. However, the total number of procedures will depend on what you’re having treated.
Because laser treatments are non-surgical, patients experience no pain or discomfort during treatment and can immediately return to their daily activities. Additionally, non-surgical fat loss treatments don’t require incisions, shortening downtime and preventing any potential scarring. Unlike traditional procedures, laser treatments don’t need any form of anesthesia, making the recovery period significantly shorter.
In general, non-invasive therapies can provide effective treatments while prioritizing patient safety.
Erchonia Is the World Leader in Low-Level Laser Technology
Erchonia is committed to the advancement of low-level laser therapy through clinical and scientific research. We’re committed to quality — not compromise — and pride ourselves on the rigorous process we follow to provide a viable treatment modality. We’re the world leader in low-level laser technology and are proud to offer effective, safe solutions designed for health clinics, physical therapists, chiropractors and veterinarians worldwide.
Our products include lasers for fat loss, lasers for pain and lasers for foot fungus. We strive to provide our clients with the highest level of products and customer service possible. Our clinical research shows the safety, efficacy and efficiency of low-level laser treatments.
Utilizing state-of-the-art laser technology, low-level laser treatments for chronic back pain can improve uncomfortable symptoms and restore a proper range of motion. One of the best benefits of laser therapy for chronic back pain is that it’s non-invasive, meaning patients often have a significantly shorter recovery time than patients who undergo traditional treatments or surgery.
What Is Chronic Back Pain?
Back pain is a common medical condition numerous individuals may face at some point in their lives. Many cases of back pain are acute, which means they may develop suddenly due to an injury or accident, but the pain typically doesn’t last longer than six months. On the other hand, chronic back pain is when the pain may occur in episodes or persists for an extended amount of time.
Chronic back pain may come, go or even remain persistently without relief. In severe cases of chronic back pain, patients may experience difficulty performing daily activities and even walking or sitting. There are many potential causes of chronic back pain, including:
Herniated or ruptured discs: The spinal discs are the pads between the spine’s vertebrae that help prevent the spinal bones from grinding against one another. A slipped, herniated or ruptured disc can cause severe chronic back pain.
Arthritis: Spinal arthritis can cause inflammation along the facet joints in the spine and the sacroiliac joints situated between the spine and pelvis. Spinal arthritis can be painful and cause chronic symptoms.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis of the spine occurs from long-term wear and tear on the cartilage of the joints and discs of the spine. In some cases, spinal osteoarthritis can cause spurs to develop, putting pressure on the nerves leaving the spinal column.
Muscle or ligament strain: Repeated or sudden movements can strain the muscles and ligaments of the back, damaging the surrounding structures. A muscle or ligament strain can cause severe ongoing pain and discomfort until it’s treated appropriately.
Sections of the Spinal Column
There are four areas of your spinal column, each with a different name and region. Understanding what portion of the spine you’re experiencing chronic pain in is the first step towards receiving adequate treatment. The four sections of the spine include:
Cervical spine: The cervical spine refers to the uppermost portion of the spine along the neck region consisting of seven vertebrae, separated by intervertebral discs.
Thoracic spine: The thoracic spine is in the middle and upper back and contains 12 vertebrae.
Lumbar spine: The lumbar spine is composed of five vertebrae located in the lower portion of the spinal column.
Sacrum: The sacrum is positioned at the base of the lumbar spine and connects to the pelvis. The sacrum helps to stabilize the pelvis and forms the posterior pelvic wall.
Laser Therapy for Chronic Back Pain
Low-level laser therapy, commonly known as cold laser therapy, is an effective and non-invasive treatment to reduce chronic back pain. The innovative laser technology used during a low-level laser treatment can reduce back pain through a process known as bio-stimulation. This alternative chronic back pain treatment carries no risk.
Approximately 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode of back pain. With back pain being a widespread issue, innovative non-invasive treatments are often necessary to alleviate discomfort and improve quality of life. Cold laser treatments utilize precise laser technology that allows physicians to target the source of back pain to promote healing and improve symptoms. As a result, patients can reduce their back pain without many of the downsides that come with traditional surgeries and other treatment methods.
Effectiveness of Lasers for Chronic Back Pain
Laser treatments for chronic back pain can alleviate pain, discomfort and limited mobility associated with low back pain. While one of the most obvious and beneficial aspects of laser treatments is that they can provide pain relief, laser treatments also offer other health benefits.
Precise and quick: Low-level laser therapy can target the source of back pain with the utmost precision. As a precise treatment option, cold laser therapy is an effective procedure that a physician can perform quickly and efficiently.
Non-pharmacological: Traditional non-invasive back pain treatments often use pain medicine, such as opioids, which can be dangerous and lead to dependency. Low-level laser treatments can offer relief from chronic back pain without introducing pain medication.
Safe and effective: Cold laser treatments are a safe, non-invasive treatment for back pain with little to no potential side effects or complications. An effective chronic back pain treatment, low-level laser therapy doesn’t use surgical incisions to relieve back pain.
No downtime: Because cold laser therapy is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment option, patients can quickly return to their daily activities and often experience little to no downtime.
Customizable: Another unique aspect of laser treatments is that they’re fully customizable, so a doctor can alter the treatment to fit their patients’ specific needs for the procedure.
Endorphin release: The technology used during a low-level laser treatment can trigger the release of endorphins. A release of endorphins can help minimize pain and discomfort throughout the back and body.
Inflammation and swelling: A laser treatment can help reduce inflammation, swelling and edemas. Inflammation within the back often places pressure on tender muscles, tissues and nerves, which can cause or worsen chronic back pain.
Muscle and nerves: Cold laser therapy can help damaged muscle tissue and nerves. By increasing the production of growth factors, low-level laser therapy can stimulate the nerves and muscles to heal, improving painful symptoms related to a muscle or nerve injury.
Blood flow: Proper circulation is an essential aspect that helps your body heal. Low-level laser treatments can stimulate local circulation to restore proper blood flow and healing processes.
Low-Level Laser Treatments for Chronic Back Pain
At Erchonia®, we believe in the seemingly limitless potential use and applications of low-level laser technology. Our team is committed to advancing cold laser treatments through the scientific and clinical research that has transformed our company into a world leader in the field of low-level laser technology. We’re proud to offer the most innovative, state-of-the-art lasers with a continued commitment to quality, integrity and diligence.
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