L.A.S.E.R. stands for Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Normal light from a light bulb or a flashlight emits broad wavelengths of light. Lasers, however, emit only one wavelength of light, and it is measured in a unit called a nano-meter (abbreviated ‘nm’). There are different types of lasers based on the wavelength emitted by the laser. In the James Bond film Goldfinger, you may recall Goldfinger demonstrating how laser therapy can cut through steel, but we also know that lasers have a wide variety of uses. Cells within our body respond to light energy therapy without any harmful damage. Cells which become inflamed can be encouraged to become less inflamed if stimulated by laser light. In addition, certain biochemical processes of cells can be modified through laser light.
Laser light is amplified, and can penetrate under our skin without cutting or causing damage to the skin or surrounding tissue. This low-level type of therapeutic laser therapy helps to reduce inflammation by stimulating proper function of the cell1 as well as reducing pain2.
Most medical grade lasers can penetrate approximately 4cm (approximately 1.5 inches) into our body and have a therapeutic effect. Certain wavelengths can help cells reduce the inflammatory response, while another wavelength can help reduce the biochemical products causing pain3.
The net results of these two wavelengths on a cellular level has been hypothesized to affect the mitochondria of cells (known as the powerhouse of cells) though the increase in Nitric Oxide (NO). Our ability to produce nitric oxide as we age naturally decreases, and the low-level laser photo modulation stimulates the production of nitric oxide to allow our cells to function normally4.
These two separate beams need to be applied in different ways to be effective as well as prevent damage to your cells: one of the wavelengths needs to be applied continuously, while the other requires a pulsed (on and off) application to be more effective. The multi-waved Locked System, or MLS™, was developed to provide the most effective Class IV medical grade laser system. This FDA approved device combines two wavelengths used in specific protocols to reduce inflammation and pain without inflicting damage.
Class IV laser therapy can only be prescribed by a licensed physician and is a FDA approved therapy. After an evaluation by a licensed physician, a script is written for the proper settings, location, and duration of the treatment. Normally anywhere from three to nine 20 - 30 minute treatments are prescribed to be administered three times a week. All patients must do is show up for the appointment in loose fitting clothes, and the technician will provide them with some protective glasses. Patients lay back and let the healing light penetrate the damaged areas of their body, all the while reducing inflammation and pain.
Patients can return to all of their normal activities immediately after each treatment. Most patients are also instructed in some other complementary therapies such as exercises, medication or even topical creams. Most patients start to notice some improvement after the second or third treatment; however, some require longer periods to respond. Our team normally sets up a follow-up visit after patients have completed all of their therapy sessions to make sure they are making progress in the correct direction.
Many patients experience no pain during or after laser therapy. However, very few patients may experience some warmth and tingling over the treated area for a few minutes.
Multi-waved Locked System Low Level Laser Therapy is an FDA-approved treatment. Although it is FDA approved, it is not covered by any insurance carrier.
RPPC is very sensitive and concerned about your out-of-pocket costs, and so we have programs starting at just $199 for three treatments. If you have a health sharing plan such as Medi-share™, laser therapy may be covered as the cost of this procedure is much lower than a joint replacement. Most health sharing plans are affiliated with a religious organization and you must choose this rather than Affordable Care Act (ACA) sanctioned plan. Also, if you have a health spending account, the expenses associated with this procedure may be offset by these accounts. Schedule a consultation to find out more.
A recent review of the published peer reviewed literature revealed that low level laser can be useful for the following conditions:
However, low level laser also appears to have positive effects on cell based therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). A review of just some of the numerous peer reviewed articles reveals that low level laser can do the following: