Cold laser therapy, also known as low level laser therapy or LLLT, is an alternative, non-surgical method of treatment that has existed since the late 1960s. Cold laser therapy was being utilized in Europe and Asia for decades before the FDA finally cleared the first cold laser in the United States in 2001. Since that time there have been hundreds of clinical studies that support the efficacy of cold laser therapy for knee pain relief. It is a great option for those searching for alternatives to conventional methods that might have failed them in the past.
Which Types of Knee Conditions Does Cold Laser Therapy Help Relieve?
A cold laser is a non-surgical treatment tool used by a licensed physician to help relieve knee pain caused from a knee injury, degeneration, arthritis knee pain, baker's cysts, meniscus tears, bursitis of the knee, tendonitis of the knee, chondromalacia patella, and failed knee surgery. Individuals who suffer from chronic knee pain can benefit tremendously from treatments. The therapy is unique in that it enables patients to experience knee pain relief without knee surgery, medications or knee injections. Unlike pain medications and knee injections cold laser therapy treatments are considered non-invasive,do not cause any harmful side effects, and are completely painless.
What Other Conditions Are Treated With Laser Therapy?
In addition to relieving knee pain and inflammation the treatment can be used by physicians for treating a myriad of other musculoskeletal conditions. The treatments have also proven to be effective for neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and arthritis pain. Researchers are also investigating the possibilities of cold lasers being used to heal broken bones more quickly, to help regenerate the nerves in injured spinal cords and to help regenerate new skin in burn victims.
How Does The Treatment Work?
Cold laser therapy treatments work by using highly focused, specific wavelengths of light to target the area of injury. The light penetrates deeply into the tissue in the form of non-thermal light photons. This light helps stimulate and excite damaged and injured cells' mitochondria. The mitochondria is considered the 'powerhouse' of the cell. By exciting the mitochondria the metabolic rate of the cell improves thereby healing and repairing the tissue at a faster rate. In addition, to relieving knee pain, treatments have also been shown to improve tissue growth, cell communication, and cell nutrition. As a result of cellular excitation, lasers also accelerate lymphatic activity which ultimately helps reduce edema or swelling in and around the knee joint. Additionally, the therapy aids in achieving an increase in blood flow and in the formation of new capillaries in and around the knee joint.
How Many Knee Treatments Does it Take to Experience Relief?
The exact number of treatments depends on the duration and severity of the pain. In addition, an examination, an x-ray or MRI evaluation of the knee joint must be performed and taken into account in order to help determine an accurate treatment plan. The good news is that the effects are cumulative and improve with each treatment. It usually takes a series of 10 to 30 treatments for knee pain sufferers to get the most beneficial results; however, in many acute cases the relief can be immediate. Moreover, it is important to continue the treatments until the doctor has indicated that the therapy is complete.
Contraindications to Therapy...
While the FDA has classified cold lasers as "non-significant risk" devices, the treatments are not appropriate for individuals who are pregnant, or who observe the presence of potentially cancerous skin lesions near the site of the knee injury. This knee treatment is also contraindicated for individuals who take medications that result in photosensitivity.
The Most Important Step...Choosing The Right Knee Pain Relief Doctor...
Finally, choosing the right doctor that specializes in cold laser therapy for knee pain is as important as the treatment itself. Any health care professional with a license can own a cold laser, but in order to get the best results find a doctor who only treats the knee joint and who has devoted their practice to using this type of therapy. If you choose wisely, you will have a greater chance of achieving knee pain relief and ultimately avoiding knee surgery.