Low Level Laser Therapy for the Treatment of Pain Symptoms
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), or Cold Laser, is a treatment that use specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and is thought to help accelerate the healing process. It can be used to help patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions to help reduce pain, inflammation, swelling and may increase functionality. Musculoskeletal conditions with anecdoctal evidence of benefit includes bursitis and tendonitis (such as shoulder, hip, elbows). Positive response has also been reported in some cases of Trigeminal Neuralgia (nerve pain syndrome in the face).
How does Low Level Laser Therapy work?
The principle of LLLT is to use near infrared beam (wavelength approximately 600-1000 nm) at a specific energy to achieve biostimulation or photobiology effect. The goal is not to induce a photo-thermal effect, only photo-chemical, photo-biological or photo-physical effects in the cells in the connective tissues.
The aim of Low Level Laser Therapy is to affect the function connective tissue cells, induce gene expression of specific cytokines and growth factors which are known to be responsible for the many phases of wound healing.
This is a non drug, non invasive treatment for many pain conditions. The treatment is performed as an office procedure and relatively comfortable with very little or no side effects. There are large number of anecdotal evidence over 30 years which proves the beneficial effects of Low Level Laser therapy. In fact, low level laser therapy now appears in the American College of Physicians as a treatment for tendon injuries.
Areas which Low Level Laser can treat includes: shoulder bursitis; Knee pains; some back pains such as facet joint inflammation; Fibromyalgia; Muscle sprains and strains; Elbow bursitis; Neuralgia such as Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Alternative treatments include steroid injections (into joints and tendons) and oral anti-inflammatory medications.
Advantages of Laser treatment: Steroid injections are associated with risks which include tendon damage and cartilage degradation, as well risks associated with injections such as bleeding, bruising and infection. The use of NSAIDs (anti inflammatory medications) risks peptic ulcer disease and side effects to kidneys and adversely affect blood pressure. Laser is non drug treatment, it allows the patient to avoid steroid injections and reduces the dependency of medications.
If this is a treatment you wish to consider, please make an appointment with Dr. Wong. The initial consultation is $65 and each treatment start from $150 per treatment. Dr. Wong may recommend a course of 3 treatments once per week for 3-4 weeks.