When it comes to pain, we tend to have a very human response to it: If you wait long enough, it will go away and you don’t have to do anything about it. This isn’t always the most effective course of action though. In fact, it’s almost never the most effective and can potentially lead to further damage.
While our bodies have remarkable healing capabilities, they sometimes need help to complete the job. There may be obstacles in the way, such as abnormal stresses or strains that continue to damage the tissue which is attempting to heal.
When the body needs a boost, we may turn toward laser therapy for pain relief. Whether the pain is new or has been occurring for a long time, K-Laser therapy can help.
How does this K-Laser business work?
We know you might be thinking: “What is ‘laser therapy’? How could it help me recover from foot or ankle pain?”
They are fair questions and we have straight answers for you.
The purpose of laser therapy is to treat pain. The combination of heat and light energy is able to penetrate to the sight of pain or injury at very specific wavelengths. The light emitted from the laser device is stronger than a laser pointer, yet not so intense as to burn through anything.
The goal of laser therapy is to stimulate and aid the body’s own natural healing processes. The light energy doesn't mend things by itself or magic, however. What it can do is:
- Increase metabolic activity within cells. When the laser energy hits, it stimulates the cell to produce more of its own energy and increase its activity. Think of it a bit like overclocking a computer or boosting an engine. The functions of the cell are performed at greater power, which includes repair.
- Increase circulation to needed areas. The performance of a cell can be enhanced, but it still needs more tools to get the job done. That comes in the form of oxygen, water, and nutrients delivered by the blood. While stimulating cells, laser therapy can also increase blood flow to and around that area. This brings in the necessary materials for repair and helps reduce swelling.
What this all means is that laser therapy can effectively reduce and eliminate pain by creating an ideal environment for the body’s cells to conduct repairs and accelerate healing. After all, pain is a signal that something is wrong. The best way to take care of this problem is to address it! Stiffness, inflammation, and muscle spasms can also be significantly reduced via laser therapy.
A lot of the work depends on the specific wavelengths passed through the area needing treatment. You can learn more about the specifics on our K-Laser webpage.
What kinds of problems can laser therapy treat?
Laser therapy is most effective on soft tissue injuries. In other words, damage to tendons, muscle, ligaments, cartilage, and the like.
Sports injuries are a common source of treatable conditions, and a big reason why this form of laser therapy has been widely seen on professional sports levels. This is the same laser device that the Yankees use in their training room! Sprains, Achilles tendinitis, and other forms of overuse injuries can benefit greatly from reduced inflammation and faster healing times.
Other common injuries treated with laser therapy are plantar fasciitis in the heel, painful neuromas, bunion pain, fracture pain, and arthritis in the joints.
In many cases, laser therapy may be recommended in addition to other forms of treatment; such as with custom orthotics and physical therapy which help to address the underlying causes of problems and prevent them from returning. There are also instances when laser therapy may be suggested to help speed recovery and reduce discomfort following a surgical procedure.
What is a laser therapy like?
Once again, the laser isn’t going to burn you. It isn’t going to cause any pain at all.
Some patients report a minor warmth or tingling in the area. A spot that tends to be painful or inflamed might also feel a little more sensitive for a short time after a session, but that’s about it.
A typical K-Laser session will last about 10 minutes or less, largely depending on the size of the area being treated. You will not have to take any special medications or follow any specific rules (such as eating restrictions) before or after a session, either. Also, you can continue right on with your day as soon as you’re finished!
Pain relief may begin following the very first session, but may take two or three sessions in certain cases until the initial pain relief is felt. The benefits of K-Laser increase with consecutive sessions, so you should expect to feel increasingly better over the course of treatment.
We typically recommend 6 sessions for an acute source of pain, but more chronic and severe sources require additional or ongoing treatments.
The right form of pain relief for you
K-Laser is a high-tech, advanced treatment modality that continues to provide great results, however it might not be recommended for everyone’s needs or particular conditions. When you come to see us for foot or ankle pain, rest assured that we will discuss all potential treatment options with you in order to establish your perfect treatment plan.
Our Massapequa office is ready and waiting to help you find the relief you need. Call us at (516) 541-9000 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment.