According to a recent market research report, over 1.5 billion people all over the world live with chronic pain of some kind. In the U.S., pain affects more people than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. In fact, at any given time about 31 million Americans experience lower back pain.
It might seem that all of this is inevitable, or that nothing can be done about the pain in our bodies and lives. But as technology develops, the world of medicine advances greatly along with it. Today, there are far more methods for treating pain and ailments in humans and animals than ever before. One of these methods is laser therapy.
What is Laser Therapy?.
Laser therapy provides a non-invasive, non-surgical way of alleviating pain in an individual or pet by reducing tissue inflammation and increasing blood flow. It might sound strange at first, almost fictional, like something out of Star Trek, but laser therapy actually has its basis in real science and has proven to be very effective at treating painful conditions.
How Does it Work, Though?.
Cells metabolize with the help of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a coenzyme that transports chemical energy. In other words, ATP is like a cell’s energy source. Through photochemical processes (light energy), laser therapy helps increase ATP production, meaning cells metabolize faster. As a result, tissue heals at a faster rate and pain in one’s body is alleviated. Simply put, laser therapy stimulates the body’s natural process of self-repair.
High Power Laser Therapy vs. Low Level.
There are two general types of laser treatments: low level (or “cold”) laser therapy and high power laser therapy. Both types are used for similar purposes, to alleviate chronic pain. However, low level laser therapy doesn’t penetrate cells as deeply as high power laser therapy, meaning it is less effective and requires more and longer treatments to achieve the same results. Therefore, if used at all, low level treatments are reserved for pain that is less severe and closer to the surface.
The most effective kind of high power laser therapy is called Class IV. Though it varies depending on a variety of factors, multiple Class IV laser treatments are typically required for one to see lasting results. In humans, it can take between eight and thirty treatments whereas pets usually require three to ten. Treatment length also varies, though most high power laser treatments take no longer than a half hour.
Benefits of Class IV Laser Therapy.
There are a variety of ailments that Class IV laser therapy can treat. For instance, this type of therapy has been used to alleviate pain due to arthritis, herniated discs, tennis elbow, tendinitis, carpal tunnel, nerve conditions, and more. Whereas painkillers are drugs that temporarily provide relief from pain, laser therapy is an effective, lasting, and proven method of truly treating pain in both humans and animals.