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How does Laser Compare with other Modalities

managing pain with bioflex laser therapy St. John's

Comparing LLLT With Other Electrotherapeutic Technologies

Low level laser therapy (LLLT), scientifically known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), is one of the more recent modalities used by physiotherapists and other health care professionals to effectively treat a great many conditions. Physiotherapy has always used a range of electrotherapeutic modalities… so, why another? The short answer, more effective pain management, accelerated healing, and better overall outcomes.

The electrotherapeutic modalities used within a physiotherapy context include ultrasound, transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS), interferential current (IFC), extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT), and low level laser (LLLT). These modalities each offer different mechanisms of action,and therefore have different effects on the body. Ultrasound alternately compresses, then decompresses targeted tissues; TENS and IFC both interfere with nerves which transmit pain information to the brain; and ESWT causes micro-trauma in order to re-initiate an inflammatory response that will hopefully stimulate a healing response.

One way or another, all of these modalities depend upon a general response to the stimulus introduced. LLLT is very different; it treats directly at the cellular level. LLLT floods cells with spectrums of light scientifically shown to stimulate the energy production centers of cells, and initiate a cascade of cell responses that ultimately lead to reduced inflammation and pain, and enhanced, more rapid healing. 

LLLT treats at the cellular level,
the very foundation of our bodies!

Low level laser has few contra-indications in comparison with the other modalities. Treatment over a cancerous site or a pregnant uterus are general contraindications for all modalities. Beyond that, practitioners do not treat the open eye, and there are also a few considerations when treating children. In comparison, there’s a much longer list of contra-indications for the other modalities. Further, they generally require good health and function of the tissues in the area of injury. Example contraindications include poor skin sensation, poor circulation and implants. 

On the other hand, LLLT can be used for any injury with few exceptions. Further, numerous studies indicate that low level laser stimulates healthy and injured cells of all types. It directly stimulates muscle, connective tissue, nerves, blood, and bone. It is also effective for a wide range of conditions. Within the physiotherapy context, it is good for all muscle and joint pain conditions and injuries, including any and all painful back and neck conditions and injuries, tendonitis, bursitis, neuritis, arthritis, fasciitis and many other conditions as well. 

So what is so great about the effect of laser therapy?  A recent collaboration between the Cochrane Collaboration and the Ottawa Methods Group Panel provided guidance in the conservative treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. These findings were documented in the Physical Therapy journal, and included many of the physiological benefits attributable to low level laser. The collaboration concluded that laser is capable of cell regeneration.  Research supports the efficacy of low level laser as well as it’s supremacy within the electrotherapeutic world. 

If you’d like more information, click here to view a webinar entitled “How does Laser Compare with other Modalities”, presented by Dr David Kunashko, of Meditech in Toronto. 

At Avalon Laser Health, we include bioflex low level laser as part of most of our treatment plans. It’s an exciting modality if you’re leary of, or can’t tolerate pain medication; if an early or timely return to work or sport is important to you; or if old pains have become chronic pain.  It is an approved modality of both physiotherapy and naturotherapy sections of most insurance plans, making it affordable.

If you’d like more information on the bioflex low level laser, or think you’d like to try it, we welcome your interest and will be happy to speak with you about it!




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