Laser Therapy: Low intensity laser produces a Photobiomodulation effect on damaged human tissue. We use the Bioflex Low Intensity Laser system, as it represents the gold standard of such technology in Canada; and because of their commitment to clinical research. Red light therapy is an important part of the Bioflex Laser System, and the first step in the application process. Using red light first ensures that the superficial nerve endings and other damaged cells are treated. The Bioflex system uses near-infrared light in the second stage of treatment allowing treatment of deeper tissues.
We use (and like) laser because it increases the success of our treatment plans. Our clients love it because it allows them to feel and move better, and get better.
As physiotherapists, we know that most of our clients with muscle and joint pain have, at the root of that pain, muscles that aren’t functioning properly. That's not always easy to see, as pain can be overwhelming and very often has to be managed before tackling muscle function. Laser provides a powerful, non-drug way of managing pain; and of speeding up the healing process. It prepares our clients for exercise management and successful rehab.
How it works
Low intensity laser, or just ‘laser’, produces a photobiomodulation effect on injured and diseased cells. This is the process by which light energy stimulates cell function. The light energy needed to create such an effect is of specific wavelengths, and low power. Examples of photobiomodulation at work include the photoreceptors in our eyes which allow vision, and those in the skin which initiate the production of vitamin D from ultraviolet rays. Another well known analogy is photosynthesis, the process through which plant life uses light energy for growth.
All cells contain a specialized light sensitive protein (cytochrome c), which when stimulated, increases the production of ATP (cell fuel). Laser directly targets these light sensitive proteins in injured and diseased cells. Its impact on muscle, joint and nerve injuries is to stimulate healing and provide pain relief. For more information, check out the attached document.
How it feels
You don’t feel much during a laser treatment. It is light energy, comparable to the sensation of gentle sunbathing. It does not pinch, vibrate, feel hot or cold. It doesn't hurt like dry-needling or extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ECWT). It is the only modality which can provide the desired photobiomodulation effect, which directly provides injured cells with more of the energy they need to heal.
Who should consider using Laser?
- Extensive injuries following Trauma or Sports injuries
- Whiplash related injuries
- Concussion or post concussion syndrome
- Slow to heal injuries
- Persistent or recurring pain from old Trauma
- Neck and Back Disc injuries, including Herniation
- Nerve injuries
- Joint replacement surgeries that are slow to heal
- Post surgical incisions that are slow to heal
- Any inflammatory muscle and joint conditions
- There are many other conditions that respond very well to laser, such as gout and lymphedema
Including laser in your treatment plan is always optional. If we believe it would be helpful to you, we will say so. To not provide the option seems unethical.
BioFlex Laser Charges
There are three ways that you can include laser in your treatment plan.The first two are in-clinic options; and the third is a rental option.
- Within the clinic, it can either be a stand alone treatment, which can sometimes be billed through third party insurance, but not usually through extended health Insurance; or,
- it can be billed through Physiotherapy Insurance in conjunction with a physio treatment.
- The rental option is intended primarily for a rural clientele; and the information for this program is attached.
Treatment times for Laser Therapy vary, which depends largely on the size of the area or extent of tissue damage that requires treatment. After your assessment, one of our trained therapists will indicate your requirement for laser time.