Some common pains from condition that benefit from cold laser therapy:
Achilles tendonitis/Heel pain
Pain at the Achilles tendon insertion, at the back of the heel usually preceding jumping or running activities. Laser aims to modulate inflammatory response, improve microcirculation into the tendon for healing and stimulate fibroblastic production for stronger collagen.
Acromioclavicular sprain (shoulder sprain)
Shoulder pain usually preceding trauma such as falling onto an outstretched arm or a directly onto the top of the shoulder. LLLT starts with draining the axillary lymphatic chain and pain management.
Usually preceding a twisting type injury where the ankle becomes painful and swollen. The patient is unable to bear any weight on the foot and multiple ankle sprains may eventually lead to chronic ankle instability. Focus of LLLT is to modulate the inflammatory response for optimum tissue repair.
AS is a type of inflammatory arthritis that most commonly affects the SIJ/pelvic joints, hips, shoulders and knees. Common complaint will be chronic low back pain and stiffness. Laser aims to reduce the firing of nociceptors (pain nerves) and modulate inflammatory response.
A possible viral infection that causes an inflammatory response in the facial nerve. The main complaint is facial weakness and distortion and the patient is unable to close one eye. There may also be some associated ear pain. LLLT is used for pain relief by reducing swelling and the neuritis in the bony canal.
Inflammation of the biceps tendon can be caused from repetitive overhead arm motions. The patient can be described as a deep, throbbing ache in the front of the shoulder. LLLT focuses on pain management through inhibitory and stimulatory protocols.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Prolonged history of flexion or extension can lead to compression of the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel. This leads to pain, numbness and tingling over the palm, the thumb and first two fingers of the hand and may be worse at night. The patient may also complain of clumsiness with gripping. Laser works by saturating the inflamed structures with oxygen and pain relief by working on active trigger points.
Sprains and strains to the cervical/neck spine can cause stiffness and restricted range of motion. LLLT Improves microcirculation, reduces stiffness and stimulates endorphin release.
Nerve trapped from the neck /Cervical radiculopathy
As a result of a disc herniation, nerve root irritation may occur. Patient complains of neck and arm pain following a neck injury, however it may be insidious or unknown onset. Additionally, there may be associated hand weakness. Laser targets the nerve root to reduce inflammation.
Cervicogenic headaches/ Headaches
Chronic headaches that are referred from either bony structures or soft tissues of the neck. May often be associated with a whiplash injury. Laser is applied to tender points to reduce pain and improve function. We also use points to increase blood flow to the head.
Overstimulation or degeneration of proprioceptors or their pathways may result in imbalance of information that may lead to perception of vertigo or dizziness. Main complaint will be vertigo that is associated with maintaining certain head positions. The patient may have associated complaints of neck and sub-occipital pain. LLLT aims to improve microcirculation, reduce muscle spasm and possibly improve cerebellar/brain function.
Diabetic neuropathy impacts 60-70% of diabetic patients. Neuropathy of the lower extremity is commonly combined with the development of pain or discomfort, restricted activity and foot ulcers. LLLT aims to increase the density of the small fibre nerves in the epidermal layer of some patients.
Disc Herniation with sciatica
Compression of a nerve root caused by inflammation or by a herniated disc will cause lower back pain with leg pain below the knee which may be due to a sudden onset from bending or twisting. Laser aims to target the inflamed nerve root, promote healing and reduce pain.
An autoimmune disorder where the patient complains of fatigue, sleep disturbances and generalised musculoskeletal pain. LLLT should be applied to many tender points to reduce pain and improve function. We also laser points to improve immune function.
Presentation of frozen shoulder varies depending on the stage it is at. The patient will present with moderate to severe pain with limited range of motion in all shoulder movements. Laser may assist with controlling the inflammatory response and reduce pain that is associated with movement in the acute stage. In the later stage or stiffening, laser may reduce the fibrotic response.
Glenohumeral joint OA (shoulder OA)
Shoulder OA is the product of older age and years of wear and tear loads that has led to chronic inflammation in the shoulder joint. Laser is designed to promote relief during active movements, improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
Gout is a metabolic disease where the body retains urates. These urates accumulate and deposit as crystalline in various body sites. The toe is usually the most common site and presents with an acute attack of toe pain, swelling and redness. Laser aims to reduce the firing of nociceptors/pain receptors and modulate the inflammatory response. Ongoing treatment may stimulate fibroblastic and chondroblastic activity for joint repair.
Years of progressive degeneration/ wear and tear of the cartilage around the hip joint may lead to osteoarthritis. Hip, buttock, groin or knee pain that is insidious in onset, accompanied by stiffness. Laser is designed to promote relief during active movements, improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
Degeneration/wear and tear of the cartilage within the knee joint causes pain and stiffness that is worse with prolonged sitting or walking. Laser aims to decrease nociceptor/pain activity and modulate inflammation.
Knee pain is usually a cause of referred pain from the lower back, hip and ankle, local pain will usually be due to trauma or overuse. Laser aims to reduce nociceptor/pain activity and to modulate the inflammatory response.
Lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis and golfers elbow)
A possible tearing of the tendons of the muscles surrounding the elbow may be the cause of pain. The patient complains of either lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow) or medial elbow pain (golfers elbow) often associated with a repetitive sport or occupational activity. Laser focuses on pain management and optimum tissue repair.
Lumbar facet joint pain/Lower back pain
The synovial folds may get entrapped or facet joint degeneration may occur causing pain. The patient will complain of well-localized lower back pain with some hip/buttock pain above the knee. Laser aims to reduce firing of pain receptors and modulate the inflammatory response for a faster healing time.
A disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of vertigo, in which the patient feels like they are spinning, fluctuating hearing loss which may lead to a progressive and permanent loss of hearing, a ringing in the ear and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. Laser aims to improve microcirculation and resolving ongoing inflammation.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
MS is a suspected autoimmune disease of the central nervous system and causes demyelination. The patient presents with a history of dizziness, numbness, tingling or weakness that resolves over a few days. The role of laser in MS is to down-regulate pro-inflammatory mediators, up-regulate anti-inflammatory mediators and protect Central Nerve System cells.
Neck pain can be from a number of causes such an irritation of the facet joints or deep cervical flexor muscles causing a referred pain down the arm that does not fit a dermatomal pattern. Onset may be following minor or moderate trauma or it may also be insidious. Laser is designed to promote relief during active movements, improve blood flow, speed up healing and reduce inflammation.
Piriformis syndrome/Buttock pain
The sciatic nerve may in compressed within the piriformis muscle causing deep boring or dull buttock and posterior leg pain. Laser aims to reduce muscle spasm, improve oxygenation of the tissues and promote tissue reapir.
Plantar fasciitis/foot pain
Improper footwear or lack of proper support can lead to inflammation of the plantar fascia which causes sharp heel pain that radiates along the bottom of the inside of the foot. Laser aims to modulate the inflammatory response, improve microcirculation into the plantar fascia for healing and stimulate fibroblastic production for stronger collagen.
A synovial inflammatory process that creates a destructive pannus. Areas most likely affected are the hands, ankles, knees, hip and the neck. Symptoms include pain, soft tissue swelling, stiffness and movement restrictions that are usually worse in the morning. Laser aims to decrease pain naturally, manage joint swelling and improve range of movement.
Rotator cuff tear/shoulder pain
The most common tear occurs in the supraspinatus tendon or muscle which may due to an acute traumatic event such as heavy lifting or falling onto an outstretched arm or may also be due to older age that may bring on an insidious onset with no exact inciting event. LLLT promotes pain relief during active movements, speeds up collagen production and increases shoulder strength.
Sacroiliac joint pain/lower back pain
Pain over the sacroiliac joint after straightening up from a stooped posture. The pain may radiate down the back of the leg and an acute flare up may present as a sharp, stabbing pain that is relieved by sitting or lying down. Laser aims to reduce firing of nociceptors and modulate the inflammatory response for a faster healing time.
Preceding trauma such as a fall onto and outstretched hand causes pain in the anatomical snuffbox. Laser increases blood flow to speed up repair and reduces inflammation.
A latent varicella virus that may be triggered and activated by an emotional, mechanical or chemical stress causing burning and pain that develops into skin lesions in a small patch area on either the chest, back, groin or forehead. LLLT goal is to reduce pain by improving intraneural blood flow.
Impingement of several structures within the glenohumeral joint may cause shoulder pain that is worse with overhead activities. LLLT facilitates rehabilatation by providing relief to the surrounding structures and to stimulate microcirculation.
Facial pain caused by allergies or respiratory tract infections. The focus of the LLLT is on reducing the inflammation of the sinus lining either directly with a probe attached to the emitter or indirectly over the sinus.
Tinnitus/ringing in Ears
Patient complains of “ringing” in the ears. Laser therapy may improve microcirculation of the inner ear or stimulate or “wake up” hibernating mitochondria in these structures.
Thoracic outlet syndrome
The brachial plexus can become compressed at various sites such as the scalene muscles, cervical ribs and pectoralis muscles which may cause the patient to present with diffuse arm symptoms such as numbness and tingling which can be made worse with overhead activity. Laser increases blood flow to speed up repair, reduces muscle spasm and reduces inflammation.
TMJ capsulitis/Jaw pain
Overstretching the capsule due to wide opening or micro trauma may cause pain or tenderness over the TMJ. The focus of LLLT is to modulate the inflammation in the joint. Pain relief can be achieved by irradiation of the TMJ and related muscles.
Sharp, electric shock-like pains that start at the mouth and shoot toward the ear or the nose. LLLT improves microcirculation, has an anti-oedema action and improves nerve conduction.
T4 syndrome/upper back pain
Patient complains of upper back pain and stiffness that may also have associated upper arm numbness and paraesthesia. LLLT can be applied to any associated trigger points.