Core laser therapy
Last updated date: 13-Mar-2023
Originally Written in English
Core Laser Therapy
While most individuals are aware of the concept of physical therapy, few are aware of the extensive range of therapies available. New patients frequently arrive with preconceptions about physical therapy, which are not always incorrect.
They may expect to use brightly colored resistance bands, cycle on an exercise bike, or even use electrical muscle stimulation devices. However, it’s unlikely that laser therapy will cross their minds.
Though lasers may appear to be future technology, physical therapists know otherwise. Physical therapists have been utilizing lasers to speed up the healing process for over five decades, beginning in 1967.
Core laser therapy is now a method used to improve and accelerate outcomes in physical therapy treatments by utilizing a red-beam or near-infrared laser, with various wavelengths and power according on the type of laser.
What is Core Laser Therapy?
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is the anatomical use of red and near-infrared light to either stimulate or inhibit cellular activity using a cold laser or light-emitting diode (LED) device.
Photobiomodulation, Cold laser treatment, and Core laser therapy are other terms for LLLT. Core laser treatment is a type of light treatment that use non-harmful light in the visible and infrared parts of the spectrum. It is a heat-free photochemical process that produces good therapeutic effects such as pain or inflammation relief, enhanced immunological response, and the promotion of wound healing and tissue regeneration.
How Does it Work?
Core laser therapy is a medical treatment that uses focused light to stimulate a process called photobiomodulation (PBM). During PBM, photons enter the tissue and interact with the cytochrome C complex within mitochondria. This interaction triggers a biological cascade of events that leads to an increase in cellular metabolism, which can decrease pain as well as accelerate the healing process.
Photobiomodulation treatment is a type of light therapy that uses non-ionizing light sources in the visible (400 - 700 nm) and near-infrared (700 - 1100 nm) electromagnetic spectrum, such as lasers, light emitting diodes, and/or broadband light. It is a nonthermal process that involves endogenous chromophores and results in photophysical (linear and nonlinear) and photochemical events at different biological scales. This mechanism produces favorable therapeutic effects such as pain relief, immunomodulation, and the promotion of wound healing and tissue regeneration. Researchers and practitioners are progressively using the term photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy instead of words like low level laser therapy (LLLT), core laser, or laser therapy.
As currently recognized in the scientific literature, the fundamental concepts behind photobiomodulation (PBM) treatment are rather simple. There is general agreement that applying a therapeutic dosage of light to damaged or malfunctioning tissue causes a biological response mediated by mitochondrial processes. According to research, these alterations can have an effect on pain, inflammation, and tissue healing.
Contraindications For Core Laser Therapy
- Haemorrhagic conditions: actively bleeding tissue or persons with untreated hemorrhagic disorders.
- Regions with active deep vein thrombosis or thrombophlebitis.
- Reproduction organs (testes).
- Over thyroid gland.
- In patients with epilepsy.
- Tissues infected with Tuberculosis or other forms of virulent bacteria.
- Local malignancy.
- Abdomen or low back during pregnancy.
- Photosensitive diseases.
Why is it So Effective?
Cold laser therapy is an alternative to traditional medical pain management for both chronic and acute pain. Core laser therapy risks are minor compared to the risks of drugs or invasive surgery. The therapy activates the body's own healing mechanisms. There have been nearly no recorded negative effects. As patients become their own advocates, discovering alternative therapeutic techniques with low side effects becomes increasingly important.
Core laser treatment isn't only for pain relief. According to certain studies, it may also stimulate tissue development or enhance blood flow to the afflicted areas. As the cells repair, substances such as endorphins are released, which reduce pain. It may have a greater influence on the immune system by accelerating the healing process. Furthermore, study reveals that it reduces sensitivity in wounded areas, increasing the patient's tolerance of other therapeutic procedures in therapy.
Pros and Cons of Core Laser Therapy
When you decide to have core laser therapy for your injury, your healthcare physician should explain the treatment's aims to you. They should also go through the potential advantages and hazards of core laser therapy with you.
Pros of core laser therapy include:
- Treatment is not invasive: The laser device does not cause skin damage, but rather reaches deeper tissues. As a result, it provides an alternative to surgery for a variety of diseases such as knee arthritis.
- It eliminates the usage of pharmaceutical drugs: Some people are unable to take certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), or they have medical disorders that prevent them from taking specific prescriptions.
- It is not generally painful: Fear of pain is a barrier for many patients seeking therapy, and treatments employing lasers frequently include some amount of discomfort. In most circumstances, core laser treatment is not harmful. The laser does not feel like anything, nor does it burn the skin, hence the ‘cold’ laser terminology, as opposed to heat therapy.
- It can treat arthritis and joint pain: It relieved pain in persons with neck discomfort after therapy and for up to 22 weeks afterwards. Furthermore, a research of elderly individuals with knee osteoarthritis found that combining core laser treatment and exercise resulted in higher joint pain reduction than just exercise alone.
- Enhance healing: When light is absorbed by our bodies on a cellular level, collagen creation is sped up and laid down more efficiently—this means you may recover faster and with less scar tissue than if you merely let your injuries heal. It also increases the quantity of adenosine triphosphate (or ATP), which is the primary energy source in our cells. These two things enable you to heal.
Risks to core laser therapy are minimal, but you should understand them.
Cons to having the procedure done may include:
- You may need several treatments to realize positive results.
- Treatment may be expensive, especially if your health insurance does not cover the therapy.
- Some research indicates that core laser treatments are no better than placebo (treatment with no therapeutic value) for musculoskeletal injuries.
How Core Laser Therapy Can Help?
Core laser has various potential uses that are being studied experimentally at the basic science, pre-clinical, and clinical levels. Current therapeutic applications include pain and inflammatory alleviation, as well as the treatment of sports injuries. The FDA has approved laser devices to encourage hair growth and reduce fat deposits.
- Pain Relief
Before utilizing core laser therapy to treat acute or chronic pain, a practitioner must establish that the pain is caused by a neuromusculoskeletal disorder caused by age or injury and that there is no disqualifying condition or contraindication for laser use. For example, if the patient has visible skin lesions, it must first be determined that they are not malignant before doing core laser therapy.
Pregnant women should avoid core laser therapy since the effects on the fetus are unknown. The treatment settings and number of sessions required are determined by location and reason. For effective pain alleviation, core laser therapy typically needs more than one session. It may take numerous treatments before the benefits are seen. It can take anywhere from eight to 30 sessions for a therapy to be totally successful, and some individuals require treatment two to four times each week. The total number of treatments required is determined by the ailment being treated, the severity of the condition, and the particular response of each patient.
- Targeting Inflammation
Core laser therapy reduces inflammation by increasing the size of the body's smaller arteries and lymph vessels, a process known as vasodilation. Vasodilation improves the removal of inflammation, swelling, and edema from injured sites. Lymph node vasodilation improves lymphatic drainage, which contributes in the healing process. Basic research has shown that core laser can reduce pro-inflammatory cellular response components while increasing anti-inflammatory responses.
- Sports Injuries
Athletic trainers in most major league sports organizations in the United States, as well as several Olympic teams, have adopted core laser therapy as a vital pain management strategy. Trainers suggest that when laser therapy is included in the treatment regimen, professional athletes recover faster after being injured. Lasers are used as part of a standard warm-up regimen by major league pitchers, and many athletes utilize them for recovery. Core laser is also used to treat common sports ailments such as plantar fasciitis, hamstring strains, and different muscle sprains among weekend athletes.
Conditions to Treat With Core Laser Therapy
- Osteoarthritis of the knee, hip and ankle: The most prevalent kind of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). It is divided into two types: primary osteoarthritis and secondary osteoarthritis. OA often manifests as joint discomfort and loss of function; however, the disease is clinically varied and can manifest as an asymptomatic incidental discovery to a catastrophic, permanently disabling disorder. In these patients, core laser therapy may be very effective.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammatory arthritis as well as extra-articular involvement. Early RA is described as having symptoms for less than six months, while established RA is defined as having symptoms for more than six months.
- Disc herniation: A herniated disc in the spine occurs when the nucleus pulposus is displaced from the intervertebral space. Back pain is frequently caused by this condition. Patients who suffer from herniated disc pain frequently remember an incident that triggered their discomfort. Herniated disc pain, unlike mechanical back pain, is frequently burning or stinging and may spread into the lower leg.
- Sciatica: Sciatica is a debilitating condition in which the patient experiences pain and/or paresthesias and/or weakness in the distribution of the sciatic nerve or an associated lumbosacral nerve root.
- Tendonitis: Overuse may happen to any tendon in the body, generally at the bone attachment, but it can also happen in the middle of the tendon, most often in the Achilles tendon. The etiology of tendinopathy has been attributed to excessive compression and recurrent energy storage and release.
- Tennis elbow: Lateral Epicondylitis, popularly known as "Tennis Elbow," and more recently as Lateral Elbow (or Epicondyle) Tendinopathy (LET), is the most prevalent elbow overuse ailment. It is a tendinopathy injury involving the forearm extensor muscles, as the final description says. These muscles arise from the distal humerus's lateral epicondylar area. The insertion of the extensor carpi radialis brevis is frequently involved.
- Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is the result of collagen degeneration of the plantar fascia at the origin, the calcaneal tuberosity of the heel as well as the surrounding perifascial structures.
What Happens During Core Laser Therapy?
In an office setting, core laser treatment is done using a tiny portable device. It is a noninvasive technique that a doctor, clinician, or physical therapist can perform.
Looking straight at the laser can be harmful to your eyes, therefore you may be required to wear protective eyewear.
For 30 seconds to a few minutes, the doctor will hold the portable device close to or contacting the skin on your affected portion. The duration is regulated by the dosage and the size of the treated region.
The light energy will be absorbed after passing through your skin and into your tissues. Light energy aids in the reduction of inflammation and the repair of damaged tissue.
It generally takes more than a single treatment to feel better. How many it takes will vary depending on how much damage there is to your knee. You may need to return several times per week for a few weeks or months.
Does Core Laser Therapy Hurt?
You might feel a slight tingling sensation, but you won’t feel heat or cold. It’s also painless. There’s no lengthy recovery time, so you can go home right away.
Can Core Laser Therapy Be Used at Home?
At-home core laser therapy devices are widely available. There are a few things you should think about before acquiring a gadget for home usage.
First, the output of lasers varies, and some may not have the advertised output. Some are nonlaser light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Second, some home core laser treatment products make bold claims about what they can achieve.
Some are promoted to assist you in losing weight, quitting smoking, or growing hair. Others claim to be able to treat migraines, high blood pressure, and other issues such as wrinkles. Some of these claims may be unfounded.
Things to Help along with Core Laser Therapy
Your doctor can advise you on all other treatment options, which may include:
- Oral or topical anti-inflammatory and pain medications, including analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available over the counter or in prescription-strength form.
- Injectable corticosteroid treatments for temporary relief of inflammation and pain.
- Injectable hyaluronic acid treatments for temporary relief of symptoms.
- Exercise may seem counterintuitive when your knees hurt. However, rotating your knees can help lessen discomfort and stiffness while also improving flexibility. Additionally, building supportive muscle around your knees will provide them with much-needed assistance.
- You should avoid high-impact workouts like sprinting or leaping. This implies that activities like running and basketball are out. Walking, swimming, and cycling are all workouts that are healthy for your knees and enhance your general health without putting too much strain on your joints. Exercising in the water may also make it easier to move stiff joints.
- If you’re new to exercise, start with gentle stretching and consult with your doctor. If you need some motivation, consider physical therapy or working with a personal trainer who has some knowledge of arthritis of the knee.
Manage your weight
- Your knees do a lot of the heavy lifting in your life. Carrying additional weight adds more stress and strain to these hardworking joints. If you have a lot of weight to lose, avoid crash diets. Slow and steady is the key. Cut back on calories and add in a little exercise each day.
Use assistive devices
- Poorly functioning knees shouldn’t force you into isolation. Knee braces, custom insoles, and canes can help you get around. You can buy assistive devices on your own, but talk to your doctor about which ones are likely to help. If your doctor writes a prescription, some insurers may cover part of the cost.
If you suffer an injury that causes pain and inflammation, you may benefit from working with a healthcare expert to help you recover, such as a physical therapist or chiropractor. Your therapist may employ a number of techniques to relieve your discomfort and enhance blood flow to inflamed tissue. One such treatment is known as core laser therapy.
Core laser treatment, also known as Photobiomodulation, is a well-researched type of rehabilitation that is only offered at the most specialized pain and rehabilitation centers. It can assist you get out of acute and chronic pain while also speeding up your recovery.
The advantages of core laser treatment include reduced pain, both acute and chronic, decreased inflammation, and increased recovery time
Achilles tendonitis/tendinopathies, plantar Fasciitis, lower back pain, shoulder discomfort, knee pain, trigger Finger, sprains and strains, tendonitis, ulcers, bursitis, osteoarthritis of the knee, hand, and foot can all benefit from core laser treatment.