At Farmington Valley Physical Therapy, we use the Solaris™ Dynatron and Anodyne light technologies. The Solaris light therapy probes have been cleared by the FDA to provide topical heating for temporary increase in blood circulation, temporary relief of minor muscle and joint aches, pain and stiffness and relaxation of muscles, for muscle spasms and minor pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
Light Therapy, also referred to as Low Level LASER Therapy (LLLT) has been used for almost 60 years around the world to treat a variety of conditions, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the FDA approved its use in the U.S. The FDA ruling came after a study showed that laser treatment alleviated serious Carpal Tunnel pain, and now LASER/Light Therapy is being used to treat everything from sports related injuries and bone fractures to joint conditions and muscle injuries.
Light therapy done by applying a probe which contains LASER/Light emitting diodes against the skin over the injured area for up to about 10 minutes. Some patients may feel a slight heating or tingling sensation, but most people do not feel anything at all as the tissues absorb the energy from the diodes during the treatment; it is completely painless.
How does Laser work?
The currently accepted model of the mechanism of action of LASER therapy is that LASER therapy works by increasing the metabolism and thus the energy available in our body's tissues available for healing. Our cells have the ability to absorb photons (particles of light) emitted by the LASER Therapy diodes and convert them to usable energy. The added energy aids in pain relief and healing at a rate a patient wouldn’t otherwise experience.
Light therapy is backed by extensive research with more than over 2000 published studies some to demonstrate the physiological action of light therapy and others to prove its clinical efficiency. Currently studies are being performed by scientists at NASA to demonstrate effectiveness of light therapy in tissue healing.
How many treatments do I have to have for LASER therapy to be effective?
LASER Therapy is performed by a Physical Therapy professional, and is a painless process that takes between five and ten minutes. To achieve the best results, expect to try six to twelve sessions of the therapy.
Can I come in just for LASER treatments?
LASER therapy promotes healing of tissues by increasing the metabolism of the cells of the body in the injured area. However, it is a passive modality, it does not require any participation from the patient and so it does not address weakness and maladaptive movement patterns that often accompany injuries. LASER therapy is a useful technology as an augment to regular physical therapy. We do not recommend people use LASER therapy in place of therapeutic exercise.
Light therapy can be a valuable tool for athletes; both to maximize performance and to promote healing between training sessions. In the case of promoting athletic recovery, private LASER sessions can be scheduled at Farmington Valley Physical Therapy. Please call our office at (860) 673-0223 to schedule private LASER therapy sessions.
What can be treated by light therapy?
Light therapy has been shown effective in treatment of the following conditions:
- Wound care and tissue repair (wounds, burns, grafts, pressure sores)
- Inflammatory conditions (bursitis, general tissue inflammation, nerve inflammation including median nerve facial nerve and bells palsy etc.
- Pain control (acute and chronic) Carpal tunnel syndrome, Head and neck pain, low back pain, Arthritis, post herpetic neuralgia etc.
Is light therapy safe?
LASER and Light therapy should only be used by licensed professionals. The type used in physical therapy for tissue healing has been classified as Class II Laser with only safety precaution being avoiding staring directly into the beam. Other precautions/contraindications could include avoiding irradiation over the abdomen of pregnant women, and over cancerous tissue.