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What is Laser Therapy in Physiotherapy?



There has been significant progress in healthcare delivery, and physiotherapy is one field that has benefitted from these advancements. 

Physiotherapy is a type of medical practice that uses various techniques to address different musculoskeletal problems. In many cases, exercise, massage and even laser therapy are used. 

With laser therapy widely known as an excellent remedy for musculoskeletal injuries, many patients opt for it over other conventional treatments. 

This article will explore the use of laser therapy in physiotherapy, focusing on the conditions it cures, its advantages and its contraindications. 

Laser therapy in physiotherapy

LASER is a light that is monochromatic, collimated, and coherent. The device that emits such light is called a laser. 

Physiotherapists use the light produced by the laser to treat musculoskeletal issues. The process is what is known as “laser therapy.” There are two kinds of laser therapy: low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and high-power laser therapy (HPLT). 

Lasers with an output power below 0.5 watts are regarded as LLLT, while those with an output power above 0.5 watts are HPLT.

Physiotherapists use low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as low-level light therapy or photobiomodulation. 

Laser therapy tackles musculoskeletal issues by enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself. When the laser light penetrates the skin, it reduces inflammation and triggers photochemical processes that result in tissue repairs.


Conditions that can be treated with laser therapy in physiotherapy

One thing that endears laser therapy to medical professionals is its versatility. The medical procedure can be used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems:

  • Various arthritis conditions
  • Tissue repair as
  • Tendinitis and bursitis
  • Muscle and ligament strains 
  • Plantar fasciitis

Other conditions that can be cured using the LLLT are disc herniation, disc degeneration, sciatica, neuropathic pain, etc. 

How laser therapy in physiotherapy works

When you have a musculoskeletal injury, the cells in the area immediately start working to heal. This requires a huge amount of energy, and with most cells working at their normal speed, healing could take quite a long time. 

Laser therapy stimulates these cells to work faster and more effectively toward healing. The light penetrates the cells and puts them in a hyperactive mode, which results in a healed injury at a faster rate. 

Seven benefits of laser therapy in physiotherapy you should know

Laser therapy for musculoskeletal injuries has a ton of benefits when compared to other forms of treatment. 

The process is painless

Many people opt for laser therapy in treating joint, muscle, or nerve injuries because the process is pain-free. Laser therapy also minimizes recovery time with no pain.

An alternative to pharmaceuticals

Laser therapy is a great alternative for patients that don’t want to deal with medication for their conditions. With this option, patients have to complete all treatment sessions. 

It is a non-toxic process.

Laser therapy in physiotherapy is a non-toxic approach to solving the problems of the joints, muscles, and nerves. 

Prevents addiction to painkillers

It is common for people to get addicted to pain medication after taking them for long periods. Laser therapy can prevent this, as patients don’t have to take pills. 

Admittance into the hospital is not required.

You can get laser therapy within a day without spending the night in the hospital. The laser therapy can be administered quickly, as the process isn’t complex. If you are very busy and bothered about the time it takes to address a musculoskeletal condition; you should consider laser therapy.

It’s very effective.

Several studies have found Laser therapy to be very effective for musculoskeletal injuries. The treatment reduces inflammation in the injury area within hours or days, reduces pain and triggers tissue regeneration which speeds up healing. 

Tailored treatment

Physiotherapists can tailor your laser therapy treatment to your individual needs. The expert will decide the best treatment based on your body’s nature and the degree of the injury, among other factors.

Who should avoid laser therapy in physiotherapy?

There are certain conditions where patients should avoid laser therapy to treat musculoskeletal injuries. Here are a few;

  • Pregnancy: laser therapy could pose serious health issues to the mother and baby, so it should be avoided. 
  • Cancer: if you have been diagnosed with carcinoma, then laser therapy may not be an option for you as this procedure generates free radicals that may worsen your condition. 
  • Epilepsy: Patients with epilepsy are not allowed to undergo laser therapy as it may worsen their condition. 

If you are considering laser therapy for your physical injury, research and find a qualified physiotherapist to administer the treatment. Note that the medical expert may have to run specific tests to see that you’re eligible for the treatment.

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