High Power Laser Therapy is a procedure which uses a powerful laser to reduce pain and speed healing. While pain is the primary reason people seek chiropractic care, treatment must focus on removing the source of the pain, otherwise the discomfort may return and the condition could worsen.
A typical laser therapy treatment plan calls for multiple visits on repeating days followed by a tapering off over the next week. Chronic or more difficult conditions may require longer treatment plans. Each application to of the lasr will last between five and fifteen visits, again depending on the condition.
When the laser is applied, a sense of warmth is often realized. The laser is then moved around the area to avoid a buildup of heat in one spot. HPLT utilizes a high power laser with a large surface area which lessens the intensity of the laser. Surgical laser concentrate the energy into a smaller beam which causes cutting. Many patient report a decrease in pain immediately following treatment while others note that they felt better hours later. It is not uncommon for patients to report a period of pain relief followed by a return of the pain but usually it is not as intense.
As the pain decreases and the tissue healing is increased, alternate visits may include manipulations, traction or soft tissue manipulation. It is important to remove restrictions and address muscular-skeletal dysfunctions early in the treatment plan so as to restore normal function of the tissue. By the 3rd visit, patient frequently report a significant improvement in regards to pain intensity and frequency. As the pain decreases, additional active therapy is introduced and an improvment in function is often observed. Improved function includes: less difficulty getting on or off the treatment table, walking ( not waddling or shuffling) becomes easier, posture is more balanced and upright and activities of daily living are less affected.
As explained in th initial evaluation, once pain has been reduced to an acceptable level, the laser treatment is reduced and the active care continues until both the patient and doctor are satisfied with the results.
Some things not to expect from laser treatment: