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Is Laser Therapy Harmful? | Laser Effects, Benefits & Risks

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When it comes to laser therapy, there are a lot of misconceptions about the potential risks and side effects. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of laser therapy and dispel any myths about the possible dangers. So, is laser therapy harmful? The answer is no – laser therapy can be an incredibly effective treatment option when used correctly!

There’s a lot of buzz around laser therapy – and for a good reason. This treatment option offers several potential benefits, from reducing inflammation to boosting collagen production.

But like any other medical procedure, laser therapy does come with some risks. This blog post will take a closer look at both positive effects and potential precautions. We’ll also discuss the benefits of laser therapy and how to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision about whether this treatment is right for you.

man getting laser therapy for neck pain

Is Laser Therapy Harmful?

No – laser therapy is not harmful when in the hands of a competent professional with experience. Laser therapy is a safe treatment that uses focused light to target specific areas of the body with very low risk. The laser’s light energy helps improve cell function and promote healing.

Laser therapy has been used to treat various conditions, including pain, inflammation, and wound healing. While it is generally considered safe, some potential risks are associated with laser therapy.

laser therapy for heel pain

Risks & Contraindications For Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy, for example, should not be used on carcinomas or cancerous lesions. In addition, patients with pacemakers or other implanted medical devices should avoid laser therapy as the light energy can interfere with the functioning of these devices.

laser therapy pregnancy

According to The North American Association for Laser Therapy conference held in 2010, the following contraindications and cautions were indicated:

  • Never aim the beam at the eyes; always wear protective eyewear as the laser can cause significant damage to the eyes.
  • Do not treat an area of “known primary carcinoma or secondary metastasis unless the patient is undergoing chemotherapy; when LLLT can be used to reduce side effects such as mucositis,” however laser therapy can be used to improve the quality of life of those who are receiving palliative care for terminal cancer.
  • Laser therapy is not recommended to be used directly over a growing baby during pregnancy.
  • Pulsed laser therapy is not recommended for those with photosensitive epilepsy as the visible light may cause a seizure. [1]

As with any medical treatment, you must speak with your doctor or qualified healthcare provider before undergoing laser therapy to ensure it is safe.

Laser Therapy Advantages 

Laser therapy, also known as cold laser therapy, is a treatment that uses focused light to relieve pain and promote healing. The laser emits a beam of light that penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the cells beneath. The specific light-sensitive cells are called “chromophores.” These cells then produce energy that is used for tissue repair.

woman freely hiking pain free

This process also triggers several helpful reactions, including the release of pain-relieving chemicals, the stimulation of cell growth, and the reduction of inflammation. Laser therapy is an effective treatment for various musculoskeletal conditions, including:

It is often used as an alternative to more invasive treatments, such as surgery or steroid injections.

The Effects Of Tissue Laser Therapy

The best thing about laser therapy is that it is entirely natural – all its effects derive from a natural source and work with the body’s natural healing properties. Some of those effects include:

  • An increase in blood flow to the focus area.
  • Reducing inflammation: The release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.An increase in collagen production.

Laser therapy can help to improve your quality of life by reducing pain and promoting healing.

light therapy

The Benefits Of Laser Therapy

Laser therapy has many benefits, including:

  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Reducing pain and limitations.
  • Promoting tissue repair and collagen formation.
  • Stimulating nerve function.
  • Increasing blood flow and circulation.
  • Reducing muscle spasms.
  • Improving the organization of new tissue fibers.
  • Reducing degeneration.
  • Reducing apoptosis (natural cell death/degeneration).
  • Slows down neurodegenerative in degenerative neurological conditions.
  • Reducing muscular fatigue.
  • Promotes stem cell production.

How Often Would I Need Laser Therapy?

At Dublin Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, we generally recommend a block of 8-10 laser therapy sessions, and each session last about 15-20 minutes and have intervals of 2 to 3 days. However, the literature does not state any specific optimal dosage because there are many variables to consider when prescribing laser therapy.

According to a study published by the Clinical Sciences Department, Texas Chiropractic College [2], the variables that determine the recommended dosage are:

  • The power output of the laser.
  • The size of the area you are working on and the thickness of the tissue.
  • If the laser is continuous or pulsed.
  • The time of application.
  • The kind of laser.

Is There Downtime After A Laser Session?

There is no downtime after laser therapy – moderate exercise could complicate the effects of the laser therapy by further increasing blood flow to the area. However, sometimes it is best to rest – but I will talk about this a little later.

man and woman doing workout

However, I recommend avoiding intense, strenuous exercise if you receive laser therapy for a present injury. Your laser therapy session could reduce your pain, making you more likely to push yourself a little too hard.

However, if you have no current injuries, you could also receive laser therapy to improve athletic performance as it reduces muscular fatigue.

What Can I Expect After My First Session Of Laser Therapy?

After your first laser therapy session, clients tend to feel small improvements; for example, they feel slightly looser, reduce the intensity of symptoms, and improve the quality of their movements.

Should I Rest After Laser Therapy?

It is also typical to temporarily feel a slight increase in symptoms after your first session – as the body adapts to this new change. It is also not uncommon for clients to feel tired; I recommend listening to this intuitively and resting.

Does It Cause Pain?

Laser therapy does not cause pain; most people report feeling relaxed and comfortable during the treatment. Laser therapy is an excellent alternative to traditional pain management methods, and it can provide relief for those who suffer from chronic pain.

Conclusion

Laser therapy is not harmful when in the right hands and has numerous natural benefits that can help to improve your quality of life. Finding a laser therapy provider you trust and have experience in is essential.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like to learn more about laser therapy, click here.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743666/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7729198/

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    by | Jul 29, 2022 | Uncategorized

    <a href="http://dublin-chiropractic.com" target="_blank">Kate Ryan Physio</a>

    Kate Ryan Physio

    Chiropractor

    My goal is to help people get out and stay out of pain. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of living pain free for a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.
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