Fans of Star Trek probably remember Dr. McCoy shinning his red laser beam on both humans and aliens resulting in miraculous recoveries from disease. It’s funny to think of how accurate this depiction of “future medicine” was back in the 1960’s. In fact from its inception, Star Trek had a very deliberate intention of incorporating scientific fact and theory into its paradigm.
Lasers are devices that have fuelled imagination and propagated scientific breakthrough for decades. A laser emits light through a process of optical amplification. What we perceive as a laser beam is highly concentrated electromagnetic radiation which can also be thought of as concentrated energy. Industrial laser beams can be so amplified and powerful that they can cut through metal. Many medical lasers are somewhat less amplified but in many cases can cauterize and cut through tissue with amazing precision and accuracy.
Cold Laser Therapy
In my Toronto clinic we use what’s known as a cold laser. This type of laser is more powerful than a laser pointer used for presentations but less concentrated than those lasers used to cut and burn tissue. When this type of laser is applied on the surface of the body it transmits energy (known as Joules) into the underlying tissue. When tissue is exposed to this type of energy we can see increase in blood flow, metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects, neurogenesis and stem cell release.
Laser for Pain Relief
Pain is often precipitated by a decrease in circulation and oxygenation of tissue. Laser therapy works to restore circulation to hypoxic tissue as well as influencing several metabolic processes that decrease inflammation and increase regeneration. Laser therapy treatments are quick (a session typically takes 10-15min) and painless. Laser therapy has been very effective for my patients dealing with both neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. I have also had success with various neuropathies. I therefore commonly recommend laser therapy as a first line treatment in a variety of conditions for its excellent safety profile and efficacy. For more information or to book an appointment call us today!