Low-level laser therapy is a red or near infra-red light, applied from a low power laser specifically for therapeutic usage, where the light penetrates deep into the tissues.
Apart from it being used for back pain, it is also employed to treat musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, as well as Fibromyalgia. A low-level laser differs in that it operates at very low levels of power and unlike high-power lasers, it does not heat or damage human tissue.
It can help back pain by reducing pain and inflammation. You would probably need several treatments before you notice much pain relief and combined with exercise can be more beneficial than exercise alone. They call it the cutting edge of nonsurgical pain relief and tissue repair. Laser therapy uses light waves to stimulate healing in soft tissues. It has a similar effect to ultrasound.
It is a low-level cold laser and is pain-free; it works from the infra-red spectrum which penetrates up to 3cm into the muscles tendons and ligaments of the body. The laser light then stimulates the cell body within muscles, tendons or ligaments causing them to oxidize and increase healing at twice the normal rate.
It can improve healing, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swellings. It is not available on the NHS, but there are a number of clinics throughout the UK which perform this type of pain relief. There are a number of hospitals that do this type of treatment from the City Back Pain Clinic in London, the Orchard Clinic in Northants to The Secret Glow in Manchester, with lots more clinics throughout the UK.
It can also help with
- Acute soft tissue injuries e.g. sprains/strains.
- Back and neck pain.
- Chronic pain syndromes e.g. RSI, frozen shoulder, chronic low back pain.
- Fractures and non-union fractures.
- Nerve pain (Neuropathic pain) e.g. from disc injuries.
- Ulcers e.g. diabetic ulcers.