17th Jun 2015
Laser Therapy for Arthritis
Arthritis is insidious. It currently affects 1 in 5 Americans. The simplest definition of Arthritis is that it is a joint disease, which causes severe joint pain and inflammation. With a flare of arthritis, everyday tasks can feel and become impossible. There are two main types of Arthritis: Osteoarthritis which causes the cartilage between the bones to waste away and Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks its own tissues. There is currently no cure for Arthritis and by 2030 it is projected that 67 million Americans over the age of 18 will have a Dr-diagnosed form of arthritis.
Clinician Using Laser Therapy to Treat Arthritis
But there is hope. One study published in The Journal of Rheumatology showed laser therapy is effective in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. In patients with RA, Low level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT) reduced pain by 70%, reduced morning stiffness by 27.5% and increased tip to palm flexibility by 1.3cm. And in an exciting East meets West twist, a British study at the University of Dundee shows laser therapy used to stimulate the same pressure points used in acupuncture significantly reduced pain in patients suffering from Osteoarthritis. Patients measured their pain on a scale of one to 10. The results, published in the journal Physiotherapy showed pain scores for those who received the treatment dropped an average of 1.3 points and in some cases falling as much as 2.4 points. Other studies have shown that LLLT may help promote tissue repair in damaged knees and interestingly may also help in the treatment of depression.
How Laser Therapy Works
Low Level Laser Therapy is an alternative non‐invasivetreatment. LLLT is a light source that generates extremely pure light, of a single wavelength. The effect is not thermal, but rather related to photochemical reactions in the cells. It is believed that the laser is able to stimulate the release endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, which is pumped out by the brain during times of pain and stress. The laser is strong enough to release endorphins, but is not strong enough to cause burns or damage tissue. The technique involves using the laser on sore joints for a prescribed period of time (around 10 minutes) 2-3 times a week.
Why Low Level Laser Therapy(LLLT) Is Great for Treating Arthritis
There currently isn’t a cure for Arthritis. Current treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers which carry the risks of potential heart attack, stroke, liver and kidney problems and stomach bleeding. These drugs are recommended for short term use, but for anyone suffering from Arthritis that’s not possible, which means taking these drugs for the long term and increasing the risk of long term side effects. LLLT doesn’t carry the risk of infection and has no known side effects. Treatment protocols are not time prohibitive, meaning patients can receive treatment in a short amount of time and go about their day.
Going about their day is the main concern of any arthritis sufferer. The question, can they participate in their daily activities is one that plagues anyone with arthritis? When they are in the middle of an arthritis flare, they have the choice to go about their daily life in sometimes severe pain, take medication intended for short term treatment and risk side effects or not participate at all. Low level Laser Light Therapy gives them another important treatment option and in a sense, gives them their life back.
For more information about Laser Therapy and Popular Laser Therapy Machines see our Laser Therapy section on ProHealthcareProducts.com