Laser is used for a variety of conditions in my clinics, including speeding up wound healing, treating sports injuries, reduction of inflammation and pain as well as, treatment of fungally infected nails, verruca and chilblains.
Laser stands for
L – Light
A – Amplification by the
S – Stimulated
E – Emission of
R – Radiation
Always good to know for that pub quiz or Trivial Pursuit.
Initially laser in the medical field was used surgically, revolutionizing many surgical techniques. Benefits also began to emerge in the use of lasers for their therapeutic effects when applied at low power intensity.
This application is known as Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) also known as Cold Laser or Therapeutic Laser.
How does it work ?
Low Level Laser therapy works at a cellular level, basically improving the efficiency of the cells. For tissue repair it improves cell metabolism and motility, increases collagen (balanced) production. It increases mast cell arrival and degranulation (in the case of injury). Also improves macrophage arrival and activity, fibroblast, protein and ADP-ATP synthesis.
Increases the cell membrane permeability to improve calcium uptake. It also stimulates vasodilatation and angiogenesis (improves local circulation and tissue nutrition). For pain relief LLLT increases endorphin release (the body’s own painkillers) increases serotonin metabolism, suppression of nociceptive activity (pain receptors). Which in layman’s terms means good for increasing blood flow to the area, good for healing and good for reducing pain and inflammation. Also increases cell growth and stimulates the immune system.
Treatment with LLLT is painless and non invasive, protective glasses are worn by the patient and practitioner.
Laser should not be used during pregnancy, due to its propensity for cell growth, the same during any cancer treatment we don´t want to grow the wrong cells!
Laser and anti inflammatory medication don´t get on and anti inflammatory drugs should be stopped 24 hours before any laser treatment.
It won’t do any harm but you will not get the best out of your laser treatment if you are taking anti inflammatory medication.
I usually charge 10 euros extra per session for laser, unless it is for chronic wound care where there is no additional charge.
For laser treatment for fungal nails expect to have a minimum of four treatments spread out over 8 weeks.