Millions of Americans of all ages suffer from chronic pain. “In 2016, an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults (50.0 million) had chronic pain and 8.0% of U.S. adults (19.6 million) had high-impact chronic pain, with higher prevalence associated with advancing age.” In fact, “Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States.”
If you, too, suffer from pain or if you have patients who do, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next time pain strikes, you had a magic wand that would make all pain disappear? Sadly, magic wands are not yet available in today’s marketplace. However, it is no exaggeration, fantasy, or fairytale, to say that the best device next to a magic wand that is available today for the reduction of pain without the potential risks and harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals or surgery is a laser! Here’s why:
Laser Therapy for Pain
Laser Therapy provides a pain-free, non-invasive treatment option that can help reduce pain by the end of the first therapy session. The photons of light that lasers produce induce beneficial biological processes in the body that not only relieve pain, but also reduce inflammation, accelerate cell growth, and initiate tissue repair. This leads to a dramatic increase in range of motion — something that many patients are earnestly seeking from chiropractic or physical therapy. And lasers can regulate the immune system, increase metabolic function, improve vascular activity, relax the muscles, regenerate nerve cells, and restore nerve function.
Lasers Affect Pain Pathways
Flooding damaged tissues with photons of light promotes the body’s own increased production of chemicals that reduce pain, such as endorphins and enkephalins, from the brain and adrenal glands. Also,lasers have been proven to have highly beneficial effects on nerve cells, blocking pain signals transmitted to the brain, and decreasing nerve sensitivity and inflammation (less edema equals less pain).
Many Practitioners Are Using Lasers
Due to the ability of lasers to alleviate pain and initiate healing in all areas of the body (except for the eyes), Laser Therapy has grown in acceptance and popularity. It is now being used successfully by a broad range of health practitioners such as chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and podiatrists, to name a few.
Laser Usage and Scientific Studies
[Please note that “LLLT” stands for “low level laser therapy.” It is a common acronym used to describe the utilization of lasers for clinical therapy. It is not unique to any specific class of laser.]
- Chiropractors are using lasers to treat pain caused by all types of musculoskeletal issues, particularly back pain. A 2019 meta-analysis found that, “LLLT is an effective method to relieve low back pain in patients who present with NSCLBP.” (“Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain”)
- Physical Therapists are using lasers to treat patients with osteoarthritis (“OA”) to reduce pain and increase joint mobility and range of motion. A 2016 study examining the “longitudinal effect of LLLT on the three major hand OA symptoms—pain, swelling, reduced joint mobility—in patients suffering from Bouchard’s and Heberden’s OA” in the fingers found that “LLLT significantly reduced pain and ring size and increased range of motion…” It was concluded that “LLLT is a safe, non‐invasive, efficient and efficacious means to reduce pain and swelling and to increase joint mobility…” And a meta-analysis done in 2019 investigating the effectiveness of LLLT in knee osteoarthritis (“KOA”) concluded that “LLLT reduces pain and disability in KOA….”
- Acupuncturists are using lasers to target specific meridians and acupuncture/trigger points to relieve the pain of a host of conditions, including tension headaches. A 2005 study suggested that “…laser acupuncture may be an effective treatment for chronic tension-type headache…”
- Podiatrists are using lasers to treat the pain of many foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon problems, diabetic foot ulcers, and ankle issues. A 2017 study concluded that “LLLT was an effective form of treatment for chronic foot and ankle joint pain…” An earlier study in 2015 found that “The low-level laser treatment seems to be an efficient method, viable, painless and of low costs concerning the tissue repair [of] ulcers in a diabetic foot.”
Give Laser Therapy a Try
If you or a loved one suffer from any type of pain, there is no need to depend upon opioids, antidepressants, or other potentially addictive pain medications that only mask pain, when Laser Therapy can not only help relieve pain effectively without the risky side effects of pharmaceutical drugs but also accelerate the healing of nerves and tissues for permanent relief. If you are a chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist, or podiatrist, consider adding Laser Therapy to your treatment menu to quickly and effectively relieve pain and promote healing — and provide a better quality of life to all of your patients. The purchase of a single laser can make an enormous difference in your clinic! Visit Berman Partners’ website and/or fill out our contact us form to learn more.
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 Stausholm MB, Naterstad IF, Joensen J, Lopes-Martins RÁB, Sæbø H, Lund H, Fersum KV, Bjordal JM. Efficacy of low-level laser therapy on pain and disability in knee osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. BMJ Open. 2019 Oct 28;9(10):e031142. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031142. PMID: 31662383; PMCID: PMC6830679, p. 11.
 Ebneshahidi NS, Heshmatipour M, Moghaddami A, Eghtesadi-Araghi P. The effects of laser acupuncture on chronic tension headache–a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2005 Mar;23(1):13-8. doi: 10.1136/aim.23.1.13. PMID: 15844435.
 Izukura H, Miyagi M, Harada T, Ohshiro T, Ebihara S. Low Level Laser Therapy in patients with chronic foot and ankle joint pain. Laser Ther. 2017 Mar 31;26(1):19-24. doi: 10.5978/islsm.17-OR-2. PMID: 28740325; PMCID: PMC5515707.
 Feitosa MC, Carvalho AF, Feitosa VC, Coelho IM, Oliveira RA, Arisawa EÂ. Effects of the Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the process of healing diabetic foot ulcers. Acta Cir Bras. 2015 Dec;30(12):852-7. doi: 10.1590/S0102-865020150120000010. PMID: 26735058.