In our last blog, we discussed how our laser therapy can be an effective tool for treating chronic heel pain.
But there are further ways it can be used, especially if shortening your recovery time as much as possible is important to you. Even at a time when we’re all spending more time at home than usual, returning to full strength sooner can be a crucial goal for many people who are less able to comfortably tolerate downtime, due to work, family situation, hobbies, or other commitments.
We can provide laser therapy as a means of helping patients recover from injuries in less time, while still keeping their ultimate health and comfort in mind. Here’s how it can help.
Firing Up Your Natural Recovery Furnaces
Our bodies—when everything is working as it should—are quite adept at healing themselves. Our cells have their own processes for recovery and repair, and are fueled by a circulatory system that brings them what they need to complete their jobs.
You can think of the site of an injury or trauma as a construction site (or a reconstruction site, as it were). Cells are working to rebuild, while your blood vessels are carting in the necessary tools and materials for the work. They’re even bringing along the means for much-needed energy to keep the cells going.
When we apply laser therapy to the site of an injury, it is sending light energy into the location. This can “create a scene” at the site, which the body reacts to in positive ways:
- Metabolism in the cells can increase. In other words, they are converting materials into energy faster, meaning they can work on their repair efforts faster.
- Blood flow to the area is increased. The creation of new blood vessels can even be stimulated, creating more efficient routes of delivery to cells. (Isn’t it amazing that our bodies can do that?) Increased blood flow carries in more nutrients and carries out more excess fluid, reducing swelling.
- The immune system increases its response to the area, providing additional protection.
The laser does all this by providing a noticeable but harmless source of aggravation and stimulation at the site, sort of like the foreman suddenly showing up on the site and demanding everyone get to work!
How Faster, Easier Recovery Can Apply
Laser therapy can be applied to multiple types of injuries and trauma, particularly those involving soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the skin. Specific situations where laser therapy may be considered include (but are not limited to):
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendinitis
- Stress fractures
- Plantar fasciitis
- Muscle strains
There is also potential in using laser therapy to help quicken post-surgical healing and recovery, cutting down on the time and discomfort a patient can experience.
Laser therapy is very useful tool in many situations—there is no doubt about that. However, there are still some important matters to keep in mind.
Laser Therapy is Not the ONLY Therapy
First things, first: while laser therapy can show significant results in reducing recovery times, it is not a magic “get-you-back-to-work-or-sports-immediately” beam.
Laser therapy is spaced out over a number of sessions spanning several weeks, or even a couple months. The beneficial results of each successive treatment tend to stack upon the last, but even though you may start to feel some relief relatively soon after your first session, this is not a “one and done” kind of treatment.
It still remains crucial to practice patience and not push your body before it is ready to get back to normal activities, should the case demand it. Jumping the gun and trying to return to your normal routines too early can prolong your recovery time, or even lead to re-injury.
Second, laser therapy will likely not be the only recommended part of an overall treatment plan. While it can boost natural healing, it can’t always address every underlying issue that may have contributed to your injury or condition in the first place.
Additional treatment, such as in the form of custom orthotics, changes in exercise routines, and changes in footwear, can aid recovery and reduce the odds of the problem occurring again. In some cases, we must also consider how to best recondition your injured foot or ankle to get you back to 100% strength.
The best course of treatment differs from patient to patient, depending upon their condition and needs. We can fully discuss the ins and outs of all available options with you, and provide our best recommendations moving forward.
Get the Help You Need, When You Need It
Our goal is always to help patients find the ideal routes to recovery. Sometimes these involve speed, but they will always involve safety and the avoidance of unnecessary risks. That’s non-negotiable!
And during times when we must consider additional factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, you can rest assured that our commitment against exposing you to unnecessary risk applies to everything we are doing. You can learn more about the approach we are taking to bringing patients into our office by reading our message here.
You can always reach out to us to schedule an appointment, or to ask any questions you may have. Call us at:
- Oklahoma City – (405) 947-8041
- Enid – (580) 237-3338
or fill out our online contact form to reach a member of our staff.