8 Questions To Ask Your Doctor or Chiropractor About Laser Therapy
Patients who are informed about their conditions and treatments and are involved in making decisions about their care get the most out of their medical treatments — and they often enjoy better health outcomes. This is especially true when you are about to undergo innovative treatments, such as laser therapy.
Working with your healthcare provider to make informed decisions is known as shared decision-making. This approach helps patients commit to a laser treatment program that often involves treatment a few days a week, for several weeks.
Before starting any new therapy or treatment, it is always important to talk to a doctor or chiropractor familiar with your medical history and ask questions about the care you will receive. However, many patients are unsure what questions to ask, which means they may not be informed enough to make decisions about their care. To ensure you get the information you need, and to decide if laser therapy is a good fit for you, here is a list of eight questions about laser therapy to ask your doctor or chiropractor.
Top 8 Questions About Laser Therapy
1. Is laser therapy effective for treating my pain?
Laser therapy effectively manages pain for several conditions and ailments, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Acute and chronic inflammation
- Overuse injuries
- Post-surgical healing
Your doctor or chiropractor can help you determine if laser therapy may be effective for treating your pain.
2. Is deep laser tissue therapy right for me?
Deep laser tissue therapy may be right for you if you have certain musculoskeletal conditions, such as:
- Knee pain
- Ligament sprains
- Lower back pain
- Muscle strains
- Neck pain
- Pain from muscle spasms
Deep laser therapy is a treatment delivered by high-powered class IV lasers that emit red and near-infrared, which penetrate deep into the body to promote musculoskeletal healing.
3. Does laser therapy help reduce inflammation?
Inflammation is normally a beneficial response to an injury, in that acute inflammation triggers the release of substances that promote healing. Acute inflammation comes on quickly and disappears when the body begins to heal. Inflammation can become a problem when it becomes chronic, though, especially if the inflammation continues for a long time. Chronic inflammation is associated with body pain, muscle and joint pain, frequent infections, and other health issues.
Laser therapy helps reduce both acute and chronic inflammation. The light wavelengths used in laser therapy stimulate mitochondria, which produce the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that body cells use as fuel while they recover from injury. Laser therapy also improves circulation to help tissues in the affected area get the oxygen and nutrients they need for healing.
4. Why choose laser therapy over pain medication?
Pain can change your life. Ongoing pain can prevent you from working, driving a car, doing everyday household chores, taking care of your family, or engaging in your favorite pastimes. Medical treatments such as surgery, injections, and physical therapy can alleviate pain for many patients. And oftentimes, patients who continue to experience pain after medical treatment will resort to over-the-counter analgesics or even prescription pain relievers, such as the opioids hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin).
While these prescription painkillers are effective, they cause unwanted side effects, such as mental fog, drowsiness, nausea, and constipation. These side effects can also prevent you from going to work, taking care of your family, and other aspects of daily living. Many pain medications can cause physical dependence and addiction, making it challenging to stop using them. Opioids may also slow breathing, which can lead to overdose and death.
Laser therapy does not cause any of these dangerous or debilitating side effects. In fact, there are no known risks or side effects with laser therapy that might occur with other treatment approaches.
5. How soon should laser therapy begin?
Your doctor or chiropractor can tell you when you should begin laser therapy. In most cases, you should begin laser therapy as soon as possible. Like other treatments, laser therapy typically works best when started early.
6. How long should laser therapy last?
While many people feel better immediately after their first laser therapy treatment, most people enjoy optimal relief from their condition after undergoing regular treatment sessions for several weeks. As with any other treatment, consistency is the key.
7. Can I undergo laser therapy along with other treatments?
Yes! Since laser therapy does not involve medications, it will not interfere with any prescription or non-prescription drugs you may already use. Laser therapy also makes an excellent add-on treatment for physical therapy, surgery, injections, or other therapies you may need to treat your condition.
8. Who should I contact about laser therapy?
The doctor or chiropractor that diagnosed your condition may be able to provide laser therapy. If not, don’t worry — a growing number of medical offices, chiropractic practices, and other healthcare facilities are now offering laser therapy.
If you are seeking a laser therapy provider in your area that is also an Aspen Laser partner, we have got you covered!