Can You Use Laser Therapy for…?
Chances are, you have heard about the benefits of laser therapy from a friend or family member, and you may be wondering if you can use laser therapy, too. There are many things to consider when choosing a new treatment, such as whether it is safe and if there are any side effects, so you may have several questions about when you can use laser therapy.
Fortunately, numerous studies have investigated the benefits and safety of laser therapy. If you have questions about whether you can use laser therapy, here is what you need to know.
Can you use laser therapy while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Expectant mothers go to great lengths to protect the health of their unborn babies; of course, pregnant women may wonder if they can use laser therapy while pregnant or breastfeeding. Some doctors recommend that women avoid laser therapy while pregnant or breastfeeding, but they do so only out of an abundance of caution — or perhaps because they are unacquainted with how laser therapy works.
Laser therapy harnesses the power of light particles, known as photons, which stimulate various processes within the body. Photons penetrate the skin, pass through cell walls, and are absorbed by the mitochondria, which are the “powerhouse” of the cells. There, the photons stimulate the production of energy that helps the cells function and heal.
The good news is that undergoing laser therapy while pregnant or breastfeeding is safe. In fact, researchers have performed several studies about its safety, and the evidence they found supports the safety of laser therapy for both the mother and the fetus.
As always, we recommend talking with a healthcare professional before starting new treatments of any kind, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Can you use laser therapy over metal implants?
People with metal implants for joint replacement, spinal surgery, or broken bones have special needs regarding the health treatments they undergo. Specifically, they should avoid any treatments that involve heat, as the metal pins, rods, and artificial joint implants can heat up and then transfer this heat to the surrounding tissue.
Laser therapy is a light treatment that does not involve heating, so it is safe to use over metal implants. In fact, laser therapy can help resolve pain and stiffness that often accompany metal implants — especially after surgery to insert the metal implants. In many cases, laser therapy can accelerate bone healing and even reduce recovery time, which allows patients to get back on their feet quickly.
Can laser therapy be harmful?
Laser therapy is safe for acute and chronic conditions as long as it is used properly. Because it provides several biological effects, laser therapy is appropriate for treating inflammation, joint and muscle pain, and wounds, for example. The treatment also supports the immune system, triggers the repair and regeneration of muscle tissue, improves the vascular activity of the circulatory system, increases metabolic activity, and can reduce the formation of scars — all without the risk of harm.
Can laser therapy make pain worse/cause pain?
Many healthcare providers recommend laser therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, to reduce pain without using dangerous opioids or other medications. Most patients find that the treatments soothe their pain and often look forward to their laser therapy treatments.
Some patients report minor discomfort that starts a few hours after their laser therapy treatment. This mild discomfort may develop as the result of the healing process and will subside quickly on its own.
What are the side effects of laser therapy?
Researchers have been studying laser therapy for decades and have not found any side effects of photobiomodulation. Laser therapy has been around since the 1960s, and generations of researchers have learned about the positive effects of laser therapy – and none have identified any adverse side effects from the treatment.
Laser therapy’s healing and pain-relieving effects are well-documented in research laboratories and real-life practices. The Food & Drug Administration even conducted studies and found that the lasers used in photobiomodulation are safe and effective for temporary relief of muscle and joint pain. Today, laser therapy is an FDA-approved approach to treating various health issues.
For more information on whether you can benefit from laser therapy, consult with your healthcare practitioner, chiropractor, trainer, or laser therapy provider. You may be surprised at just how safe and effective laser therapy is.