Lasers have proven themselves to be extremely useful in a wide range of areas, to the point they’ve become fairly commonplace. In spite of this, it still frequently amazes people that we use lasers to help treat foot and ankle pain!
Yes, it is a bit amazing that lasers are so effective in this regard—but it certainly isn’t magic. That’s good news for those who are interested in learning how a laser can relieve painful symptoms. While magicians may not give away their secrets, we have no problem “pulling back the curtain” and explaining them for you!
We use multi-wave locked system (MLS) laser therapy for patients who are suffering from pain from common conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. In addition to pain relief, patients also benefit from enhanced healing in the damaged soft tissues.
What Exactly is Laser Therapy?
During an MLS laser therapy session, concentrated light energy is carefully calibrated to penetrate through outer layers of body tissue and reach down to damaged cells. Once at the site of the injury, the energy serves to stimulate natural healing processes at the cellular level. This is achieved by accelerated cellular rejuvenation, production, and cell growth, along with improved circulation (which supplies oxygen and much-needed nutrients for the recovering cells).
Laser therapy is particularly effective in treating soft tissues—like tendons and ligaments—found in great abundance in the feet and ankles. These soft tissues are commonly injured and can become inflamed. The specific wavelengths of laser light used in the process can trigger anti-inflammatory responses in the cells, which is how the therapy is able to relieve pain and reduce swelling in the area.
To achieve optimal benefits, the laser is precisely calibrated for predetermined pulses, wavelengths, durations, and therapeutic dosages to be delivered to the damaged tissue.
Works Fast, Administered Quickly
Laser therapy is extremely beneficial for many common sports injuries—like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and ankle sprains—since they tend to be soft tissue injuries. It not only promotes healing, but it can even reduce the amount of time needed to recover from injury.
We have even better news: MLS laser therapy is virtually painless and has no side known side effects. Further, the equipment and process is approved by the U.S. FDA (which is responsible for ensuring the safety of medical equipment for human use).
The average session time is less than 15 minutes, and you can leave the office when you are done and proceed with your usual daily activities.
Laser Therapy as a Safe Alternative for Relieving Postsurgical Pain
Put simply, prescription medications have the potential to become habit-forming, even for folks who think, “That couldn’t happen to me.”
When you’re prescribed medication, it is important to understand exactly what you are taking and any risk factors entailed. Talking with your doctor—and then using the medication in accordance with his or her directions—can at least reduce the risk of complications developing after the medication is no longer necessary.
In cases where pain medication isn’t prescribed, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) purchased over-the-counter might be recommended. NSAIDs can work to both relieve pain and reduce swelling in the area. Now, people may be quick to think about side effects in conjunction with prescription meds, but this is a potential downside for any kind of medication (even OTC varieties).
Sure, you probably aren’t going to start abusing ibuprofen in the same way someone might do with prescription pain pills, but some people experience non-addictive side effects to NSAIDs. Those side effects can create severe discomfort and make the meds hard to take.
Depending on your situation, a better answer to the problem of postsurgical pain might be laser therapy.
When it’s used, Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy is able to improve surgery outcomes for some patients by reducing swelling and relieving pain. Additionally, this advanced treatment can promote cellular healing, enhance circulation and reduce scar tissue buildup at the incision site.
MLS Laser Benefits
To recap, some of the top benefits of MLS treatment include:
- Accelerated cellular growth and tissue repair. Cells absorb the photon energy, which results in faster growth and repair for our patients.
- Improved immune function. Laser light stimulates immunoglobulins and lymphocytes, both of which are essential components of your immune system.
- Improved vascular activity. The formation of new capillaries is particularly beneficial because this speeds up your healing process, reduces scar tissue, and closes wounds more quickly, thereby reducing your risk of potential infection.
- Increased metabolic activity. Not only do damaged cells receive greater quantities of nutrients, oxygen, and water from the enhanced blood circulation, but they are also able to take in and use the nourishment more efficiently.
- Faster healing after surgery. We will provide instructions to help you have an optimal recovery from your procedure, but laser therapy can really take it to the next level.
- Avoid potentially addicting medications. We’re all starting to understand the possible dangers associated with pain medications. Yes, these can be used safely. On the other hand, laser therapy simply doesn’t carry the same addiction risk.
Comprehensive Foot Care When You Need It
We hope you don’t experience foot pain in the first place, but please keep in mind that we are here for you when it does arise. After all, life happens.
No matter if you developed pain in a lower limb on account of an accident, genetics (such as an inherited foot condition), or basically any other root cause you could think of, let our team at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates help!
Call us today at (309) 661-9975 if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with our Bloomington, IL office.