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Does Laser Therapy Work For Back Pain

How Does Laser Therapy Help Relieve Back Pain

Does laser therapy work for pain relief?

Class IV K-laser therapy is effective in healing injured muscles, ligaments, joints capsules, vertebral discs and intra-articular surfaces. Injured spinal discs benefit directly from Class IV K-laser therapy. Highly trained technicians focus on the specific spinal discs requiring care. Treatment jumpstarts a series of profound healing effects within:

  • increased cellular function
  • influx of water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area
  • reduced swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain

Patients who receive Class IV K-laser therapy in conjunction with spinal decompression treatment have more robust accelerated healing of their neck pain or low back pain, than patients who receive only spinal decompression. Dr. Nusbaum will determine the frequency and duration of each laser therapy session for each patient. The laser can be adjusted for specific healing needs.

The Research Behind Dog Laser Therapy

Although laser therapy has been available for 40 years, evidence to support its use for alleviating pain and accelerating healing has only recently emerged, says Dr. Downing.

As more robust studies have been carried out, interest in therapeutic laser for treating various conditions has grown dramatically, Dr. Downing explains in an article published by the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal.

In one study, dogs with interdigital follicular cysts on their feet responded well to laser therapy. Another study, conducted by The Canine and Conditioning Rehabilitation Group, reported that wound healing in dogs significantly progressed with LLLT treatments.

How Was The Review Done

The reviewers searched for clinical trials of low-level laser therapy to treat low-back pain in several electronic databases. Reviewers only included trials in which patients were randomly assigned to either receive low-level laser therapy or to belong to a comparison group receiving sham treatments, no treatment or another treatment. Seven such randomized controlled trials were included in the review, involving 384 patients with non-specific low-back pain.

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Laser & Low Back Pain

  • For the most common acute back pain, non-specific lumbar strain, deep tissue Class IV laser therapy can greatly accelerate the return to work, return to normal, and drop in pain scores. It can be used in conjunction with NSAIDs. Long-term, back strengthening and ergonomic chairs are still key to prevention.
  • For sciatica, disk problems, disk herniation, trapped or irritated nerve roots, high dose laser therapy can be wonderful. It can directly reduce inflammation of the nerve root and accelerate the body’s natural reabsorption of disk material. At our clinic, it is 50% better than epidural steroids short term and has long-term benefits that outlast epidural steroids. Laser is much, much safer than epidural steroids.
  • For spinal stenosis, high dose laser therapy is better than epidural steroids but not as good as surgical laminectomy. However, laser has a 1000X higher safety profile than operative procedures.
  • For chronic back pain sufferers, deep tissue laserr therapy can bring relief where other treatments have failed. Patients with chronic back pain may need to repeat the laser every 3-6 months.

Risks Of Dog Laser Therapy

Chiropractic Laser Therapy

A therapeutic laser shouldnt be used in certain cases, Dr. Downing says.

For instance, applying a laser over a tumor site could accelerate the tumor growth. If a cancer has metastasized, meaning its spread to other areas, laser therapy should not be used, as there is a possibility of targeting cancer cells which could then accelerate the cancer growth.

It also shouldnt be used over the uterus of a dog thats pregnant, either.

Although some types of low-level lasers are advertised and sold for use at home, Dr. Downing advises against treating your own dog. An effective therapeutic laser is a powerful medical device and must be utilized/applied by medical professionals, she says.

Many different decisions go into creating a treatment protocol for a particular condition for an individual patient. Lasers of such low power that they cannot cause any negative outcomes are ineffective in creating photobiomodulation.

In other words, if a laser is so weak that it is perfectly safe for home use, it probably cant do much good.

Dr. Troy adds that many effective therapeutic lasers can cause burning of the retinas, and some can cause burning of the treated tissues if used incorrectly. Thats why owners should always seek dog laser therapy treatment from a reputable veterinarian.

Once dog owners understand what therapeutic laser treatments do and witness how they work on their dogs, they are all in, Dr. Downing says.

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Is Laser Safe For Low Back Pain Due To Stenosis

Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure which means that it does not involve a surgical intervention. As a result, patient undergoes quick recovery and is ready to get back to work almost immediately after the treatment session.

When conducted under the supervision of an experienced North York physiotherapist or physician, cold laser therapy does not have any major side effects. However, in some patients, cold laser therapy may be contraindicated therefore, your physiotherapist or chiropractor will conduct a full assessment, be sure to your physiotherapist or healthcare provider with your complete medical history before undergoing the procedure.

Orthopedic Spine Surgeons Located In Boca Raton Fl

If youre looking for a drug-free, surgery-free solution to chronic pain, treatment with the Class IV laser system may be right for you. At Florida Back Institute in Boca Raton, Florida, the team offers this innovative, conservative treatment for addressing pain that affects your skeletal or nervous system. Learn more about this affordable pain relief option today by scheduling a consultation online or by phone.

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Conditions Treated Using Laser Therapy

  • Acute soft tissue injuries e.g. sprains/strains
  • Back and neck pain
  • Chronic pain syndromes e.g. RSI, frozen shoulder, chronic low back pain
  • Fractures and non-union fractures
  • Nerve pain e.g. from disc injuries
  • Ulcers e.g. diabetic ulcers
  • Post operative care: Post operative pain, tendon repair, post mastectomy lymphoedema, infected wounds,
  • Burns

Benefits Of Laser Therapy For Dogs

Laser For Pain Relief – Laser Therapy & Pain Relief Testimonials & Reviews

Many canine health issues have responded positively to laser therapy. Therapeutic laser is used to treat a myriad of conditions, including osteoarthritis, intervertebral disc disease, lick granuloma, cellulitis, and others, in dogs, says Dr. Robin Downing, hospital director of the Windsor Veterinary Clinic in Colorado.

In fact, any place we find inflammation and/or pain, we can apply the principle of photobiomodulation, she says.

Dr. Erin Troy, owner of Muller Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek, California, agrees that dog laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation and promotes the healing of many tissues in the body, including skin, ears, gums, muscles and tendons.

Veterinarians are also using laser therapy for dogs as part of their multimodal approach to address ear infections, which often recur or become chronic.

Dr. Downing says that laser therapy for dogs can also help with:

  • Surgical wound healing

  • Increasing the metabolism of specific tissues

  • Reducing the formation of scar tissue

  • Immunoregulation

  • Improving nerve function and nerve regeneration

  • Releasing of painful trigger points

  • Speeding the healing of infections

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What Type Of Laser Is Used In Our Facility

Comprehensive Spine Center uses a Class IV Laser with our deep tissue therapy. Our Class IV Laser is the most technologically advanced laser that provides the highest wattage. Higher wattage also results in faster treatment times and provides changes in pain complaints that are unachievable with low power lasers. Class IV therapy lasers provide more energy to deep structures in less time. This ultimately assists in providing an energy dose that results in positive, reproducible outcomes.

Laser Therapy For Pain

Laser Therapy for Pain is just what the Dr. ordered. This arthritis laser quickly and deeply relieves your arthritis pain with deep penetrating laser frequencies that you can feel right away. It is a small hand held device that you can use anywhere, even at home. It works because it triggers and endorphin response from your body while increasing circulation and reducing swelling and inflammation.

It is now being used in many holistic wellness centers, chiropractic and natural medicine practitioners offices. Why? Because its safe for the body and yet provides real results, without surgery , without medications and is fast and painless instead. it helps speed healing, particularly when youre taking the right nutrients like natural anti-inflammatory supplements and joint building supplements. They all work together to actually heal your arthritis pain, not jut treat it.

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How Many Laser Therapy Treatments Will Your Dog Need

The frequency of dog laser therapy treatments varies depending on the type of laser used, the disease being treated, and whether it is a chronic or acute issue. Typically, Dr. Downing treats her patients two to three times per week for two to three weeks, and then reduces the frequency depending on the outcome she achieves.

For very acute, painful conditions like a ruptured anal gland, she treats the dog daily for three to five days, then several times the next week, and then increases the time between treatments until shes attained her set goal. The first treatment for surgical wounds is done before the animal even wakes up.

Therapeutic Benefits Of Laser Therapy

Cold Laser Therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory Action: Laser light reduces swelling, leading to decreased pain, less stiffness, and a faster return to normal joint and muscle function.
  • Rapid Cell repair: Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and healing.
  • Faster Wound Healing: Laser light stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
  • Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation: Laser light reduces formation of scar tissue, leading to more complete healing, with less chance of weakness and re-injury later.
  • Increased Vascular Activity: Laser light increases blood flow to the injured area.
  • Stimulated Nerve Function: Laser light speeds nerve cell processes, which may decrease pain and numbness associated with nerve-related conditions.

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What Causes Back Pain

The back is composed of bony vertebrae joined by intervertebral discs and the facet joints. Arthritis involving the intervertebral discs or facet joints are two of the most common causes of arthritic back pain. In addition to these, muscle spasm of the back muscles or myofascial impingement can also lead to the development of chronic, achy back pain.

The most severe and medically concerning causes of low back pain involves compression of nerves and the spinal cord by herniated disc fragments or arthritic bone spurs. Luckily, these cases are rare compared to the more common causes of back pain, such as myofascial impingement or inflammation of the intervertebral or facet joints.

What Are The Benefits Of Laser Therapy

Laser treatments penetrate the surface of your skin, so you dont need any incisions or other invasive procedures. Immediately after treatment, you can return to your usual activities.

You can also benefit from laser therapy for treating injuries or degenerative disease, as it increases blood flow and ensures a faster healing time of wounds and tissue damage. Laser treatments can also reduce scar tissue that causes pain or interferes with normal functionality.

Class IV laser therapy has other benefits, including:

  • No side effects

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Expert Commentary By: Bruce Coren Dvm Ms

The concept that light energy from a laser can reduce pain and inflammation, accelerate healing in damaged tissues, relax muscles, and stimulate nerve regeneration seems farfetched. Science, however, tells us these effects do occur. The question is, to what extent and is this based on wavelength and power?

Wavelength and power determine the capacity of the laser to penetrate into the body. Once you are in the infrared spectrum and above 800 nanometers in wavelength, laser energy penetrates like x-rays, but to achieve depth you need significant power or energy, told SpineUniverse.

“A 10-minute treatment with a 30-watt laser will produce 18,000 joules, which gives a significant pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and healing effect.Two Types or Classes Used in Physical TherapyThere are two classes of lasers being used in physical therapy class 3 and 4. Class 3 lasers are less than 500 milliwatts in power while class 4 lasers are greater than 500 mw, Dr. Coren said. Class 3 lasers are sometimes referred to as cold lasers, and the therapy may be called LLLT for low-level laser therapy. In contrast, class 4 laser therapy is sometimes called HPLT for high-power laser therapy.

Patients usually begin to feel better after 1 or 2 treatments, although 5 or more may be needed to resolve the problem. The more chronic and extensive the injury the more treatments are usually needed, he added.

Stem Cell Activation: Laser increases the number of stem cells, which enhances healing.

Cons Of Cold Laser Therapy For Knee Pain

Cold Laser Therapy For Sciatica And Lower Back Pain

Results from cold laser therapy may vary, depending on the cause of your knee pain, any other health conditions you have, or the exact laser treatment or device used. Thereâs no standard cold laser therapy dose or approach, so results can vary.

Some doctors are skeptical about cold laser therapy and may not recommend it. In the past, it wasnât clear how light changes damaged tissues. Many doctors felt cold laser therapy was a sham. As new research proves that it does relieve pain, more doctors are in favor of it.

Setup has to be exact. For cold laser therapy to be work, your doctor or technician must adjust the light dose, intensity, frequency, position, and length of treatment. If any of these is off, it may not work at all.

Over-the-counter options may not work. Although you can buy a laser device online to use at home, it isnât a good idea. The tool may be safe, but you need to be trained to use it correctly or it wonât ease your pain.

Cost. Cold laser therapy could drain your wallet. One treatment session could cost up to $200. You might need up to 30 sessions to get the full benefits. Some insurance policies may not cover cold laser therapy

Risks to eyes. Avoid exposing your eyes to the laser light during treatments. Youâll wear special goggles to protect your eyes.

Some people canât do cold laser treatments. Donât have cold laser therapy if you have any of these conditions:

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How Can Laser Therapy Help Treat Inflammation

May 22, 2020

The proponents of laser therapy believe it is one of the best ways to treat pain. Its potential applications are numerous, and many patients turn to this treatment option as an alternative to medication or surgery. In this blog, well look at the use of laser therapy and how it can be a beneficial tool in treating inflammation.

Causes Of Back & Neck Pain

Back and neck pain is one of the leading causes of disability in developed nations. The risk for pain and injury to the back or neck is present in most occupations due to improper form and posture, whether they are primarily sitting or standing occupations. Many sports, especially high-contact sports, present higher risk for acute injury and pain developed from overuse. There are many causes, and a few main types of back and neck pain include:

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Laser Therapy For Inflammation In Delaware

At Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers, we are equipped with the technology for deep tissue laser therapy. If you are feeling acute or chronic pain, consult with our providers to learn if this treatment method is right for you. We can help you by designing an individualized program to best suit your needs and facilitate healing.

Why Is It So Hard To Determine If It Works


One of the problems with laser therapy is that different studies look at different wavelengths of light. This makes it difficult to compare one laser to another. Likewise, different manufacturers make different recommendations about treatment frequency and duration.

For laser therapy to become a standard treatment for knee pain, doctors would need to know which wavelength is most effective and at what dosage.

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Is Laser Therapy Right For Me

No one intervention is appropriate for every patient, and the first step in the successful treatment of back pain is careful assessment and evaluation by a medical provider. Laser therapy is a safe, non-invasive option for the treatment of back pain, and while the evidence is still developing*, it does appear to be an effective treatment for many types of low back pain.

With an excellent safety profile and the potential for the meaningful improvement of a debilitating disease, patients with back pain without neurologic symptoms should consider a trial of laser therapy early in their treatment for low back pain.

If youre looking to address your low back pain non-invasively, give our office call and ask about laser therapy! Want to learn more about laser therapy? !


1. Manchikanti L, SinghV, Falco FJE, Benyamin RM, Hirsch JA. Epidemiology of Low Back Pain in Adults.Neuromodulation Technol Neural Interface. 2014 17:3-10.

2. Mester E, Spiry T, Szende B, Tota JG. Effect of laserrays on wound healing. Am J Surg. 1971 122:532-535.

3. Chung H, Dai T, Sharma SK, Huang Y-Y, Carroll JD, HamblinMR. The nuts and bolts of low-level laser therapy. Ann Biomed Eng.2012 40:516-533.

4. Karu T. Primary and secondary mechanisms of action ofvisible to near-IR radiation on cells. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol.1999 49:1-17.

5. El Sayed SO, Dyson M. Effect of laser pulse repetitionrate and pulse duration on mast cell number and degranulation. Lasers Surg Med.1996 19:433-437.


What Do The Clinical Studies Say

A assessed the ability of LLT to reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, a common cause of knee pain. It found evidence for moderate short-term pain relief with few side effects.

A 2009 study compared people with knee pain who received LLT to a group who only thought they were receiving LLT. Compared to the placebo group, those who received laser therapy reported less pain.

Because it is unclear how laser therapy works, it is not known whether the results of these studies can be applied to the knee.

A 2008 study looked at previous randomized, placebo-controlled studies of LLT for treating tennis elbow. The studies included in the analysis did not look at how or why laser therapy reduced pain and did not measure long-term pain relief.

A 2009 analysis looked at previous research on laser therapy for neck pain. The study found significant pain relief ,lasting up to 22 weeks. While some people experienced side effects, these effects were no different from those experienced from a placebo.

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