Laser Therapy Sheds New Light on Pain: August 12, 2014

Who would’ve dreamed that a sweep of light could melt your pain away? The stuff of science fiction has become reality.

“Any acute inflammations, or even chronic things, it can help by stimulating the healing process, stimulating your cells to do what they’re supposed to do. And hopefully help get rid of your pain,” says Dr. Mark Farmer, who is an orthopedic surgeon on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

This is a class 4 laser, FDA approved for therapy. Mostly aimed at inflammation: the underlying cause of many of our aches and pains. Unlike surgical lasers that use heat to treat tissue, this is a cold laser.

“We can use a hand probe and actually hold it on so the light penetrates a little bit deeper. For something that’s more generalized or a spasm or a larger area, we can use this robotic laser. We plug in the information into the computer for certain conditions like arthritis of the back or acute sprain,” says Dr. Farmer.

Cutting to the science; advanced lasers work on a molecular level. Using light to stimulate the cells responsible for tissue repair. A fast-track for healing, it may help some people avoid surgery.

“It stimulates a structure in your cells, we call the mitochondria, to produce this substance called ATP. ATP is the energy source for your cells. By stimulating the cells to produce more of this, it kind of super drives your cells to do what you’re supposed to do at a high level,” says Dr. Farmer.

Laser treatments take about 10 minutes, some conditions requiring several sessions. It doesn’t work on bone, but has been used on patients from head to toe.

“It gives us some additional ways to treat patients and certainly the results we’re getting are extremely good and extremely exciting,” says Dr. Farmer.

It’s the cutting edge option many patients are looking for- minus the cutting.