The evolution of modern medicine has proven momentous for the state of the world today. Because of modern medicine, we’re not only living longer but are leading fuller lives free of diseases that were once life-threatening to humans only a century ago. However, modern medicine is not perfect, and there are still many diseases and conditions we cannot yet treat, prevent, and cure.
Chronic pain is one of them. Though not a disease, it is a debilitating, persisting phenomenon that arises due to underlying disease or injury.
In our first and second posts of this blog series, we delved into Judy Foreman’s A Nation in Pain. Based on Foreman’s findings, we learned that the modern medical model for treating pain is grossly inadequate and outdated. Hence, this is largely why over 100 million people suffer from chronic pain in the United States alone.
Exploring MLS® Laser Therapy
Despite the rampant nature of the chronic pain crisis, there is still hope for the future of pain management and treatment. In our third post of this blog series, we look into a few of these forms of alternative pain treatment which Judy Foreman explores in A Nation in Pain, and many of them have proven effective in relieving chronic pain.
There is, however, one form of alternative pain treatment that Foreman does not examine. Although MLS Laser Therapy has not yet reached the same prominence as acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic treatment, it is just as effective in relieving chronic pain as these other forms of treatment – if not more.
To wrap up this blog series, we’ll delve into MLS Laser Therapy and explore how it is emerging as a form of alternative pain treatment that is offering new hope in defeating the chronic pain crisis. Let’s begin!
What is MLS® Laser Therapy?
MLS stands for Multi Wave Locked System. It is a Class IV laser that uses multiple synchronized diodes, and features 2 wavelengths: 808 nanometers and 905 nanometers. These wavelengths are infrared on the electromagnetic spectrum, specifically selected within the therapeutic spectrum to safely penetrate skin. The 808 wavelength is an anti-inflammatory and is long lasting, along with the 905 wavelength, which is analgesic and fast acting. Together these two wavelengths are very effective. In other words, it uses an MLS pulse; a combined, synchronized emission of continuous and pulse laser emissions with different infrared wavelengths. This characteristic synchronization brings many therapeutic effects, such as: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oedema as well as repairing superficial lesions and wounds.
MLS Laser Therapy is a patented, FDA-cleared breakthrough technology in 2005 with no known risks or side effects. This Class IV therapy laser has been successfully used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, promote healing and restore mobility. This technology offers a clinically validated, non-invasive, drug-free way to help patients suffering with refractory chronic pain and injury.
How Does MLS® Laser Therapy Work?
When applied, an MLS laser produces photons of light energy that penetrate tissue 3-4 cm deep into the damaged cells and stimulates inter-cellular activity. It’s at these depths that MLS Laser Therapy can produce the greatest anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. The Laser energy stimulates cells to remove toxins, like histamines and cytokines, out of cells. It allows oxygen and food loads into the cell, promoting fresh nutrient rich blood flow to areas in need of healing. Once cells recover the healing process is complete.
Additionally, an MLS laser helps to block pain signals to nociceptors in the brain. Depending on where the MLS laser is applied, it can also decrease the sensation of pain association with conditions by acting directly on nerve cells.
What Does MLS® Laser Therapy Treat?
As we know pain is highly subjective, it’s often difficult to measure its severity and determine its causes. Chronic pain can come in the form of migraines, back, neck, and shoulder pain, numbness, and muscle spasms. Not to mention, sufferers often experience secondary symptoms caused by chronic pain, including weakened immunity, fatigue, and depression.
Now that we understand how MLS Laser Therapy works, it’s time to explore the range of conditions that this innovative form of therapy can treat. Here’s a quick break down of what MLS Laser Therapy can address:
- Tendon and ligament injuries
- Neurological general pain and bruising
- Sore muscles, muscle strains, and tears
- Pre & post-surgical treatment
- Degenerative joint conditions
- Anti-inflammation & anti-swelling applications
- Open wounds, burns and ulcers
- Specific neurological conditions
Orthopedic Surgeons, Surgical Podiatrists and Chiropractors alike are using MLS Laser Therapy. Nearly all doctors who use MLS report that their patients recover faster when they incorporate it as part of their treatment plan.
What Happens During and After Treatment?
On average, a laser therapy session lasts about 8 minutes. Patients are able to remain very comfortable during treatment, typically they feel a slight, warm sensation at the point of application. As with other treatment modalities, acute conditions subside quicker than chronic and arthritic conditions. MLS therapy is cumulative in its effectiveness, much like antibiotics. When building on the previous laser therapy session, results are longer lasting.
Patients typically undergo between 6 to 12 laser therapy sessions. The number of sessions that a patient undergoes depends on their case, severity of pain as well as underlying issues and reasons for symptoms.
Acute pain patients generally need about 6 treatments every other day for 2 weeks. Many feel instant relief after the first session, with maximum relief typically felt 5-7 hours post treatment.
Chronic pain patients commonly need between 10 and 12 treatments every other day which lasts for a duration of 3 weeks. As opposed to acute conditions, chronic patients typically feel a difference after their fourth session.
Arthritic patients customarily begin treatment with a minimum of 10 sessions. Afterward, they may need to undergo routine maintenance treatments once a month (or once every other month) depending on the extent of their pain and comfort.
In general, swelling and inflammation decrease after 1 to 3 treatments. For majority of cases, results are cumulative and build off of previous treatments. With that said, the best results are attained through multiple sessions with initial relief setting in after the first treatment.
MLS® Laser Therapy: The Future of Pain Treatment
Despite advancements in modern medicine and technology, over 100 million people suffer from chronic pain in the United States alone. This figure, in addition to the 1.5 billion who suffer from chronic pain on a global scale, is astonishing.
How is it possible that so many humans can suffer from such life-altering pain in the year 2018?
This is a question that Judy Foreman sets out to answer in her book, A Nation in Pain, an in-depth investigation into the chronic pain crisis. Based on her examination, we discover that there are several underlying reasons why we as a society have yet to understand chronic pain and how to treat it.
Mainly, an outdated, insufficient medical model for pain treatment has exacerbated the problem. Doctors have long prescribed opioids to patients with chronic pain. And while prescription painkillers and alternative medicine are beneficial, they’re not enough to treat chronic pain singlehandedly.
MLS Laser Therapy exceeds the limits of alternative medicine and prescription medication by directly acting on areas of the body damaged by conditions and diseases that cause chronic pain. This form of laser medicine has brought relief to tens of thousands of patients worldwide and is at the forefront of not only modern medicine’s evolution, but the battle against the chronic pain crisis.