Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Laser is pure light which is produced by a series of reactions.
What is Laser Therapy?
There are two types of laser, high powered lasers which are used in industry and engineering settings, with an ouput of up to 100 mW. Low and mid-powered lasers produce up to 50 mW and are the type of laser used in therapeutic treatments. There is no heat associated with laser treatment and so they are sometimes also known as cold lasers.
There are two types of laser used in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) which is not visible and Helium Neon (HeNe) which has a lower wavelength and is visible. The settings and dosage used depend on the depth of the injury being treated, amount of fatty tissue overlying the injured structure and age of the client. Laser appears to be of most benefit in tendinopathy type injuries.
What can Laser be used for?
Laser is used for the treatment of all kinds of musculoskeletal injuries to help reduce pain, muscle spasm, inflammation and encourage cell reproduction. Research has however shown that Laser may not be as effective as other forms of electrotherapy.
What are the Contraindications?
Laser should not be used in the following situations:
- Malignant tumours
- Treating infants
- Patients recieving photosensitive medication