Tue, 18 August 2015
Hi, this is Dr. Chris McNeil Chiropractic Clinic Director from Metro Detroit Chiropractors. We have three locations – Macomb Township Chiropractic, Ferndale Chiropractors and East Detroit Auto Injury Clinic.
Today in this podcast I would like to talk about a new technology that can help many people with the relief if neck pain, back pain, headaches, disc injuries, auto accident injuries and many other injuries. This new technology is called the therapeutic laser. The therapeutic loser has been around for some years but is much more widely used and utilized in therapeutic settings today. The therapeutic laser uses different wave lengths and frequencies of laser light to stimulate the body's tissues and healing response. In essence, the therapeutic laser will help to speed up the healing process of the body. Now how does the therapeutic laser help to speed up the healing process of the body? The therapeutic laser uses the natural powers of the body, enhancing cellular metabolism, increasing oxygen absorption, increasing waste elimination of your cells. So wherever the laser is shined on and used it will help to increase the healing speed of that tissue.
Now there are essentially two different types of lasers that we use in a clinical setting to assist the body in the healing process. The first kind of therapeutic laser is called the cold laser. The cold laser can be different wavelengths but essentially the cold laser is 500 miliwatts or less in power. Typically in the office we use a 800 nano meter down to 600 nano meter range therapeutic laser and this laser that is under 500 miliwatts it's called the cold laser. It works phenomenally to help flush out inflammation in injured tissues, to help decrease pain, to help increase strength and it is a part of our treatment program in many instances.
Now another type of laser we use in the office is called the hot laser. This laser is called the hot laser because it is powered at 500 milliwatts or above, excuse me I should say above 500 milliwatts. So a milliwatt is a half of a watt, 1000 milliwatts is one watt. So any therapeutic laser that is over half a watt, that's considered a hot laser. And why is it called a hot laser? Well if you hold it in one place on the skin it can heat up and really be uncomfortable. So with the hot laser we have to continuously move the laser over the tissue that is injured. But for the cold laser we can set it on that area and let it sit there and absorb that laser light.
Here is a great analogy of how the therapeutic laser works. Just as our body absorbs the ultra violet light that is given by the sun and creates vitamin D, uses that light to create a beneficial outcome in our body, the therapeutic laser does the same thing. So how do we use the therapeutic laser in the clinical setting? Well for people who are suffering with neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, hip pain, leg pain, knee pain, ankle pain. Pretty much where ever there is a joint, we can shine the laser in the painful, damaged area and that will begin, increase the healing speed of those tissues.
I have a great testimonial for the laser myself. A couple years ado I was mountain biking and I flipped over the handlebars and I had my arm outstretched and I actually broke my wrist right next to the thumb, so I broke my arm next to the thumb and I started using the therapeutic laser daily, several times a day. Now how do I know my wrist was fractured? Well I actually had it x-rayed and a CT scan that confirmed that I did have a fracture. So after frequent use of the laser the healing speed was so rapid that after only three weeks I was back to riding my mountain bike again. So that is just a great testimonial.
What else can we use the laser for? We have patients that suffer with facial pain, tick de la rue or trigeminal neuralgia that can really help with nerve problems. People who have numbness and tinglings and burning sensations any where in the body. We can also use it in areas where there needs to be extra healing don, burns and abrasions. Well we don't use that in the office for burns and abrasions. Originally that's what they were using that type of therapy for to increase wound healing. One of the really great uses for therapeutic laser that we use in the office is in conjunction with our disc decompression therapy. So many times we have patients that come into the office suffering with disc injuries such as disc bulge, disc herniation or degenerative disc disease which is arthritic discs and we have a special treatment which is called disc decompression therapy which gently separates the bone in the spine creating a negative suction to help increase nutrient absorption and actually pull the disc matter back into place which is bulging or herniated. So when we use this therapy in conjunction with the therapeutic laser it significantly increases the speed of recovery. So people who have excruciating back pain or neck pain, the disc can cause sciatic pain. The disc can cause weakness in the legs or feet, or weakness in the arms or hands. Disc injuries can cause numbness, tingling or burning in the arms, legs, hands or feet. So that's a great modality to assist or physical medicine in the office to help increase the healing speed of the body.
Now before we ever use the therapeutic laser on any patient we always do a detailed consultation with the patient discussing their health matters, how they were injured, how long it's been there. Typically we see two ways that a patient's been injured. Either through a major trauma like an accident, a fall, sports injury, trip and fall, things like that, or it's a minor trauma and it's a repetitive injury over time, like working on the line repetitively, working at the desk, always looking one way or twisting one way all the time or always looking down at your computer, or always looking down at your phone or your books at school.
So that's a minor trauma, or a micro trauma a repetitive trauma and that can wear on the body and end up causing neck pain, back pain, disc injuries and all kinds of other problems. So once we do the consultation and we determine how long the condition has been there, then we'll do9 our examination, we'll do orthopedic tests, neurological tests, we'll do range of motion studies, we'll take an iPad posture picture and then determine what condition the posture is in. Because if that posture is out of alignment that can cause excess nerve tension and disc pressure and joint pressure and that can cause pain. A lot of time we'll get x-rays and that will determine if there is any mis-alignments in the spine which could also tell us if there is any nerve tension, disc pressure or joint pressure. And when we do do the disc decompression therapy during the consultation, if we are doing a consultation for disc therapy we definitely want the prospective patient to bring in their MRI or CT results whether it's the MRI report or the disk, we can look at that and then that will help us determine how severe the problem is and how long it could take to fix. Obviously, the longer something has been there the worst it is, the longer it's going to take to fix, but the good news is that we do have new, advanced treatments like the therapeutic laser to speed up the healing process and help get people back to sleeping through the night; help get people back to being able to bathe and shower and getting dressed without pain, and getting back to doing house and yard work without pain and actually back to work without pain, or the recreational activities and sports and things that they like to do for fun, and of course time with the family and friends; getting back to those things.
So today's podcast, Dr. Chris McNeil, Chiropractor, Chiropractic Director for Metro Detroit Chiropractors.com. Come to the website and call the nearest office and schedule your free consultation and we'll help you determine if the therapeutic laser is the treatment of choice for you. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. Be well.