Tag Archives: inflammation

Instant Pain Relief!

There is a whole new area of pain relief being offered in the form of cold laser therapy.  The uses for this non-invasive therapy are rapidly growing:  the  laser can be successfully used for treatment of musculoskeletal pain, neck pain, back pain, extremity pain, post surgical pain.  Literally in one minute you can have pain relief, reduced inflammation and muscle spasms while accelerating recovery.

 

The cold laser, or low level laser, utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue.  Non-thermal photons of light that are emitted from the laser pass through the skin layers (the dermis, epidermis, and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin). This thlight has the ability to penetrate 2 to 5 centimeters below the skin.

There are no unsafe side effects to the cold laser.  It can be used on humans and animals easily.

 

Cold Laser or Ultrasound?

I have written many articles on this blog about the wonders of cold laser, or low level laser, therapy. Recently, an equine client of mine pulled a muscle on an upper level cross country outing, and therapeutic ultrasound was added to the arsenal of healing technology used on him. His treatment also included cold laser therapy, body balancing, rest, ice, and arnica. He has made a complete recovery (in about 10 days) and is fit and ready to compete again.

Therapeutic ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves that provides heat that vibrates soft tissues deep within the traumatized area. The energy from these sound waves can penetrate as far as five centimeters, though the intensity of the waves (and thus effectiveness) decreases the further it penetrates. One chief benefit is that these waves cause microscopic air bubbles that seem to stimulate the parts of the cell membranes important in healing inflammation, thus helping alleviate both sore muscles and joint pain.

Ultrasound was first used in the 1940’s and is the longest standing form of electrotherapy to still be in regular use. It is still used extensively in physical therapy (physiotherapy, sports therapy, chiropractic and osteopathic) clinics to treat patients with soft tissue injuries.

It is most commonly used to treat superficial localised conditions such as muscle strains, tendon injuries,and bursitis. The treatment is applied via a treatment head using a gel to aid smooth movement and adherence to the skin. Ultrasound tends to be most effective on tissues with a higher collagen density (such as ligaments and tendons), than muscles and cartilage.

Cold laser therapy was first developed in 1967, but has only recently been used extensively in injury and pain management clinics. It is used to treat a range of conditions, for example tendon injuries, neuropathic pain ,and joint pain such as osteoarthritis.

Laser and LED beams stimulate the cells that repair tissues, reduce inflammation and pain. These effects are photochemical, not thermal.

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Is Laser Therapy Right for Me or My Animal?

Cold Laser Therapy, which is also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is used to improve tissue repair, reduce inflammation and pain.

The treatment has been proven to help relieve pain in areas like the neck and also in rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Cold laser has many other uses, including helping wounds heal and treating muscle, tendon, bone or nerve damage.

Because the light beam triggers the repair of damaged cells in its path, without the need for the therapist to identify the exact problem, it can lead to a reduction or resolution of hundreds of different illnesses or conditions.

In horses, laser therapy has proven useful and effective in treating hoof abscesses, bone chips, navicular problems, and laminitis.

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Tissue Absorbs Light

For centuries, light has been used to heal. Ancient Egyptians constructed solariums to treat various conditions.  Light has powerful medical benefits, and with recent technologies evolving rapidly, we are capable of using light to target specific light-absorbing molecules to treat select tissues.

Low Level Laser Therapy administers an exact wavelength, or color of light, in a coherent manner. Coherence is an important characteristic for maximizing the depth of light penetration. This is key, as a specific dose (or energy) of light is required to trigger a biological response.

Although the exact mechanism remains elusive, studies have made tremendous progress to understand how LLLT alters cell function and, in turn, treats certain medical conditions. In order for laser therapy to modulate cellular behavior, light energy must first be absorbed.

Concurrently, the red wavelength (635 nm) is used to activate immune cells and increase circulation, steps that reinforce the body’s natural defense against foreign pathogens.

Since 1966, lasers have been used in non-surgical applications, including for experimental wound healing, pain reduction, and acute inflammation of different tissues. Today, evidence based medicine provides the necessary support for effective treatment of injuries and diseases that have no current treatment such as spinal cord and brain injuries, acute inflammation, soft and hard tissues, and metabolic diseases.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1797825#ixzz2wQwZ6wVH

LLLT remains a controversial treatment, but with important objective studies being conducted to evaluate the technology, this subtle, noninvasive treatment is becoming an appealing therapeutic option.

solarium

 

Lengthening Muscles Increases Their Strength

The Myofascial system is composed of muscle and connective tissue (fascia). Fascia is found everywhere in the body. The most common cause of pain is a disturbance in the myofascial system. Tight muscles develop painful areas called trigger points. These shortened muscles put pressure on nerves and veins, pull bones out of alignment, and pull on tendons, causing inflammation and  damage.

All these problems can develop in the back, neck, legs, hips, wrists (carpal tunnel), elbows, shoulders: get the picture?? All these painful conditions can be treated by restoring short, tight muscles to a healthy, supple, elastic condition. When muscles gets lengthened through deep tissue massage, pressures on joints and other structures disappear.

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Should You, Or Your Animal, Get Laser Therapy?

Low-Level Laser (also known as Cold Laser) Therapy uses light to enhance the body’s natural healing processes. The light source is placed on the skin, allowing the light energy (photons) to penetrate tissue where it interacts to increase circulation and help restore normal cellular function. LLLT does not break the skin, as do surgical lasers.

The FDA approved LLLT (also known as cold laser) as an effective method for pain relief. One FDA study showed that LLLT caused tissues (muscle, skin, nerve) to heal 66 percent faster!

For inflammation, laser therapy causes the smaller arteries and lymph vessels of the body to increase in size, which is called vasodilation. Vasodilation allows inflammation, swelling, and edema to be cleared away from injury sites more effectively. Vasodilation in lymph nodes promotes lymphatic drainage, which also aids in the healing process.

The laser  is also used to help heal wounds and to treat many types of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders such as  sprains/strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia.

I have a client who had terrible pain in her heels and walked around on her tiptoes. I did 5-10 cold laser sessions on her feet and she has been pain free (and hiking several times a week) for about 18 months. In her case, it took several sessions for the pain to begin to diminish. The benefits of cold laser therapy appear to be cumulative – in some cases, relief can begin immediately, but it may take several treatments for the results to become evident. The total number of treatments needed depends on the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, and each patient’s individual response. In general, 4-12 treatments are usually necessary to begin the healing process of tissue.

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Since the Dawn of Time

The body is a complex network of muscle, soft tissue, and nerves that communicate with each other. Creating positive change in the external surface of the body has long been used to positively influence the internal organs. A disruption, injury, or imbalance in the soft tissue can lead to imbalance in other parts of the body.

Every body experiences injury to the muscles, bones, and fascia (connective tissue) during a lifetime. In severe cases, medication may be necessary to treat extreme pain, but in many cases, the body can be stimulated to heal itself. Body work can improve circulation and lymph flow, allowing the tissues to recover from injury. Massage helps immune cells fight inflammation and infection. Decreasing stress through massage can improve health in many ways.

There is no one system of massage or body work that I automatically use on every animal. Healing has to occur on many levels, including diet and nutrition, cold laser therapy, acupressure, myofascial release, and different types of massage. It is my challenge and inspiration to explore each individual and it’s needs.

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Massage Clears Waste From the System

If you have been reading here for a while, you know that massage therapy can improve circulation, release stress and trigger points, release tight fascia, relieve pain, and improve movement and performance. But did you know that massage can release toxins that are stored in tight muscles?

If you or your horse seems unusually fatigued for no good reason, consider that tight muscles can actually cause flu-like symptoms and pain. Drinking lots of water after a massage (often during or after a body work session, a horse will drink a lot of water) will help flush waste from muscles while carrying nutrients necessary for rebuilding.

When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue. A deep-tissue massage helps loosen muscle tissues, releasing toxins from muscles, and helps blood and oxygen circulate properly.

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Massage for Pain Relief and More

Bodies are designed to move. In modern Western society, humans and animals spend much of their time in the same static position. Horses stand in stalls or paddocks. Humans sit at desks or in cars. Children sit at desks in school.

Movement or exercise raises the level of endorphins (natural painkillers) and reduces inflammation in the body. Working muscles improves circulation and removes toxins from tissues.

Often pain will make an animal or person fearful of moving their bodies. But without movement, the body won’t get better. There is a difference between the achy soreness that is felt after a workout to get back in shape, and pain. Some soreness is normal and healthy when rebuilding muscles. Owners, trainers, and riders need to be very tuned in to their horses to protect them from re-injury.

The healing power of massage is so apparent that just about every culture in history has used massage to relieve pain. Massage faded into the background with the arrival of modern medicine, but is on the rise as a valuable tool. Massage may also change the way the brain senses pain. As Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky has said, sensations of a good massage can temporarily make the brain forget about other aches. The relief experienced after body work will help attitude and ability to focus, which can affect behavior, training, and performance.

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Why Laser Therapy?

Cold laser technology is becoming generally accepted, and health practitioners are using it on a daily basis. Cold lasers are now being used to heal a wide range of nerve, muscle,and joint conditions for animals and humans. Painful arthritis in a joint, or tendonitis can be treated in a non-invasive way with low level laser therapy.

More than 56 million human patients suffer from acute and chronic pain in the U.S. In the not too distant past, this situation was managed with toxic drugs. Cold laser is the only technology proven to eliminate pain, reduce inflammation and accelerate tissue healing through three independent cellular pathways.

Cold laser use has been proven extremely safe and effective (> 90% efficacy) in blinded, randomized, controlled clinical studies.

Animals tolerate cold laser therapy very well. There is no need for sedation. It is fairly quick, and owners can be present. It is also very useful for post-surgery healing, reducing the inflammation in an incision before the patient even wakes up.

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