Arthritis is a painful, prevalent condition that afflicts millions every year.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), rhematoid and osteoarthritis, in particular, affect nearly 14 percent of adults age 25 and over. Symptoms are wide ranging, and pain associated with resulting limited mobility is often debilitating. Evidence indicates laser therapy may provide significant relief.
What’s the difference?
Although certain types of arthritis manifest very similar symptoms, their underlying causes may be very different. For example, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis both result in painful joint and limb stiffness; one originates from mechanical degenerative causes while the other is an affliction of the autoimmune system, however. Other types such as infectious or hemorrhagic conditions stem from site bacteria or bleeding. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, laser therapy helps reduce pain and improves site flexibility for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Therapeutic lasers did not elicit similar results for osteoarthritis. Reports do indicate positive effects for patients with milder forms of the condition.
How does it work?
When you get hurt or feel pain, cell signaling is partly responsible for telling your brain “what’s what.” Neurotransmitters deliver pain messages. Think of them as a kind of “mailman”; synapses are the roadway the mailman drives along. Laser therapy works by exciting these biochemical responses. Of course, your body already does this without laser therapy; processes stunted by injury, however, may not affect cell signaling properly diminishing a person’s ability to heal.
Laser treatments give the body an added healing edge, so to speak. Pain from extreme site immobility, for example, is sometimes the result of inflammation; a naturally occurring autoimmune response to illness or injury. In some cases, inflammation can go awry perpetuating further strain or injury and so forth. Arthritic patients often experience perpetuating symptoms under such conditions. Energy emitted from lasers excite mechanisms that drive the metabolism and nervous system that remedy illness. It results in increased hormone, cell and neurotransmitter production.
What’s the “buzz?”
Laser therapy allows for more personalized, individual attention to specific needs. Rather than a simply randomized effect on problematic tissue, scientists may have the ability to isolate or “tweeze” individualistic cells, which will allow practitioners to more effectively deal with rheumatoid disease and subsequent effects.