Help patients find relief with low level laser therapy.
Neck pain often brings patients into a chiropractor’s office. Whether due to tension or sleeping in the wrong position, neck pain can have serious consequences for patients. This may include difficulty working at a computer screen for long periods of time, lifting heavy objects or, worse, the inability to turn their head while driving.
Regardless of the cause for neck pain, patients turn to DCs for fast, effective relief. In many cases, low level laser therapy (LLLT) serves as an appropriate treatment for this condition.
How do low level lasers work?
Laser devices emit light at certain wavelengths. Low level lasers (or cold lasers) produce a wavelength range that promotes healing without heating the skin as surgical lasers do. When a low level laser device is put in contact with the skin for 30 seconds to a few minutes, the light passes through the dermis and epidermis to reach a few centimeters into the underlying tissue.
The light sets off a biochemical cell response to help reduce pain and inflammation. This process is similar to photosynthesis in plants, where sunlight is converted into energy for survival and growth.
And the research says
A 2009 article in the British journal Lancet analyzed the findings of 16 research articles (which covered 820 patients) regarding the efficacy of LLLT in treating neck pain. The investigators selected cases that compared LLLT of various wavelengths against the use of placebo or an active control.
The researchers concluded: “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.” Overall, they found that LLLT reduced acute neck pain by as much as 70 percent.
A 2013 study, published in the Open Orthopaedics Journal, reviewed 17 trials covering LLLT for neck pain. The study concluded with a call for more research evaluating the long-term use of LLLT, but emphasized the widespread evidence supporting intermediate-term treatment of this therapy to relieve neck pain and improve quality of life.
Overall these two studies show that applying LLLT can result in safe and effective solutions for patients struggling with acute neck pain, making it a viable chiropractic treatment option.