Cold Laser Therapy Helps Shoulder Pain
Cold Laser Therapy for Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are very frustrating and difficult to recover from; sprains, strains, spasms, and surgeries all have long recovery periods. Every day, we need to use our arms and hands, which can further aggravate the injury. In the office, we often see people who have had shoulder pain for months or even years, and who cannot get the injury to heal completely. They have a tendency to aggravate the injury, causing a flare up of their shoulder pain.
One of the treatment protocols that we find very effective at decreasing acute and chronic shoulder injuries is combining cold laser therapy with massage therapy and physical therapy. Physical therapy works to increase strength and endurance of the weak shoulder muscles. It also increases the flexibility of all the muscles that affect the head, neck, and shoulder complex. Massage therapy further decreases muscle spasms and tenderness of these muscles.
Cold laser is an excellent tool for decreasing pain and tendon inflammation. It increases blood flow to the small muscles and tendons of the shoulder. Patients with chronic rotator cuff or supraspinatus tendinitis report significant improvement when cold laser therapy is added to their treatments. This is also a valuable tool in the treatment of teres syndrome, which produces radiating pain from the back of the shoulder toward the elbow. All of these sources of shoulder pain respond well to therapy and laser treatments.
Cold lasers work on specific frequencies that activate mechanisms within the body. Some increase energy production which aids in healing and repair. Others are better at blocking pain nerves. Lasers can also help increase blood flow to injured tissue to speed healing and recovery.
Not all lasers are equal – there is a tremendous difference between class III and class IV lasers. Class III lasers have been in offices for many years and do provide some relief. However, their limited power and depth of penetration provides minimal relief with deep shoulder injuries. A class IV laser can penetrate the muscle tissue deeper and provide greater healing benefit. In addition, it produces more power in 15 minutes than a class III would produce in 10 hours. The significant difference of energy production is the difference in treatment and therapeutic effectiveness.
If you have any questions on how cold lasers work, or if you feel this treatment could help you with your shoulder injury, please contact our office.