Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Cold Laser: Major Change in the Way I Practice Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy!
I'm very excited to announce that I have started using LLLT - Low Level Light Therapy - also known as Cold Laser Therapy.
I LOVE it, and I think you will, too.
Cold laser technology has been around since the 1970s, it's very well tested, and it works. I was dubious at first (as I am of anything that sounds too good to be true) but after much googling, personally both observing and experiencing cold laser treatment from a leader in this field, grilling the CEO of the laser manufacturer, and trying it out for the last few weeks on my own patients, I can confirm that it works. It. Really. Works.
The best part is, it works just as well as manual myofascial trigger point therapy but it doesn't hurt.
For 25 years I have somewhat apologetically explained to my patients that getting rid of trigger points requires that I press enough to cause a small amount of pain, and then I must hold it until the trigger point begins to release, marked by a diminishment of the compression pain. Back in the 1970s and 80s, myotherapists believed we had to use a pretty substantial amount of pressure - 35 pounds per square inch! - and that treatment was necessarily a painful thing. By the 1990s we had observed enough variations in treatments and results to realize that a considerably lesser amount of pressure would do the trick, but it often still hurt a little, and on some people still a lot. I have noticed that patient sensitivity has more to do with the pain level than amount of pressure, which I have always been careful to keep at a tolerable level. A patient should be able to stay relaxed, talk and breathe during treatment. But now, after 25 years, it just got even easier!
Cold laser therapy does not require painful compression at all, only the contact of the laser apparatus (it looks like a big fat pen on a cord) against the skin. Pressing it against the trigger point does not add anything to its ability to work. It deactivates trigger points with light just as effectively as compression, and perhaps more so, if the muscles are hyper-reactive and prone to rebound spasm when insulted by compression. The absence of strong compression also results in the absence of post-treatment soreness. This is fantastic news for anyone with sensitivity or anxiety issues, post-treatment soreness issues, and especially fibromyalgia. It can not burn or cut like surgical lasers, and short of pointing it directly at your eye, it is completely safe.
Now you can find out how it feels to just. stop. hurting.