Low-Level Laser Therapy for Treating Sports Injuries
Sporting injuries are something every athlete - whether professional or recreational - will experience at some stage. When injured, finding the most effective treatment can greatly reduce pain and discomfort, as well as increase the speed of recovery to get the player back in game, faster.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been deemed an effective technique for managing sports injuries as its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties can be beneficial for healing damaged or stressed tissue which often goes with the territory of sport and exercise. LLLT provides a treatment technique that helps athletes recover faster, accelerating the body's natural healing mechanisms. This form of therapy has been used in many of the major professional sporting leagues for decades, as its positive effects on injury recovery times gives players an edge.
Long-term injuries can occur because athletes reinjure themselves, or don’t entirely heal their injury before having to recommence training. Athlete’s bodies are often in a state of strain and overdrive, and when an injury has not sufficiently healed it can be risky. Persistent and/or recurrent inflammation and injury of the same area can increase the likelihood of an athlete developing arthritis, chronic pain or other degenerative conditions in their muscles and joints. Ensuring long-term health and enjoyment of sport for the future is why a therapy modality such as LLLT can be a positive option to assist with an acute, sporting injury.
What is LLLT?
LLLT (Low-level Laser Therapy) provides deep tissue therapy that promotes the body’s natural healing processes to speed up, often decreasing an athlete’s downtime. This type of therapy works by directing near-infrared (NIR) light to the source of pain at the cellular level, targeting damaged cells and the mitochondria directly. The process creates and transmits energy for the cells to absorb, which cells use to regenerate and repair themselves back to an optimal state. By regenerating these damaged cells, the result is reduced pain and inflammation in the corresponding area.
LLLT Case Study on Sports Injuries:
A study conducted by several university departments of Orthopedic Surgery in Japan trialled forty-one patients who participated in a range of sporting activities including golf, aerobics, volleyball and triathlon and more.
These patients suffered from a range of commonly occurring athlete injuries such as:
- Jumper’s knee
- Lateral epicondylitis of humerus
- Achilles tendinitis
- Adductor muscle injury
- Medial epicondylitis of humerus
- Rotator cuff injury
Participants received up to 10 LLLT treatments delivered to their points of pain and/or correlated acupuncture points. Over the course of their treatments they were asked to rate their pain score from 1-10 to measure if they were experiencing any relief. The results from this case study concluded that LLLT had an overall 65.9% rate of effectiveness across all patients and the 10 different injuries treated. However, it was found that the rate of effectiveness for conditions such as Jumper’s knee (75%), tennis elbow (66.6%), and Achilles tendinitis (66.6%) were much higher.
There is a range of LLLT devices on the market that provide very accessible modes of therapy to help get athletes back in the game. The Handy Pulse Laser is a small hand-held device that does not need to be operated by a professional, making it a great tool for any athlete to have at home with them for whenever an injury may occur. Treatments begin at the touch of a button and do not result in any additional pain. For more information on the Handy Pulse Laser and the range of benefits that it can provide, visit our product page: Handy Pulse Laser.