When you hear about laser technologies used in medical applications, you often picture hot, searing beams of light meant to cauterize wounds or cut and remove flesh or tumors. But did you know that there is a type of therapy that is quite the opposite — it is described as “cold” rather than “hot,” and promotes healing and recovery instead of breaking down tissues?
NY Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level or soft laser treatment, is called such because it uses a light wavelength that is low enough to prevent the increase of the thermal temperature in the area of the body to be treated.
How does it work?
This type of therapy involves the use of a handheld cold laser device that is placed directly over the affected area. Non-thermal light photons are emitted, and they penetrate the different layers of the skin (the dermis, epidermis and subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat) to reach the target area.
Light-sensitive structures in the cells absorb the light energy of the laser and trigger reactions that stimulate healing in injured or damaged tissue (thanks to a boost in intracellular metabolism and blood circulation) as well as the reduction of inflammation and pain.
What health conditions can it be used for?
Because cold laser therapy can promote regeneration and healing in muscles, nerves, soft tissues, bones, joints and ligaments, it is now being used in conjunction with pain management regimens and chiropractic care. Specifically, it has been found to be helpful in helping treat joint injuries deep in the body, which cannot be addressed through superficial treatment methods.
Acute and chronic pain conditions that can be resolved using cold laser treatments include plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, low back or neck pain, sprains and strains, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, dislocations, disc problems, ligament injuries, tendonitis, and other muscle disorders and injuries.
Are there advantages and disadvantages?
One of the pros of undergoing cold laser therapy is that it is a non-invasive procedure; this means that there is little pain involved because of the absence of surgical incisions, and therefore recovery time is also faster.
It’s also important to consider, however, that cold laser therapy is administered through a series of treatment sessions; depending on the severity of the condition, it can take up to eight through 30 treatments to get full relief from pain symptoms.
Who can administer NY cold laser therapy?
It’s best to consult specialists such as chiropractors, pain doctors, physical therapists and medical doctors about utilizing this type of therapy for your individual pain condition. It’s best to visit a center that brings these specialists together under one roof as they will be in the best position to draw from different conventional and progressive treatment methods to devise a pain management plan that is specifically suited to your unique condition.
It can be quite common for people (adults, especially) to experience pain in their low back, neck, shoulders, joints and limbs — it’s no rare thing to find elderly individuals experiencing all kinds of pain that limit their mobility, or athletes that suffer injuries in parts of their body that are constantly taxed while they play their sport, or even countless office workers who can’t seem to shake off nagging pains from assuming a seated position at their desk all day long. At some point, regardless of his level of health, physical fitness or observance of pain prevention methods, an adult will experience pain, whether mild or severe, and this can be addressed using a variety of methods.
There are instances, however, when it will take more than the ingestion of painkillers, the application of cold or hot compresses, or resting the affected body part to fully eliminate the pain you are experiencing. For more serious conditions that involve the nerves and muscles, the recommended step to take is to visit a center that brings together the expertise of medical doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors who can thoroughly examine your condition and prescribe an integrated treatment and recovery plan drawing from various disciplines.
Here are two examples of tests or treatments that such pain centers can recommend:
Nerve Conduction Velocity Testing
Nerve conduction velocity testing is a procedure designed to detect whether you have experienced injury or damage to your nerves. Performed in combination with electromyography, it is prescribed if you report feeling numbness, tingling or burning — these are possible indicators of nerve damage.
How does it work?
Adhesive patches containing electrodes are attached to your skin; one of the electrodes emits a mild electrical impulse meant to stimulate a nerve, while the other electrodes measure the electrical impulse — the distance between the electrodes and the time it takes for the impulse to travel between them must be determined.
How will the test determine if there are damaged nerves? Healthy nerves send signals faster, so your pain specialist can discover the current nerve function based on the speed of the electrical impulse.
Nerve conduction velocity testing can help determine whether there is nerve damage, inflammation, or abnormal electrical muscular activity causing the pain, and recommend the appropriate treatment plan.
Trigger Point Injections
Some pains are caused by trigger points. These are painful areas under the skin created by “knots” of muscles formed when the muscles cannot relax. These trigger points may involuntarily jump or twitch when they are touched.
Trigger points can be either active (painful even when the body is at rest) or latent (not spontaneously painful, but can cause weakness in muscles and restricted movements). Active trigger points cause only tenderness at their point of origin; the actual pain, however, is felt in another area of the body, and is typically described as a spreading or radiating pain.
How is trigger point pain treated?
A pain specialist can recommend stretching, physical therapy or ultrasound to treat this, but if these methods fail, trigger point injections can be the next step. A local anesthetic is injected into the trigger point, and while you may initially experience soreness or bruising in the affected area for a few days, pain relief is typically experienced shortly after.
It is said that over 70 million Americans suffer from different types of chronic pains — which probably explains all those TV ads reminding people of the wide variety of painkillers they easily have access to. It’s great that the medical world keeps on coming up with quick relief solutions, but the bounty of accessible pain relievers has also become greatly to blame for the unhealthy dependence of chronic pain sufferers on drugs.
Many of them, instead of exploring other effective solutions which offer little to no side effects, risk getting addicted to painkillers and overdosing on them because over time, the body becomes immune to them and fail to yield the relief they promise. This, many reports claim, is said to have been the cause of the untimely deaths of many important celebrities; unable to manage the pain, they took more than they should in hopes that the higher dosage would finally kill the pain — except that the drugs ended up killing more than just the pain.
Pain centers across the country are doing everything they can to offer better solutions to pain sufferers; the goal is to bring awareness and direct attention toward safer solutions to prevent drug dependence, and for patients to realize that they can facilitate their own recovery. These facilities emphasize holistic wellness as the best form of treatment for pain, and for this brand of wellness, a single strategy solution (such as strong medication for pain flare-ups)is established as insufficient in getting the job done.
What these pain centers do is they combine a variety of strategies to treat pain, increase both physical and mental strength, and sustain good health in a pain management treatment package. One of the important components of the package is medical massage therapy; much has been said about the relaxation that this careful and strategic “kneading” of the body creates, but aside from obliterating tension knots and improving flexibility, massage also works against pain by reducing inflammation and decreasing muscle spasms and dysfunction. Likewise, massage is good for circulation and for delivering enough oxygen throughout the body so optimal health can be achieved.
The relief massage can produce can either be instantaneous and gradual; either way, it’s certainly a great strategy for fighting pain.However, despite its many benefits, it’s important to recognize that it’s just one strategy to employ and should not be used as a complete solution. There are other components in a pain management package that should be properly done as well such as ultrasound therapy, ART, chiropractic care, etc. A careful combination of these other strategies can make pain management all the more effective and beneficial for patients.
When you work all day writing in front of a desk or working on the computer, it’s hard to remain mindful of your posture. The more you concentrate on what you’re doing, the more your back hunches forward. You can get completely used to such poor posture that even when you’re no longer working, you continue to slouch.
At first, it would seem like it’s the most relaxed position for your body, but eventually, your back will protest and you’ll feel it;there will be tension knots at the base of your neck and around your shoulders. Plus, those “blunt” back pains will become more frequent, and then they’ll morph into more complicated aches – the type that radiates through different parts of the body. And not only these — when you look at yourself in the mirror, you will notice that your body doesn’t look as good as it used to.
One thing’s for sure: Slouching doesn’t do the body any good, and if you want to prevent all the negative effects it causes, it’s best to correct your posture now. But breaking a bad habit is rarely easy; it requires strong commitment. As simple as posture correction may seem, it can definitely be a struggle for it’s not just limited to the way you sit and stand – the correct posture will require you to train your body to sit, stand, walk, lie down and carry things holding the right neutral position, where there’s the least strain placed on all the muscles and ligaments. You’re going to have to fully modify your movements and even rely on “external” support.
When it comes to external support, a chiropractor or pain specialist may be of great help, especially in helping you understand what’s wrong with your posture that’s causing you pain. They will observe how you move your body as you sit, stand and walk. After identifying what’s wrong with your posture, they will then recommend a number of solutions for you to try. These can include: better footwear; binders; different lumbar support products like pillows and ergonomically designed chairs; exercises; diet; the correct way of working on the computer; the right alignment of arms and wrists; chiropractic tune-ups; and so much more.
Now, if it’s been determined that your bad posture is the result of a more complicated condition like scoliosis, osteoporosis, or spinal injury, the posture correction solutions are likely to be more radical. A corrective surgical procedure, or long-term wear of those really stiff back braces, may be recommended to you. These are both effective not only in restoring the right posture of your body but also in effectively treating pain.
Whether your poor posture was caused by bad habits, an injury or a complex health condition, you can benefit greatly from immediate posture correction – pains will cease, you will move more comfortably, and the quality of your life will also improve.
When it comes to back pain care NYC residents should know that specialists employ a multi-pronged approach. A tailored back care program will almost always involve physical therapy. Upper East Side doctors generally prescribe physical therapy to their patients when the back pain has lasted for two to six weeks.
For patients suffering from back pain, physical therapy allows them to achieve three goals. First, the therapist can help ease the pain. Alongside this, therapy allows a patient to regain normalcy in his daily routines. Finally, a seasoned therapist educates his patients regarding exercises and correct movements that can prevent the back pain from recurring.
Treatment begins with a consultation wherein the therapist assesses the patient’s conditions. From there, he will tailor a specialized treatment plan. Typically, a treatment plan is comprised of two components: passive and active physical therapy.
Passive therapy refers to modalities or procedures which are done to a patient. These may include cold laser therapy, medical massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, ultrasound, spinal decompression and flexion-distraction.
These passive modalities are supplemented by back pain exercises. One of the simplest yet most effective exercises for back pain is hamstring stretching. A therapist can also prescribe dynamic lumbar stabilization or core strengthening exercises that a patient can perform in as little as 15 to 20 minutes a day. Therapists also encourage their patients to perform low-impact aerobic exercises like walking, swimming and cycling, which aid in the reduction of pain.
If you are suffering from back pain, the best time to consult a physical therapist is at the soonest possible time. Putting off your appointment with a physical therapist when your pain has become unbearable can lead to long-term disability, permanent damage and costly remedies like surgery.
With the aid of a physical therapist, a patient can learn how to intelligently deal with his back condition. This means learning how to pace oneself when the pain is at bay and how not to be sidelined by pain when it attacks.
In seeking the help of a physical therapist, it is important to look past the quick gains that one can reap. If you have been suffering from back pain for weeks, the appeal of opting for the shorter route is understandable. However, a reputable physical therapist understands that the more important goal that a patient needs to achieve is normalcy in his daily routines. This can be attained through small, consistent gains over a period of time.
Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatic nerve pain, plantar fascists, knee problems and tennis elbow can be attributed to the overuse of muscles. When muscles and other soft tissues are subjected to overuse, three notable changes occur. First of these are acute conditions like pulls, tears and collisions. The second of these are micro-trauma or the accumulation of small tears. Finally, overuse can lead to a condition known as hypoxia or the deprivation of oxygen in affected muscles and soft tissue.
These conditions can lead to the development of scar tissue. Scar tissues limit the free movement of muscles and soft tissues by binding and tying these up. As scar tissues accumulate, they make the muscles weaker and shorter. It can also lead to tendonitis and trapped nerves. In turn, these lead to decreased range of motion, pain and weakness. In the case of trapped nerves, a patient may report symptoms like tingling and numbness in the affected areas.
One treatment option for patients suffering from issues related to soft tissues is the Active Release Technique NYC residents should know that ART has been proven to quickly and permanently remedy injuries and conditions that result from overused muscles.
ART was developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy refined the technique and patented it. Today, he teaches and certifies other health care professionals who seek to use the technique.
In his own personal practice, Dr. Leahy observed that the changes in overused muscles can be detected through touch. Furthermore, he noticed that the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves responded differently to a variety of soft tissue works.
With ART, Leahy developed a treatment method that relies on the effective partnership between patients and their doctors. A typical ART session entails both an examination and treatment. First, the ART practitioner manually evaluates for the tightness, texture and movement of the muscles and soft tissue. On the patient’s part, he must perform the movements directed by the ART practitioner. At the same time, the practitioner will apply tension at the specific problem area. Leahy has developed and teaches over 500 movements, all of which are specific to ART.
ART practitioners have invested time and effort in learning over 500 moves developed by Dr. Leahy. On top of that, practitioners need to learn how to feel the texture, tension and movement of the affected soft tissue.
Twelve pounds — this, according to the American Chiropractic Association, is the average weight of someone’s head.
Your neck, and your neck alone, supports that weight (and probably more for others); add this to the fact that the flexibility to move your head every which way leads to potential injuries, and you have got one recipe for neck pain.
While some pain issues could only be bothersome, others may signal a more severe medical issue.
In either case, you will want to address the discomfort when the numbness, the stiffness, or the throbbing pain begins to affect your everyday tasks.
Here is a quick list of things to do when you’re faced with neck pain.
Do seek a specialist for your neck pain.
Proper neck pain care NYC residents will want to know, starts off with the appropriate diagnosis. Unless you’ve been in an accident involving your neck, without knowing what is truly causing your cervical spine(i.e., your neck) great discomfort, the course of your treatment might not be so precise or effective. A physician or therapist specializing in neck injuries would be able to alleviate your pain and allow you to recover from the injury.
Do try to reduce stress.
Emotional tension can contract and tighten muscles, which leads to stiffness and pain. Yes, stress cannot be avoided, especially if you work in a high-pressure environment, like emergency health care or investment banking. But you can try to reduce the impact of stressful situations by practicing meditation and doing breathing exercises.
Do limit high-risk activities.
You will want to be very honest with your chiropractor or physical therapist about the level of activities that you do. Certain activities like heavy weight lifting, doing overhead work, or sleeping on a pillow that’s too high or too low could aggravate your neck pain. You’ll want to be as detailed as possible about your activities to the physician so that a determination can be made about whether to limit them or not.
Do practice good posture.
Postural stress can also cause neck pain or contribute to its intensity. Be conscious of how you sit when you work or stand or even watch something on the screen.
Do ask your specialist about your options for traditional and innovative treatments.
Physical therapy is an effective and traditional way of addressing neck pain. But with the advancements in spinal health, you now have wide-ranging options for treatment to speed up recovery. Ask your specialist about Active Release Technique (ART), Graston Technique, and other innovative treatments that resolve neck pains.
Living in the city has its many benefits. Everything is designed for convenience and easy access. However, there are also quite a number of disadvantages of living amid the constant hustle and bustle. Experts note that city living can be detrimental to the health of individuals – if they don’t know how to manage the hectic and stressful environment typical of busy urban centers today. That’s why it’s common to hear urban residents complain about various body aches and pains, particularly back pain.
But pain should not be seen as an expected side effect or consequence of living in a highly demanding setting. If you want to experience the best of what the city has to offer, you should be mindful about your health so you can be ready for the challenges as well as the opportunities you will encounter.
In ever-busy NYC, residents turn to so-called alternative approaches that deliver pain relief without the use of drugs or invasive procedures. Aside from the usual yoga classes and acupuncture sessions, a visit to an NYC chiropractor is now a popular option for many patients complaining of back pain, muscle strains and other aches in various parts of the body.
A chiropractor approaches your treatment from a holistic point of view. A successful treatment not just cures your pains but also provides long-term health benefits. One of the most helpful benefits of going to a chiropractor, NYC patients say, is that it helps the body heal itself. Chiropractic treatment focuses on helping the body regain proper alignment and balance in the musculoskeletal structure. By ensuring alignment of the spine, chiropractic allows the body to strengthen its ability to heal even without the use of medication or invasive procedures such as surgery. This process makes chiropractic care suitable for various complaints and conditions, including injury caused by trauma, pain caused by repetitive stress or mobility problems due to lifestyle factors.
Chiropractic may still be conventionally viewed an alternative form of treatment, but it is considered a legitimate approach and is performed by licensed professionals. In fact, leading pain relief centers and the most reputable medical facilities all over the world today include chiropractic treatment among their standard options for alleviating, reducing or eliminating pain. Moreover, the field has become more advanced and professionalized through the years that a therapist is expected to complete the following requirements at the minimum:undergraduate degree, four years of chiropractic doctor training, two yearsof study of basic sciences, passing marks at the National Boards (parts 1-3), two years of chiropractic training including clinical sciences, and training in three practice areas (chiropractic technique, diagnostic imaging and case management).
Complement your chiropractic therapy with a healthy lifestyle so you can regain control of your body faster and recharge your energies which you need to face what the city has to offer.
Lumbar spine surgery. Spinal fusion. Disc replacement. Laminectomy. Back surgery is rarely an easy decision. Unless your condition dictates no other option, you’re likely to look for other ways to resolve your back pain and/or recover from an injury.
And why not? If you don’t have to undergo an invasive procedure, you won’t have to worry about the potential risks: bleeding, infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and others. Plus, a nonsurgical option would certainly be a lot less expensive in comparison to a surgical procedure. One possible back pain solution is the spinal decompression therapy.
Spinal decompression therapy, NYC residents might want to know, relieves back pain by gently stretching the spine on a traction table or any motorized device. Stretching the spine allows for change in its position and its force that leads to alleviating the pressure off the spinal discs.
The nonsurgical treatment is recommended for people who experience back pain due to disc herniation, degenerative discs, worn spinal joints (also known as posterior facet syndrome), and injured spinal nerve roots. Spinal decompression, NYC residents would want to know, is not ideal for anyone who has had unsuccessful back surgery, anyone with a spinal tumor, stenosis, or infection, anyone with advanced osteoporosis, Ankylosing spondylitis, or anyone who has already had multiple surgeries.
How does this therapy take place? First thing to note is that you will be fully clothed during the therapy. A harness will be fitted around your pelvis, plus another one around your trunk. You will then lie down — face up or face down — on a computer-controlled table. The computer will then be programmed to customize your treatment. A treatment will generally last from 30 to 45 minutes.
Typical spinal decompression therapy will comprise of 15 to 30 sessions; the number of your sessions will depend on your condition and the findings of your specialist. The costs for each session will vary.
Your specialist may also require you to do certain things before and after the sessions, like performing exercises to improve your mobility and strength and to drink a half-gallon of water daily. You’ll want to get these things in writing so that you don’t forget and you boost your chances of recovery with the nonsurgical therapy.
Back pains are not just physically agonizing, but they can also prevent you from doing what it is you love to do every day. When you’ve got an opportunity to go with a non-invasive treatment, ask your spinal specialist about spinal decompression. And you can maybe start your journey to pain-free days.
One of the most common conditions believed to come with aging is pain. Sometimes it is caused by certain conditions such as osteoarthritis or bursitis which areusually associated with middle-aged or elderly individuals. Sometimes pain occurs for seemingly no reason at all, other than the result of the everyday wear and tear of aging muscles and ligaments. You may be attending to your regular tasks or activities and pain will come, like a thief in the night, impacting your health and your life in general.
The good news is you can do something about it – who says pain is a “normal” part of aging? Moreover, new innovations and advanced medical research have opened new possibilities for managing, reducing and eliminating pain. When it seems like nothing seems to work, you could turn to cutting-edge technology to see if there’s a solution that could elevate or complement your pain management program.
One of the relatively high-tech healing methods today is cold laser therapy. NYC practitioners recommend this for fast and effective healing. It’s not new per se – it was developed 30 years ago, but in medical research timelinesand in the field of pain relief,cold laser therapy can still be considered a newcomer compared to older methods such as acupuncture. Moreover, the succeeding improvements and developments in cold laser technology through the years lead to the creation of newer, betterversions than before.
Cold laser therapy is recommended for pain relief because of the following benefits it offers:
Painless accuracy.Hot medical lasers can create incisions and can be unbearably painful. Cold laser, also called low-level laser, is painless and non-invasive. It emits light protons that penetrates the skinin the affected areaand provides the body the energy it needs for tissue healing andrepair.
Fast and simple procedure. The duration of each session depends on each patient – it can last for 10 minutes to one hour. No medication or surgery is used, and it is done as an outpatient procedure.
Dramatic results.Cold laser can reach injuries thatare deep inside the body – something that other methods of pain relief can’t – resulting in accelerated reduction of inflammation and significant pain relief.
Additional benefits. Cold laser provides more than just pain relief. It promotes healthy blood circulation andimproves mobility. It helps the regeneration and healing of nerves, muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, joints and tissues.
Cold laser is indicated for a wide variety of painful conditions, including low back or neck pain, muscle injuries, sprains, disc problems, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, epicondylitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.