Cold Laser Therapy For Knee Pain
One of the most common applications for cold lasers is the treatment of knee pain. For this application, I would like to speak of my own experience. As an athletic person who is 6 feet 7 inches tall, I had put a lot of wear and tear on my knees by the time I was 40. One winter, I was snowboarding and I hit a tree. The crash tore my medial collateral ligament (MCL) badly enough that I could not do any sports and walking was painful. This area gets very little blood flow so the rehab period was going to be long. I already had crunchy knees at this point so I decided to have both knees scoped by a great doctor in Boulder, Colorado who worked on a lot of olympic athletes. After meeting with my doctor, I knew I could be limping for 6 month anyway so why not fix all the damage. The X-rays did not show it but once they got inside my knees, they found a Medial synovial shelf. This meant that a lot of tissue had to removed, they had to trim my meniscus and the geometry of knee change significantly. My recovery period was difficult. 2 years after my surgery, I still could not get down the stairs in the morning without pain, clicking and sometimes locking. Since I have a sensitive stomach, I can't take anti-inflammatories on a regular basis so I lived with it.
At that time, I went for somewhat routine acupuncture treatments but still my knees just weren't healing. One day my therapist said the office had just gotten in a cold laser. Since I am a high-tech guy, I said give it try. The next day was the first time in over 5 years that I could go down the stairs without noticing any problems. Eventually my knees started to bother me again so I went back for another treatment. This time the improvement lasted longer. After two more treatments, the problems were gone and my knees had finally healed.
Now I keep my knees in good shape by swimming twice a week with swim fins. By swimming with fins, the force is greater on the muscles around my knee and that seem to strengthen and tighten them. If I stick with my routine, I live a pain-free life and I give a lot of the credit to cold lasers.
That being said, not every knee issue can be solved with a cold lasers. If your meniscus is gone, you are probably still looking at a joint replacement but the cold laser might allow you to delay the surgery because it can reduce the inflammation in the joint so it is less painful. The main advantages of the cold lasers for knee therapy are:
- Reduced Inflammation.
- Increased Blood Flow
- Increased ATP to Accelerate Healing
This combination of benefits can, in many cases, helps the knee heal back to it's original condition and the laser therapy can end. In other cases, the cold laser may be required for extended treatment. If the tissue is too severely damaged, it may not ever heal back to a self-sustaining healthy condition. Still, routine cold laser treatments can reduce the pain and help slow the deterioration of the tissue by increasing the blood flow.
Cold Lasers are not a silver bullet that can fix every problem. They are, however, a state-of-the-art tool that can have a huge impact on some conditions like knee pain and there are literally tens of thousands of patients that are leading a better life because of cold lasers.