Healing with light

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By: Dr. John Conde DC, DACNB Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
The therapeutic use of light, photobiomodulation (PBM), has been utilized in Europe for over 40 years and recently gained FDA clearance in the United States in 2002. In essence it is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects in damaged tissue through the enhanced metabolism of local cells, increased blood flow, and increased immunity. Improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation, and decreased swelling are just some of the positive effects experienced by most patients. This cutting edge technology is revolutionizing the treatment protocols of simple strain/sprains to chronic debilitating joint and disc disorders.
A laser is any device which can be made to produce or amplify electromagnetic radiation in wavelengths ranging from 180 nm to 1 mm by the process of controlled stimulated emission. These wavelengths of light contain tiny particles called photons. These photons stimulate certain receptors or sensors on the mitochondria in cells thus enhancing energy production and metabolism. The type of cells affected depends on the tissue which is targeted by the laser. For example, in individuals with acute or chronic lower back pain the cells affected include those in the spinal joints and discs as well as the ligaments and tendons that surround the spine. This ensures healing at the level of the injury and not just a masking of the symptoms.
Laser technology is classified based on the wavelengths of light that the unit is able to produce as well as the power it is able to emit. The larger the wavelengths of light the greater the penetrating depth into the tissue and therefore the more effective the treatment. Shorter wavelengths of light treat more superficial injuries whereas longer wavelengths treat deeper injuries including fractures. The power emitted by the unit also has a large impact on treatment time, healing time, and overall success. Generally more power equates too faster treatment times and most importantly shorter healing times. Which means the patient gets better faster. Classes range from I-IV. Class IV lasers usually emit from 5-12 watts of power and offer longer wavelength capabilities. The Conde Center For Chiropractic Neurology offers Class IV laser technology.
Effectiveness of laser therapy has been demonstrated scientifically. In-fact there are thousands of published studies demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of laser therapy. Among these, there are more than one hundred rigorously controlled scientific studies that document the effectiveness of laser therapy for many clinical musculo-skeletal conditions. Laser therapy can benefit conditions ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to knee pain to back pain.
Dr. John Conde is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, one of only one thousand in the country. He holds diplomate status through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. He provides specialized care for difficult cases of back neck pain, numbness-tingling, vertigo-dizziness balance disorders, fibromyalgia, migraines, AD/HD, autism, and dyslexia. His office is located at the Atlantic Grove in Delray Beach, FL and can be reached at 561-330-6096, drconde@thecondecenter.com, and at www.thecondecenter.com