Before experiencing laser therapy for the first time, most people wonder exactly what it will feel like. Having a beam of light trained on an area of your body may be a little disconcerting, especially if you’ve seen the Star Wars movies and know what a Jedi lightsaber can do. So first and foremost, rest assured that there is generally no pain involved in the process at all, and any laser session will usually only last a few minutes. No drugs, no surgery, and no side effects either.
Even better, though, you can expect to see some immediate improvement in your condition, although several more sessions are generally required to achieve the full effects of laser therapy.
Prior to undergoing laser therapy
During your laser therapy session, a certified laser technician typically conducts some range-of-motion tests with you, as well as a pain scale evaluation for baseline information. Then you will be asked to put on some safety goggles for the duration of the session to protect your eyes from the light beam. If you are wearing any jewelry in the area being treated, you’ll need to remove it before the session begins.
During the therapy session
Most laser therapy sessions will last between three and 12 minutes, depending on the specific procedure. Patients generally feel no pain at all, but some individuals have reported feeling a warming feeling that quickly subsided after the session. Most patients report experiencing a soothing sensation, very similar to sitting in the warmth of the sun. There are no gels, wiring, or harnesses used during the process. Treatment will be directly on the skin, and it may be performed on a single area of the body, or there may be multiple areas being treated.
Patients are asked during treatment about their comfort level, and if the patient considers it too intense, the technician will adjust the treatment accordingly.
After laser therapy treatment, it’s important to stay hydrated. You should try to drink at least a quart of water over the next several hours. You shouldn’t engage in any strenuous activity but it’s important to avoid being completely idle. It is advisable to apply ice to the treated area in increments of five to 20 minutes, so that swelling doesn’t have a chance to occur. Whatever pain medications you were taking prior to treatment should be kept up, although your need for these medications will likely diminish once the laser therapy benefits start kicking in.
Many laser therapy treatment plans call for a follow-up session within 72 hours of the initial session to maximize benefits. Most plans include three visits for the first week of treatment, and then two visits for the next two or three weeks. This will continue until maximum relief of pain is achieved, and the objectives of laser therapy have been accomplished.
OrthoLazer Orthopedic Laser Centers offer patients and their doctors an innovative and effective alternative pain management option to treat acute and chronic orthopedic conditions. Founded by Dr. Scott Sigman – the original opioid-sparing surgeon – OrthoLazer Centers further his mission of providing his patients non-operative and non-opioid treatment options. If you’d like more information about OrthoLazer, please visit our website at ortholazer.com.