Back Pain and Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy provides relief from Back Pain

Back pain affects 80% of people at some point in their life. It is a major cause of loss of work, decreased life satisfaction, reduced activity and overuse of medication. A state of the art therapy for back pain called Low Level Laser therapy, is available in the Comox Valley. This technology has brought relief to 1000s of back pain sufferers. Practitioners who use it consistently state that laser therapy is the most effective, painless and non-invasive way to reduce inflammation and control pain.

What causes back pain: Back pain can be caused by the muscles and other soft tissue or by the vertebrae and nerves. Most back pain is caused by the muscles, ligaments and tendons with muscle spasm and inflammation being present in most back issues. A common cause of vertebral back issues is degeneration of the structures of the spine, often causing pinched nerves. Spinal stenosis, or impingement of the spinal cord and nerves, can be caused by, among other things, inflammation of the ligaments which encase the spinal cord. True disc problems only account for about 5% of cases of back pain. In fact, many people’s spines have bulging discs, but they will only experience pain if there is inflammation present. Inflammation and damaged, degenerated structures account for most back pain. Therefore, treatments should aim to reduce inflammation and reverse degeneration.

Traditional treatments: The first response for many back pain sufferers is to go to their medical doctor who may order x-rays, MRI or CT. While it is essential to attempt to diagnose the source of the problem, the treatment options available to MDs are very limited. Surgery is only appropriate for about 5% of back pain sufferers. Pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs may provide some needed short term relief, but they don’t address the cause of the problem or promote tissue healing. In addition, anti-inflammatories are very hard on the stomach lining and other organs of the body. The newer COX-2 inhibitors are no more effective than the older anti-inflammatories, cause only slightly less stomach problems, and are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. Alternatively, chiropractic manipulation can help to align and mobilize the spine and pelvis, which is very important. It is not able to directly reduce inflammation and may be uncomfortable in an acutely inflamed back. Massage is important to improve circulation, drainage and to break up trigger points in the muscles. However, it can’t treat the inflammation and tissue damage that is inherent in back pain.

Laser therapy: Laser therapy is a treatment which is scientifically proven to target the inflammation and tissue damage that cause most back pain. Whether it is used alone or in combination with other treatments, it is a very effective therapy for giving people relief from back pain and allowing them to resume their activities. The esteemed medical review panel, The Cochran Review, found five well designed scientific studies showing that laser therapy was effective for back pain. In a study tracking 100 patients with confirmed disc problems, 90% of them resolved within 14 treatments with a state of the art laser machine. In addition, laser therapy has been proven to give long term relief from arthritis pain.

How does laser therapy work: Low level laser therapy stimulates restoration of function at many levels. In essence it promotes the healing of tissues from the skin to the deep spinal structures by increasing cellular ATP (fuel) output, improving circulation and lymphatic drainage, reducing inflammatory chemicals, and promoting cellular replication and collagen synthesis. The net effect is that healing occurs on the level of the muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and tendons and pain is reduced or eliminated.

Dr. Macdonald’s comments: “Over the 15 years I have practiced as a naturopathic physician, I have seen so many people suffer from back pain, arthritis, and joint pain. It has given me great satisfaction to now have the ability to provide relief to patients who had tried so many other therapies and yet still suffered with chronic pain. If a course of laser therapy can reduce pain and allow my patient to increase their exercise and reduce their pain medications, then I know their long term health has been positively impacted. In fact, I was one of those people. After six years and 13 different practitioners, I was still suffering from chronic back pain. Laser therapy provided relief within a few sessions. I continue to use the laser therapy to heal up all the sports injuries I incur now that I am able to exercise vigorously again! “

The Theralase difference: Not all lasers are created equal. Older technology consists of a single low powered probe. The Theralase professional cold laser uses nine laser beams that simultaneously bring the power of light therapy to tissues.  This state of the art technology has helped thousands of people relieve the pain of spinal stenosis, sciatica, degenerative spinal conditions, arthritis, neck issues and more.

For more information about booking a no-charge, no obligation 15-minute laser therapy consultation with Dr. Deidre Macdonald contact her office in downtown Courtenay at (250) 897-0235 or via this website. Dr. Macdonald is a naturopathic physician who has been practicing medicine since 1997.

FAQ about Laser Therapy

Freedom from Pain – At any Age

If you are retired, these are your years and you should enjoy them without unnecessary nagging pain.  For many people, old injuries, arthritis or back pain can get in the way of fully enjoying this stage of life.  Thousands of people world wide have enjoyed pain relief and improved quality of life thanks to new advances in laser therapy

The good news for pain sufferers is that with the painless approach of laser light therapy, rapid healing occurs.  Dramatic healing can be seen when laser light is applied to wounds such as diabetic leg ulcers, large bruises, burns and other stubborn wounds.  The same tissue healing can be felt for people suffering from tendonitis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, ligament issues, disc herniation, nerve pain, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, post surgical recovery and more.  There have been over 2,500 scientific studies done on laser light therapy over 50 years.  For example, the Cochrane medical review confirmed that 5 well designed studies concluded that laser therapy was an effective treatment for back pain. General Motors did a study on carpal tunnel syndrome showing a quicker return to work when laser therapy was used and other studies showed an 84% success rate with carpal tunnel syndrome. A meta-analysis of eight placebo controlled studies demonstrated that laser therapy reduced pain and increased mobility in osteoarthritis of the knee.  Studies comparing the effect of various physiotherapy machines on osteoarthritis of the knee showed that laser therapy had the greatest short and long term pain relieving effect.  Excellent results are being achieved particularly with new breakthroughs in the technology.  The laser machine available now have nine laser beams per treatment head, enabling faster and more powerful treatment of larger areas than the traditional older, single laser units.

This technology enhances healing of tissues, thus creating long term effects.  It bathes tissue with photons.  Photons are particles of energy that are absorbed by cells and ramp up a number of positive healing responses.  In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy.  The therapeutic light beam permits penetration of deep tissues without adversely affecting normal cells.  The body’s natural healing processes are enhanced and tissues heal.  Laser therapy doesn`t just mask the pain, it accelerates the healing process and treats the injured tissue in a lasting fashion.  Numerous scientific studies have pinpointed the mechanism by which it speeds healing, such as increasing the fuel within the cell (ATP) by 300%, improving blood supply, and enhancing cell replication.

Dr. Macdonald’s clinic uses a state-of-the-art laser machine called the Theralase-1000 which is used by thousands of practitioners worldwide. This type of cold laser therapy is painless, highly effective and there are no known serious side effects.  So if you are looking forward to a retirement filled with traveling, golf, gardening and more, make sure that your body gets all the help it needs to let you live life to the fullest.

To find out more about laser therapy,  call for a complimentary 15 minute introductory evaluation with Dr. Macdonald at 897-0235. 

Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician with a natural family medical practice in downtown Courtenay.

FAQ about Laser Therapy

LASER THERAPY FOR PAIN RELIEF

Naturopathic physician, Dr. Deidre Macdonald is pleased to announce the arrival to the Comox Valley of a high tech solution for people suffering from spinal, joint and muscle pain. Low level laser therapy is the technology that caught her attention when it healed a back problem she had suffered with for six years. Dr. Macdonald said, “The results I got after a few treatments were better than I had received from the 13 practitioners from whom I had sought treatment previously.” The good news for pain sufferers is that with the painless approach of laser light, rapid healing occurs. Dramatic healing can be seen when laser light is applied to wounds such as diabetic leg ulcers, large bruises, burns and other stubborn wounds. The same tissue healing can be felt for people suffering from tendonitis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, ligament issues, disc herniation, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and post surgical recovery. Dr. Macdonald notes that “when I started looking into this technology I was impressed that there have been 1,200 scientific studies done on it over 50 years. Excellent results are being achieved particularly with new breakthroughs in the technology. The laser machine I settled on is truly state of the art. Unlike most laser machines, it has 2 large wrap-around treatment heads with 120 laser diodes each, enabling fast and powerful treatment of larger areas than the traditional older single laser units.”

This technology uses superluminous and laser diodes to bathe abnormal tissue with photons. Photons are particles of energy that are absorbed by a variety of components within the cell, a process which initiates a number of positive physiological responses. In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy. The therapeutic light beam permits penetration of deep tissues without adversely affecting normal cells. The body’s natural healing processes are enhanced and tissues heal. The process is curative and as logic dictates, symptoms disappear.

The Theralase laser device used in Dr. Deidre Macdonald’s naturopathic medical clinic is Health Canada approved and is used in hospital physiotherapy clinics and burn units around the world. The therapy is non-invasive, painless, non-toxic, highly effective and there are no known side effects. Numerous scientific studies have pinpointed the mechanism by which it speeds healing. The specific frequencies of laser light used cause an:

ATP production is increased resulting in improved cellular energy and metabolism

  • Mitochondrial activity is stimulated resulting in cell replication etc. (ie replacement, regeneration and repair of abnormal cells)
  • DNA production; protein building block of tissue is substantially increased
  • Neurotransmission is facilitated due to elevated levels of serotonin and acetylcholine
  • Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells
  • Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) improves blood supply to healing tissue
  • Regulates cell membrane potential, essential in Na, Cl, and K ion transfer (electrolyte balance)
  • Cytokines and other chemicals enhancing cellular communications are released

To find out more about this state of the art laser device call for a complimentary 15 minute introductory evaluation with Dr. Macdonald at (250) 897-0235.

Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician with a natural family medical practice in downtown Courtenay. Her office can be reached at (250) 897-0235 or via this website

FAQ about Laser Therapy