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Shoulder Pain Relief with Laser Therapy
We don’t realize how much we use our shoulders until something goes wrong. We use them for putting away dishes, lifting our kids, playing sports, trade work and so much more. The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body. It moves in more directions than any other joint. This tremendous mobility makes the shoulder joint vulnerable to problems. Shoulder pain is one of the most common musculo-skeletal conditions that I see in my naturopathic practice. If you have shoulder pain, it is wise to try and determine the source of the problem and take an active role in treatment so you can get back on track as quickly as possible. Laser light therapy is a safe, painless and effective treatment for a variety of shoulder problems.
Determining the source of the problem requires a detailed physical examination of the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, bursa, ligaments and nerves. I can often learn a great deal through a thorough physical exam involving structural palpation, muscle testing, orthopaedic tests and measuring range of motion. Diagnostic imaging (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT) can be helpful but are not always available for people with mild to moderate injuries.
The most common conditions I see are rotator cuff problems. The rotator cuff is a sheath that is made up of four muscle tendons: the suprapinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis muscles. Tendonitis can set in, the tendons can become impinged under the top of the shoulder (acromion process of the scapula) or the tendons can be partially or fully torn. The most common tear is in the supraspinatus muscle that runs along the top / back of the shoulder, under the acromion and attaches to the top of the arm bone (humerus). When this muscle is affected, lifting the arm up to the side is very painful or impossible. Rotator cuff issues are often associated with bicep tendonitis and bursitis, although these conditions can occur alone. In bicep tendonitis, the tendon becomes inflamed or fibrotic, and commonly creates a deep, throbbing ache in the front of the shoulder. Bursitis (inflamed padding of the shoulder) can create very acute pain with raising the arm. Tears in the labrum (cartilage cuff inside the socket) can create deep joint pain and frozen shoulder. Arthritis, in the ball and socket joint or where the collarbone meets the shoulder, can cause pain and reduced range of motion.
What are the treatment options? Anti-inflammatory drugs create problems with daily use. Surgery is necessary to repair a complete rotator cuff tear, but for most other conditions the effectiveness of shoulder surgery, according to published reports, is difficult to predict at best. Exercise and stretching are important, but may not be feasible when the shoulder is too painful to move. Laser therapy is a very effective treatment for speeding the healing of shoulder problems. Extensive research has shown that laser light therapy is safe and effective treatment for tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis and other issues that affect the shoulder. It reduces inflammation, increases circulation, speeds metabolism on a cellular level, reduces fibrosis and scar tissue, and strengthens tissue. These mechanisms result in rapid resolution of pain. Placebo controlled studies of laser therapy for even frozen shoulder have shown significant reduction in pain and disability. In my clinic I use a state of the art laser light therapy machine with an extra large treatment head that uses nine laser beams to bathe large areas of the shoulder in the therapeutic light. The laser beams can penetrate deeply into the tissues to safely and effectively promote healing. Most of my patients with shoulder issues treated with 9-12 sessions of laser light therapy heal quickly, take less pain medication and are able to resume work and normal activities.
So take care of your hard working shoulders. With laser light therapy, stretching, and therapeutic exercise, you may be able to enjoy relief from shoulder pain.
Wondering if laser therapy is right for you? Dr. Macdonald offers a free 15-minute consultation. Contact her naturopathic medical clinic in downtown Courtenay at (250) 897-0235 or via this website.
Joint pain slowing you down? There may be more options for treatment available than you know. There is a relatively new physical therapy modality called laser therapy that can create rapid healing of joint problems. It is a painless, effective therapy for the treatment of a wide array of muscle, joint, back and skin issues. In my practice, it has been an invaluable tool for helping my patients. Most of my patients who have utilized laser therapy for their joint problems have had relief from pain, increased range of motion, and are able to return to exercise and work Also, in my experience, laser therapy is the only therapy that shows consistent benefit for arthritis sufferers.
This technology uses multiple laser diodes to bathe abnormal tissue with photons. Photons are particles of energy that are absorbed by the cell. Once inside the cells, light energy can be converted into biochemical energy to accelerate cell function. The therapeutic light beam permits penetration of deep tissues without adversely affecting normal cells and the body’s natural tissue healing processes are enhanced. The therapy doesn’t just mask symptoms. It is curative and as logic dictates, symptoms resolve.
The Theralase laser device that I selected for my naturopathic medical clinic is a top of the line, Health Canada approved unit that is used in physiotherapy clinics and burn units around the world. It has 9 laser diodes in one unit and allows for efficient, safe, powerful treatments. Let’s look at a number of common joint problems and how they can be addressed with laser therapy:
Jaw pain: In a published placebo controlled study, laser therapy was shown to significantly reduce pain, increase range of motion and decrease tender points in patients with MRI confirmed temporo-mandibular joint pathology.
Shoulders: Shoulder pain can be caused by tendonitis (biceps tendonitis for example), rotator cuff injuries (often a torn supraspinatus muscle), bursitis, or deep joint problems. Often several of these mechanisms can co-exist. Laser therapy can effectively address each of these mechanisms and result in improved range of motion and decreased pain. Many of my patients have also reported that they sleep better since their shoulders don’t hurt at night.
Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow: These conditions are medically called epicondylitis, inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the medial and lateral bumps of the elbow. A placebo controlled study in Switzerland found that total relief of the pain and improved function was achieved in 82% of the acute cases.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (hand and wrist pain / numbness): The treatment of this condition with laser therapy has been extensively studied. In a review of 5 significant studies, it was found that the average success rate was 84%. The patients had pain for an average of two years prior to entering the studies. I have had several patients able to cancel surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome after about 9 treatments with laser therapy.
Bursitis of the hip: This condition causes pain when sleeping on the affected side and also with activity. It is the condition that I have found responds most consistently to laser therapy. All the patients we have treated for this condition have improved, and I too have used it successfully for the same issue.
Knee Pain: Osteoarthritis of the knee is a very common cause of significant disability for many seniors. Who wants to wait until the condition is so bad that surgery is the only option? In fact, studies have shown that with laser therapy, surgery can be avoided in many cases. In humans, a meta-analysis of 36 randomized placebo-controlled trials found that 2-4 weeks of laser therapy offered significant pain relief compared to placebo controls. Trials showed significant decrease in pain, reduction of swelling, increased range of motion and circulation. Animal studies show that laser actually regenerates worn cartilage, increasing the thickness of cartilage. Since real healing is what occurs with laser therapy, the results are sustained. I have certainly seen the long term effects myself and in my patients. Arthritis patients return for more treatments, but usually it is for a different joint!
Plantar fasciitis: This painful condition affects the bottom of the foot. I usually recommend stretches, exercises and massage for patients with this condition, along with laser therapy. Research shows that patients report significantly less pain after a series of laser treatments. A placebo controlled study found that the thickness of the plantar fascia was reduced. Another study showed that 90% of patients experienced relief: 64% of patients had no pain and another 26% were significantly improved. Unlike other treatments for plantar fasciitis, laser therapy is a painless process.
So why suffer? Laser therapy is a safe and effective tool that can help you get back to the life you desire. For more information about Dr. Macdonald’s state of the art laser therapy machine, click on laser therapy on her website www.getwellhere.com. To book a free 15 minute consultation to see if laser therapy is the right treatment for you, call her medical office at 250 897-0235.
Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician with a medical practice in downtown Courtenay.
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.
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
You can book a complimentary 15-minute “meet-the-doctor” visit anytime by calling the clinic. You’ll be able to ask questions, find out how we can help, and see if there’s a comfortable fit with your naturopath.
Book an appointment with Dr Macdonald by emailing us or calling (250) 897-0235
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The Macdonald Centre for Natural Medicine
448 10th Street Courtenay, B.C.