When our hardworking feet develop painful problems, our quality of life can be significantly affected. Laser therapy can provide relief for people suffering from painful conditions of the feet such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, foot ulcers and more. Within a few weeks of treatment with our nine beam laser therapy unit, many of my patients have reported freedom from pain and a return to normal activities.
Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) has been used successfully as a treatment for an extensive range of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. This painless procedure speeds the healing of tissues, including cartilage, ligaments, muscles, bursa, nerves, tendons and skin. It enhances DNA synthesis, cell replication, cellular nutrition, circulation and has both anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. The effectiveness of laser therapy has been well established in hundreds of human and animal placebo-controlled, double-blind studies.
Arthritis of the feet and ankles
Laser therapy is an excellent treatment choice for arthritis that has been proven to work in many well designed studies. In animal studies, laser therapy has been shown to decelerate the arthritic process, regenerate worn cartilage, and increase the thickness of cartilage. In humans, a meta-analysis of 36 randomized placebo-controlled trials found that 2-4 weeks of laser therapy offered significant arthritic pain relief compared to placebo controls. Another more recent clinical trial for arthritis measured a significant decrease in pain, reduction of swelling, increased range of motion and circulation compared to a placebo group that was treated with a sham laser. Using a state of the art laser machine, we have helped many people reduce pain and increase mobility in their ankles, feet and toes. It is very rewarding to witness patients enjoying greater mobility and reduced pain and swelling after about 9 to14 treatments.
This painful condition affects the bottom of the foot. I usually recommend stretches, exercises, massage and orthodics for patients with this condition, along with laser therapy. Research shows that patients report significantly less pain after a series of laser treatments. A study showed that 90% of patients experienced relief: 64% of patients had no pain and another 26% were significantly improved. A placebo controlled study found that the abnormal thickness of the plantar fascia was reduced. Unlike other treatments for plantar fasciitis, laser therapy is a painless process.
Achilles tendonitis can be an acute or a chronic injury. In the chronic state, fibrosis prevents proper function and healing of the tendon. Laser therapy has been shown in clinical studies to reduce inflammatory markers in the Achilles tendon and to reduce fibrosis. Pain reduction during physical activity has been demonstrated, as has a reduction in morning stiffness. Laser therapy is considered an effective treatment for Achilles tendonitis, and can be added to a program of eccentric contraction exercises for even better results.
Chronic wounds and ulcers are a major source of disability for many people. They are notoriously difficult to treat with standard protocols. Often chronic wounds occur on the feet and lower limbs as a result of poor circulation. Diabetes and atherosclerosis are common contributing factors. In research done at Harvard University and other institutions, laser therapy has been proven to speed healing and resolution of skin ulcers and chronic wounds. A triple blind study at Brigham Young University concluded that:
“The laser therapy resulted in enhanced healing as measured by wound contraction. These data indicate that laser therapy is an effective modality to facilitate wound contraction of partial-thickness wounds.”
The results from this gentle laser therapy are quite visible in the case of wound healing. There has been photo documentation of many dramatic resolutions of wounds and even of gangrenous toes that were able to be saved from amputation.
So don’t let foot or ankle pain slow you down from enjoying life. Laser light therapy is a proven treatment that may be able to help you get back doing the things you love to do.