Although laser therapy has been around for quite some time now, it is constantly being improved, and it is also being used to treat more conditions than its earlier iterations. At Parker Foot & Ankle, we use a device called a Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser to treat pain, inflammation, and swelling from a variety of foot and ankle problems.
Some Laser History
As we said, laser therapy is constantly being upgraded. Early types in the 1980s were Class III systems that used lower energy light beams to treat pain and accelerate healing in cells. They were stationary so the amount of energy could be carefully controlled, and the activity was centered more on the surface of the body.
In the belief that “more is better,” these were followed by high power Class IV systems in the 1990s that used higher wavelengths. However, it was found that operating them at their highest levels could actually damage tissue because of the thermal effect (tissues heated up too much). Thus, they had to be carefully controlled and could only be used in certain situations.
In the 2000s MLS lasers appeared that combine stationary application that regulates dosing with separate wavelengths to give the desired treatment—one for pain relief and one for swelling and inflammation relief. This allows the cells to be stimulated without being overheated and destroyed.
The Intention behind MLS Laser Therapy
The goal of the treatments is to produce the following results in your tissue:
Alleviation of pain. By increasing endorphins and blocking the transmission of pain sensations, the feelings of discomfort are reduced, allowing you to function better
Reduction of swelling and edema. By helping your blood vessels to function better, your body is better able to absorb and get rid of extra fluid, as well as reduce molecules that would cause inflammation.
Increased cell regeneration. Better blood flow brings more oxygen, nutrients and growth factors to the places that need them, resulting in an increase in cell activity and healthier tissue.
This is done by using a continuous emission of 808nm (nanometer) wavelengths for swelling and edema and a pulsed wave of 905 nm wavelengths for pain relief. The cell action promoted by these separate energy levels complement and stimulate each other for overall relief.
Lasers and Common Foot Conditions
Any foot problem can result in pain, and most can benefit from this FDA-cleared method of therapy. The effects seem particularly helpful for degenerative joint conditions like arthritis, as well as inflammatory ones like tendonitis. They have also been useful in treating diabetic wounds or post-surgery swelling that can increase your pain.
One of the promising uses is to treat neuropathy caused by diabetes and other conditions. Not only does this therapy help our patients to deal with neuropathy pain, it also helps the nerve cells to begin regeneration. This is important because your body does not make new nerve cells, so the only hope is to make and keep the ones you have healthy.
We also can use this therapy for tendons, ligaments and muscles, which is very helpful in treating sports injuries.
MLS Laser Therapy in Houston
To learn more about what this advanced treatment can do for your foot issues, call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850 to discuss this with Dr. Robert Parker. He was the first in Houston to have the Robotic Head MLS Therapeutic Laser and his patients have enjoyed the benefit of this treatment now for several years. We combine decades of experience and service to the greater Houston community with the latest in technology, so we can find the best solution for your foot problems. Call or schedule your appointment online today.