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Craig Roberts, Chiropractor, Grass Valley CA
DocRoberts Holistic Health Blog
Topic: Laser Therapy
Sunday 5/8/2011 Chiropractic plus Laser

Another study just came out supporting the use of both low level laser and chiropractic for neck pain.  The researchers divided people with cervical facet pain (the most common type of chronic neck pain--particularly in whiplash injuries) into three groups; the first had chiropractic adjustments alone, the second had low level laser alone, and third group had a combination of the two.  To be in the study people had to have at least 30 days of neck pain caused by the facet joints.

All three groups improved with 2 weeks of treatment.  The group getting the combination of low level laser and chiropractic had the best results.  These results, along with previous studies, are very significant for two reasons.  First, the results demonstrate a very effective way to treat neck pain.  Second, both Chiropractic care and low level laser therapy are extremely safe--this is in contrast with drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and tylenol.  Those drugs literally cause 36,500 deaths per year when used as indicated.  NSAIDs are a leading cause of kidney disease, and tylenol is the leading cause of liver failure.  Besides the side effects, they simply do not work for anything other than temporary relief of symptoms--a previous study has show that in the short term chiropractic is dramatically more effective when it comes to pain control, and in the long term chiropractic benefits persist, where as drug induced symptom reduction does not.

Read the study.

Thursday 11/26/2009 New Review On Laser And Neck Pain

A new review published in Lancet reviewed data from 16 studies including 820 patients regarding the use of low level laser for neck pain.  The authors concluded "We show that LLLT (low level laser therapy) reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain."

This is an important review for two reasons.  First, the authors included only high quality, randomized trials that compared the treatment group against a placebo group.  Second, there was no conflictive funding for the review.  This produces strong evidence for a benefit of low level laser.  I've been using a laser in my office for several years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how such a simple device can bring so much relief!

Read the review here.

Sunday 9/30/2007 Lasers for Low Back Pain

Low-level laser therapy is beneficial for low back pain, researchers say.  The new study involved people with chronic low back pain either exercising, using low-level laser, or both for 6 weeks.  While results were similar among all groups at 6 weeks, the low-level laser-plus-exercise group had much better results at 12 weeks.

I’ve used low-level laser in my office for nearly 2 years, and am constantly pleased with the results I get.  It’s too bad they didn’t use chiropractic in this study—it would have blown them away—read an overview of the research on chiropractic and low back pain here.

Here is a link to my low back at-home exercise rehabilitation program.

Read the study here.

Saturday 6/16/2007 Lasers and Nerve Regeneration

A new study again demonstrates that low level laser therapy aids in nerve regeneration.  The study was done by cutting the peroneal nerve (a nerve that innervates the lower leg) in rabbits (those poor rabbits--they use rabbits because its illegal to use lawyers).  The rabbits were then divided into 2 groups--one that received low level laser therapy for ten days, and one group that did not.  As expected, the rabbits undergoing laser therapy regenerated the peroneal nerve quicker, had better function, and upon dissection the nerve showed more organized repair.

I use low level laser therapy in my office and it truly works wonders!  The most common disorders that I treat with it are: TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, shoulder impingement, and nerve injuries.  It also works well to speed the healing of bruises and scrapes.

Read the study here. 

Thursday 4/19/2007 Lasers for Your Brain

Low level laser therapy may be of benefit for individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury.  A study in this month’s Journal of Neurotrauma assessed the effects of low level laser therapy in mice with traumatic brain injury.  The injury was induced in 28 mice (poor little guys), and the mice were divided into three groups.  One group did not receive laser therapy, the other 2 groups received different dosages of laser therapy. 

One month later the mice were imaged to assess brain damage.  Whereas 12.8% (on average) of the brain was damaged in the non-treated mice, 1.4% was damaged in the treated mice!  As one would expect, the treated mice had a great deal less neurological deficit than the non-treated mice.

I have used laser therapy in my office for over a year now and am continually amazed at the seemingly miraculous benefits of this painless therapy.  It has been found effective for neck pain, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, cold sores, tendinitis, burns, and abrasions. 

You can read more about this particular study here.

Here is another abstract for a study where low level laser was used in rats that had undergone a stroke.  The findings were similar—low level laser greatly improved outcome!

Sunday 08/20/2006 Hope for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed rheumatic disease after osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is not uncommon for a patient to walk into my office with neck or low back pain and incidentally note during the history that they have fibromyalgia. They often feel that the FMS is hardly worth mentioning because they believe it is untreatable. This is simply not the case. I have seen the following strategies literally cure FMS sufferers in my own office, and have seen many others improve dramatically.

Here are some strategies that you can begin to implement today if you suffer from FMS.

1) Regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments affect your entire nervous system. The adjustment itself is a "key" to the central nervous system. Brain patterns and the balance of parasympathetic to sympathetic nervous system activity change. Studies have repeatedly shown the ability of chiropractic to modulate the nervous system, and other studies have shown imbalance in the sympathetic nervous system in individuals with FMS.

2) Malic Acid and Magnesium supplementation. In 1995 the journal Rheumatology found that daily supplementation with 2400mg of malic acid and 600mg of magnesium greatly reduced symptoms in FMS sufferers. No side-effects were reported. These nutrients support energy production within your cells.

3) Low level laser therapy: A 2002 study in Rheumatology International reported that low level laser therapy was a safe and effective treatment for FMS. I have had excellent results with this in my clinic. It has no side-effects.

4) Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats modulate the nervous system and decrease systemic inflammation.

5) Tryptophan: this essential amino acid can be converted to serotonin and melatonin in the body. Serotonin is necessary for pain control, and melatonin for normal sleep rhythms. Many FMS patients are prescribed antidepressants called SSRI's that make serotonin "hang around" longer. In my opinion these drugs are very harmful when used long-term (Read PROZAC BACKLASH by Harvard Psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen). It is as effective and much safer to use a tryptophan precursor called 5-HTP under the guidance of your chiropractor or medical doctor.

6) Lifestyle changes. These include a graded exercise program, good sleep habits, and mind-body therapy such as meditation or tai' chi. If you or someone you know suffers from Fibromyalgia Syndrome, make an appointment today! It may change your life.

Tuesday 07/18/2006 Laser Therapy for Chronic Neck Pain

The prestigious journal Pain published a study in June confirming the benefits of laser therapy for chronic neck pain. The study utilized a 830 nanometer laser (the same wavelength I utilize in my office) to treat 90 patients with chronic neck pain. The treatment group had significant pain reduction whereas the placebo group slightly worsened. The beuaty of laser therpy is excellent results with no side effects! Read the study here.

Tuesday 07/18/2006 Laser Speeds Healing of Cold-Sores

As many of you who are patients know, I utilize cold laser tharapy in my office to speed healing of injured tissues. A recent study used cold laser on cold-sores. Cold-sores are caused by a type of herpes virus. The laser increased healing time by about 30%. This is consistant with the results I get on musculoskeletal injuries--they heal about 30% quicker with laser therapy! Read the study here.

Thursday 4/6/2006 Laser for TMJ Pain

For many people the temperomandibular joint (TMJ) is a major source of pain. For people with temperomandibular disorder (TMD), the simple pleasure of eating is painful, yawning can be agonizing, even conversation can be difficult. Low level laser therapy, a procedure I offer in my office, was studied recently in the treatment of TMD. Patients were either allocated to a group that did exercise only, or exercise plus 15 sessions of laser therapy. Only the laser therapy group experienced increased range of motion, less tender points, and of course, much less pain! I have had excellent responses in my practice by combining chiropractic treatment of the neck and jaw with low level laser therapy. This therapy has no side effects and is the best treatment for TMD available! Click here to read the study. TMJ Laser Study


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