Laser Therapy & Fibromyalgia Treatment in Visalia

Fibromyalgia treatment in Visalia can be more effective with the addition of laser therapy

Although it may sound futuristic, lasers are being used in the medical field right now for a wide range of purposes, and their popularity is growing rapidly. You may have heard of medical professionals like surgeons, dentists and opthamologists utilizing them, but it may surprise you to hear laser therapy can be paired with physical therapy, too. In fact, it might be part of your individualized treatment program if your condition calls for it.

A laser is a device that emits light through a process called optical amplification, and the term “laser” is actually an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Lasers do not occur in nature, but are created artificially, and they produce a monochromatic (one color) light of a single wavelength in a very tight, narrow beam.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive treatment that makes use of these beams of light for the purpose of reducing pain related an injury or condition. LLLT utilizes red—or close to red—infrared light and directs it to areas that are damaged from injury. When this laser is targeted upon a painful region of the body, particular changes take place within the cells in a process called photobiomodulation. When used properly and appropriately, the expected result of this process is less pain.

In contrast to surgical lasers, the lasers used in LLLT gently pass through the body without breaking the skin or causing any discomfort. For this reason, the risk for side effects after treatment is considered very low.

LLLT is now being incorporated into physical therapy treatment practices with the goal of producing even better outcomes for patients. When applied correctly, LLLT can:

  • Reduce the amount of treatment time needed to recover
  • Safely alleviate pain
  • Reduce swelling from bruising and inflammation
  • Increase circulation to damaged cells

As the popularity of LLLT has been growing, studies are emerging that suggest it can be effective for treating a variety of conditions commonly seen in physical therapy clinics, such as sprains, strains, back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, frozen shoulder and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia affects between 4-6 million Americans with chronic pain and a wide array of other symptoms, often leading to missed days of work or disability. But one study conducted in 2013 evaluated the use of laser therapy on a group of women with fibromyalgia, and had some promising results. Its conclusion states:

This study provides evidence that laser therapy may be a beneficial modality for women with fibromyalgia in order to improve pain and upper body range of motion, ultimately reducing the impact of fibromyalgia.

So if you’re dealing with any type of pain that doesn’t seem to respond to other treatments, it may be time to give laser therapy a try. Contact us for more information on laser therapy and to find out if it’s right for your condition.

Fibromyalgia Treatment Visalia

If you did a search for fibromyalgia treatment Visalia, chances are, our experienced clinicians can help.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common of all pain-causing syndromes in the country.  Almost 5 million Americans are affected by fibromyalgia, and between 80-90% of those who have it are women and residents in the Central Valley are not alone.

Individuals with fibromyalgia typically experience various problems getting through their daily activities, but a physical therapy treatment program can address just about all aspects of this condition and significantly improve patients’ lifestyles.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome, meaning that most individuals who get it have it for a while.  Symptoms usually start to develop in women between ages 30-50, but cases occur at younger ages and in men as well.  The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s thought to be due to changes in how the nervous system processes pain.  In some people it may be triggered by trauma, surgery, infection, arthritis or major emotional stress, while it develops gradually over time in others.

Not just an individual condition, fibromyalgia is actually a complex syndrome with many components.  For this reason, it can include many different signs and symptoms, such as widespread pain, tender points throughout the body, muscle stiffness, fatigue, depression/anxiety, thinking or memory problems, and numbness/tingling sensations.  These symptoms can really get in the way of functioning normally in daily life and may also lead to reduced physical activity.  Over time, this can decrease overall fitness levels and result in other health-related problems, too.

Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, physical therapy can significantly help patients by easing symptoms and improving their quality of life.  A typical physical therapy program for fibromyalgia will consist of the following:

  • Aerobic exercise recommendations (brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, etc.)
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Class 4, cold laser
  • Ice and/or heat therapy to reduce pain levels
  • Hands-on therapy techniques applied to painful areas (manual therapy)
  • Water-based, or aquatic exercise

To illustrate how physical therapy and physical activity can help, a powerful recent study provided the following remarks:

When compared with control, moderate-quality evidence indicates that aerobic exercise probably improves HRQL (Health Related Quality of Life) and all-cause withdrawal, and low-quality evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may slightly decrease pain intensity, may slightly improve physical function, and may lead to little difference in fatigue and stiffness. Three of the reported outcomes reached clinical significance (HRQL, physical function, and pain).

Reference: Aerobic exercise training for adults with fibromyalgia.

Important: fibromyalgia patients generally need special pacing and graded treatment programs. In our experience, this combined with therapeutic education and short-term use of modalities like the cold laser, can result in significant improvements.

So if you’re dealing with chronic pain and you did a search for fibromyalgia treatment Visalia to find an experienced clinician, we strongly recommend that you see one of our  physical therapists for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment program designed specifically with your goals and abilities in mind.

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