What is cold laser therapy?

Cold laser therapy, or low level laser therapy, is a treatment using a laser to relieve pain by altering cell function.  It works much like another laser, emitting infrared light into the skin, however it gets it name because it uses a lower wavelength, which produces considerably less heat.  The general consensus on the effectiveness of the treatment is widely debated, however patients in our office have seen temporary pain relief for arthritic pain and tendinopathy.  Some patients have also reported a reduction in inflammation after the treatment was performed.  Perhaps the best asset of the cold laser treatment is that it is an non-invasive option for patients to choose to reduce pain, and it is pain/recovery free.

Cold Laser TherapyThe most prevalent debate over cold laser therapy right now is the exact settings to use for different purposes.  A variety of results exist from the treatment because physical therapists and doctors around the world are using them at different settings.  Wavelength, effective dose, dose-rate effects, beam penetration, the role of coherence, and pulses are just some examples of the factors that need be considered to administer the treatment, and as stated before a patient can see different results depending on what settings are used.

This type of laser comes in a variety of shapes and sizes with all of the different manufacturers out there.
 

 

 

 

What is Muscle Imbalance?

What is Muscle Imbalance?

Stretching and Physical Therapy in Thousand Oaks and Agoura HillsThis is a situation where two groups of muscles that are designed to work with or against each other enter a state where one set becomes stronger (or tighter), or weaker ( or more unstable); leading to compensation which creates unequal forces at an associated joint or a pain syndrome in the muscles themselves.  For example, a muscle having to work against another stronger muscle may be limited in ROM (range of motion), or might have to work harder as a result, leading to tissue breakdown and increased fatigue.  Concurrently, a muscle that has to compensate, or do the work, for another muscle that is unstable could lead to excessive use, therefore leading to tissue breakdown and increased fatigue.

A specific example of muscle imbalance would be when one develops tight hamstrings muscles in the back of their leg.

As the hamstrings tighten, the quadriceps (muscles in the front of your thigh) must compensate as a result. This causes more friction in the knee joint and will ultimately lead to anterior knee pain.