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Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy and Sports Medicine

Recovering from sports injuries can sometimes  be a slow process, so the athlete feels both the pain from the injury and the pain from being kept from the playing field. Laser therapy has been shown to have immense value in treating these kinds of injuries, and it helps athletes get back to their sport much faster.

Common sports injuries treated with laser therapy

One of the real benefits of laser therapy is that it can be used to treat almost any part of the body. One of the areas where laser therapy has been shown to be especially effective is in treating the many different forms of tendonitis. Tendonitis can appear in the knees, hips, back, hands, wrists, or shoulders, and it often takes its name from the sport where the injury occurred (i.e., tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, golfer’s elbow, etc.).

Plantar fasciitis is another common injury that athletes sustain, and laser therapy has proven to be very helpful in reducing the associated pain and inflammation. Rotator cuff injuries are sustained frequently by baseball players, especially pitchers who may deliver 100 high-speed pitches to batters during the course of a game. Studies show that laser therapy helps manage these injuries better and get athletes back in the game faster than they would have with other treatments.

Latest research on laser therapy/sports injuries

The latest research on low-level laser therapy shows that it produces consistent results in treating a wide variety of sports injuries. The typical response of your body to any kind of injury in sports is an inflammatory stage, during which new cells are generated and new tissues are produced. This inflammatory stage can go on for quite some time since a great deal of new tissue and cells may be required. This is where laser therapy can help in a major way. It expedites the inflammatory stage and accelerates the entire healing process so that mobility and functionality can be restored much more quickly.

Research has shown that a great many sports injuries respond very well to treatment by low-level laser therapy. Some of the injuries that have been dramatically improved by laser therapy include tennis elbow, ligament damage, jumper’s knee, frozen shoulder, muscle strains, bursitis, swimmer’s shoulder, and inflammation of the tendon sheath. Research from 2014 has also shown that laser therapy can be very useful in helping an athlete recover from surgery since pain and inflammation can be reduced significantly.

At a Glance

Ronak M. Patel M.D.

  • Double Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • Past Team Physician to the Cavaliers (NBA), Browns (NFL) and Guardians (MLB)
  • Published over 49 publications and 10 book chapters
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