Spinal stenosis refers to narrowing of canal in the spine where the spinal cord passes through. This narrowing results in increased pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots exiting the spinal cord. While spinal stenosis mostly affects people who are older than 60, those who are young may also experience stenosis after a severe sports injury or car accident injuring their neck or low back. In addition to this, certain medical conditions, such as arthritis and scoliosis can also result in spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is one of those health conditions that can affect an individual’s pain and ability to fully engage in an active lifestyle or even affects daily activities. Spinal stenosis is hardly the only diagnosis for pain that radiates to arms (neck area stenosis) or legs (lower back area stenosis), it produces a number of symptoms that may range from mild pain to complete loss of motor control and numbness. While decompression surgery can help improve the symptoms, it is may not be an option sometimes due to other medical conditions makes an operation of any kind risky for patient. Also, there is always the risk factors associated with surgery such tissue or nerve damage that may be considered. Therefore, various alternative, non-invasive treatments are being increasingly recommended by doctors in the treatment of spinal stenosis. Cold laser therapy is one of those very few techniques that have produced encouraging results in various research studies.
What is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy is a technique that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to stimulate and accelerate the normal healing process, increases blood flow to the spine and nerve roots. These rays penetrate the affected tissues and muscles, improving the symptoms of pain, inflammation, and associated muscle spasms.
Is Laser Safe for Low Back Pain Due to Stenosis?
Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure which means that it does not involve a surgical intervention. As a result, patient undergoes quick recovery and is ready to get back to work almost immediately after the treatment session.
When conducted under the supervision of an experienced North York physiotherapist or physician, cold laser therapy does not have any major side effects. However, in some patients, cold laser therapy may be contraindicated; therefore, your physiotherapist or chiropractor will conduct a full assessment, be sure to your physiotherapist or healthcare provider with your complete medical history before undergoing the procedure.
Does Cold Laser Therapy Work for Spinal Stenosis?
There is scientific evidence available regarding the effectiveness of cold laser or low-level laser therapy in the management of various spinal conditions. Research suggests that the use of low-intensity laser therapy can help accelerate the regeneration of the injured nerves following a spinal injury or chronic conditions.
Apart from spinal stenosis, cold laser therapy is widely used in the treatment of other musculoskeletal conditions, such as lower back and neck pain, pain and stiffness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, and pain associated with muscle spasms. As a matter of fact, there are FDA-approved low-level laser devices available for the treatment of muscle and joint pain caused due to a range of conditions.
If you’re interested in learning more about the effectiveness of cold laser therapy in the management of various musculoskeletal conditions, you may contact a Toronto physiotherapist at 416-444-4800 for free consultation.