Low level lasers are now a common part of podiatry. Laser treatment for foot related conditions has some notable advantages compared to traditional treatments.
Conditions We Treat
The type of conditions that can be treated by Laser therapy include:
- Verrucae – Verruca is a complex treatment case but can respond very well to laser therapy. In terms of effectiveness, in a properly controlled 1996 double blind trial, 60% of verrucae cases were resolved as opposed to 17% in the placebo group. Laser therapy is no less effective overall than any other treatment but equally will not be fully successful in every case. However, it has a number of advantages over alternative treatments and no symptomatic disadvantages. It can also be beneficially used in conjunction with cryo-surgery. Not only is the treatment pain-free but it actually delivers pain relief, is non-invasive and is without unpleasant side effects, making it particularly well received by patients. There is never tissue damage or scarring. In fact, it can help reduce scarring from previous treatments. It is ideal for the treatment of children and nervous patients. The number of treatments required varies case by case, with some resolving in one session but others requiring, at the extreme, 10 treatments.
- Achilles Tendonitis – Laser therapy is particularly effective in the early stages of inflammation of the Achilles tendon and sheath when it is recommended as a sole measure. Treatment involves the lower calf muscle area plus any tender trigger points being lasered every other day for a couple of weeks. Helpful muscle relaxation is best achieved by also lasering relevant acupuncture points. With more acute cases, although some can be brought to resolution with the optimisation of the healing processes, in many laser therapy will act as a complementary measure and be used for drug-free pain management and reduction of inflammation.
- Plantar Fasciitis/Heel pain – With its ability to reduce inflammation and ease pain, laser therapy achieves good results in the treatment of plantar fasciitis where it stimulates the fibroblasts for a faster regeneration of connective tissue structures in the tendon. Treatment generally involves direct application to the heel with an infra-red probe to be repeated every 2-3 days for 2-3 weeks.
- Leg Ulcers – Laser therapy is regularly used in the NHS and private clinics for fast resolution of leg ulcers with improved tensile strength of repair tissue.Laser can frequently speed up the granulation and epithelialisation phase or, in ulcers that are healing poorly or not at all, activate them. It improves, particularly micro- blood circulation and that of the lymph system, activates anti-oedematous processes, promotes cellular regeneration and inhibits inflammation.