Healing Rotator Cuff Injuries with Low Level Laser Therapy: Results After Three Treatments
Rotator cuff tears are notoriously difficult to treat. They involve a tear or injury to one of the many tendons and muscles that move the shoulder, often causing pain, poor range of motion, and muscular weakness. Rotator cuff injuries are often small and get worse over time with repetitive motion. Common treatments include physiotherapy, surgery, and rest - which is a lot easier said than done considering your shoulder moves your entire arm! However low laser therapy can be hugely beneficial in this condition, as it works at the cellular level to help repair the damaged tissue to speed up the healing process.
Low level laser therapy (LLLT), also called photobiomodulation, uses red and infrared light to feed the mitochondria of damaged tissues cells. This increases ATP production which these cells then use for cellular energy to repair, regenerate, create new healthy cells, and form new blood vessels, and decrease inflammation. According to studies, light therapy also increases blood circulation by relaxing smooth muscles and dilating blood vessels, which is important for your immune system to gain access to the injured area and speed repair. LLLT increases fibroblast, macrophage, and mast cell function, affects nerve conduction, increases the production of the body’s natural pain relieving neurotransmitters (endorphins, acetylcholine, and serotonin), boost the immune system, and increases the synthesis of cellular DNA to repair cellular damage.
One patient came to us last month with a diagnosed rotator cuff injury with partial articulations tear involving the distal supraspinatus tendon measuring over 1cm, and a partial tear involving the superior fibres of the distal subscapularis tendon measuring 0.8cm. She was experiencing pain in her shoulder for over two years with it getting progressively worse. After hearing about low level laser therapy, she knew she needed to give it a try, since physio and acupuncture alone weren’t providing the lasting results she desired.
Following our instructions, this patient booked five sessions over a span of two weeks, since initial frequency with laser is key in successful and timely results. After the third treatment, this patient noticed a decrease in shoulder pain, and was able to move her shoulder in ways that had previously caused excruciating pain for years. This patient continued twice a week appointments for a few more weeks before the pain decreased to such a point that we were able to start tapering off treatment frequency and are now in the maintenance stage of her treatment protocol, with the pain decreasing a bit more after each session. She was ecstatic she finally found a tool to help her chronic shoulder injury.
Struggling with an injury that’s refusing to heal? Give us a call to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultations to speak with one of our experienced practitioners and certified laser therapists.