Laser Therapy in Podiatry & Chiropody With widespread recognition of the reliable benefits, we are seeing particularly rapid growth in the use of low level lasers in the field of Podiatry. The mounting clinical evidence of Low Level Laser Therapy’s (LLLT’s) effectiveness on a diverse range of conditions . Podiatry is perhaps the discipline with the highest proportion of conditions for which LLLT is relevant and highly effective. With increasing take-up, the therapy is now moving from being a point of difference in terms of podiatry services offered, to being established as part of the norm in a number of areas. Departments and clinics without laser increasingly risk comparatively longer resolution times with more recurrent treatments resulting in poorer service and cost-efficiency across a range of applications. Typical applications for podiatrists and chiropodists include:
- Leg Ulcers
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Post-Nail Avulsion
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Painful Bunions
- Sports Injuries
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. Laser therapy does not rely on patient compliance, other than appointment attendance, with no post-treatment complications and 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.
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 1-2 a week, depending on severity of condition.
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