Laser Therapy for the Treatment of Sports Injuries

It’s a new year and a good time to get off to a new start by tackling some of your nagging, chronic sports injuries!

Assuming you weren’t just flopping, we can help take care of your sport injuries!

2013 also marks my 10th year of clinical practice in Richmond Hill and during this time I’ve had the pleasure of treating weekend warriors, exercise enthusiasts and amateur athletes with things like:

  • ACL tears
  • Mensicus injuries
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Muscle contusions
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Sprained ankles
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • ITB syndrome
  • and more!

It’s been exciting to help all these active folks get back to enjoying what they love and competing successfully again.  The most successful outcomes have always been when we’ve worked as a TEAM and each doing our parts to get the injury under control and the healing going in the right direction.

My main tools of therapy have always been a combination of BIOFLEX laser therapy, Graston technique, myofascial release, acupuncture and rehabilitative exercise.  They work so well together because they address 3 key issues in injury management:

  1. resolution of inflammation and pain
  2. promotion of tissue regeneration
  3. remodelling and strengthening of injured tissues

Laser therapy and acupuncture work to affect #1 and #2 while soft tissue techniques like Graston technique, ART or myofascial release and rehab exercises affect #3.

The following are some clinical case studies on the use of BIOFLEX laser therapy at the Meditech clinic for various sports injuries:

Case 1

Diagnosis: Partial tear of the right hamstring muscle origin with an associated extensive hematoma

History: The patient is a 52 year old male golfer who injured his right hamstring muscle while forcefully rotating in the course of a golf swing.  The result – a tear accompanied by hematoma that continued to expand rapidly with accompanying tenderness, edema and complete loss of function of the extremity.  The pain was severe even at rest and the patient had difficulty sleeping, along with inability to engage in any meaningful physical activities.

Result: Following the administration of four laser therapy treatments over the course of seven days, there was a dramatic resolution of the hematoma along with the edema, tenderness and pain.  The patient was able to walk without difficulty and resume normal weight bearing activities.

Case 2

Diagnosis: Full thickness tear of the right supraspinatus tendon

History: The patient injured his right shoulder during a sudden movement utilizing the extremity at the gym.

Imaging results: An ultrasound study prior to the administration of laser therapy revealed a full thickness tear of the anterior and mid-fibres of the supraspinatus muscle at its junction with the tendon.  The defect measured 24 x 15 x 9 mm.

Result: After the administration of 13 laser therapy sessions over the course of two months, a follow-up ultrasound study indicated that the tear had diminished to less than 50% of its original dimension, measuring 10 x 4 mm.  The patient received 5 additional treatments and a second ultrasound study subsequently demonstrated that the rotator cuff injury was no longer visible.  It should be noted that the patient was asymptomatic and had a normal range of motion of the shoulder at this point despite having continued to perform normal activities throughout the course of treatment.

Case 3

Diagnosis: Bilateral synovitis of the knees along with tears in both medial menisci and the right lateral meniscus

History: The patient is a 16 year old male elite soccer player who presented with pain in both knees.  Symptoms had been present in the left knee for approximately 1 year and the right for several months.  The was no history of any significant knee injury.  The patient was unable to continue playing soccer; moreover symptoms precluded even minimal physical weight bearing activities.  The left knee lacked 15 degress of extension and the right 10 degrees.  Tenderness was noted over the medial and patellar compartments bilaterally.  No instability was noted.

Imaging results: An MRI of the right knee prior to his initial presentation revealed a horizontal tear of the body and anterior horn of the medial meniscus, with an adjacent parameniscal cyst measuring 2.7 cm x 4 mm.  In addition, there was a horizontal upper-surface tear at the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus.  A joint effusion was also reported.  The MRI of the left knee indicated a lower-surface tear at the anterior horn of the medial mensicus with an adjacent parameniscal cyst measuring 2.5 cm x 5 mm.  Similar to the right, a joint effusion was present.

Result: The patient was treated 5 times over the course of 6 days and re-examination revealed marked improvement characterized by reduced edema, decreased tenderness and a normal range of motion.  For geographical reasons, the patient was instructed in the use of a Home Bioflex System to continue treatment on alternate days at home.  The patient was able to resume training and competition within 2 months after the initial examination and continued to be asymptomatic.  Re-assessment demonstrated a normal range of motion, no existing tenderness or abnormalities.  A follow-up MRI of both knees 9 months after his initial examination indicated significant reduction in the extent of all meniscal tears and in the size of the associated cysts.  This patient had been offered a full soccer scholarship to a major US university and was able to accept the offer, as the knees were normal on clinical examination and he was completely functional.

 

The public is becoming increasingly aware of the availability of laser therapy for sports injuries.  Professional athletes and teams from the NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA, etc have been using laser in their locker rooms for years now.  After all, these athletes get paid big dollars to perform…not sit on the sidelines.  The same technology used for these elite individuals is also available to you and I have had the pleasure of being able to use it here at Meridian Wellness for the past 8 years.

If you have any questions as to whether laser therapy can help your condition or sports injury, give us a call or come in for a free 15 min consultation with me.

Happy New Year and Wishing You An Injury-Free 2013!

Dr. Keith

 

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