Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Carson Robertson
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Knee Pain Treatments with Cold Laser

Knee pain commonly affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of a sudden or overuse injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions including arthritis, gout and infections also can cause knee pain. The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that usually accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee
  • knee model posterior labeled
    Anatomy and Types of Knee Pain

    Injuries: A knee injury can potentially affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself. Few of the prevalent forms of Knee Injuries are as follows:

  • ACL injury
  • Fractures
  • Torn meniscus
  • Knee bursitis
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Ligament strains
  • Arthritis can also produce knee pain. Often times people develop knee arthritis over time, especially degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis creates more pain, but not mean that you will always have knee pain. Degeneration creates more pain and makes it easier to develop pain with normal activities.

    Types of Arthritis: The varieties most likely to affect the knee include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout.
  • Pseudo gout.
  • Septic arthritis.

  • Cold Laser Therapy Treatments:

    1. ACCELERATED TISSUE REPAIR AND CELL GROWTH

    Photons of light from lasers penetrate into tissue and accelerate cellular growth and reproduction. Laser therapy increases the energy available to the cell so it can work faster, better, and quickly get rid of waste products. When cells of tendons, ligaments, and muscles are exposed to laser light they repair and heal faster.

    2. FASTER WOUND HEALING

    Laser light increases collagen production by stimulating fibroblasts. Collagen is the building block of tissue repair and healing. Laser therapy increases fibroblast activity and therefore collagen production to speed healing.

    reduced fibrous tissue formation
    3. REDUCED FIBROUS TISSUE FORMATION

    Low level laser therapy decreases scar tissue formation. Scar tissue can be a source of chronic pain and poor healing. By eliminating excessive scar tissue and encouraging proper collagen production, painful scars and chronic pain is reduced.

    4. ANTI-INFLAMMATION

    Laser therapy causes vasodilatation (increases size of capillaries) which increases blood flow. The treatments also increases lymphatic drainage to decrease swelling or edema. Therefore, laser therapy reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation while speeding the recovery process.

    5. PAIN RELIEF

    Cold laser therapy decreases pain by blocking pain signals to the brain. Some nerve cells sense pain and send signals to the brain. Chronic pain can be caused by overly active pain nerves. Specific wavelengths help "shut off" the pain signals, thereby; eliminating your pain.

    Low level lasers are excellent at decreasing inflammation, which also increases pain nerve activity. Cold laser therapy also increases endorphins and enkephalins, which block pain signals and decrease pain sensation. Overall laser therapy reduces painful nerve signals and reducing your perceived pain.

    6. INCREASED BLOOD FLOW

    Blood carries nutrients and building blocks to the tissue, and carries waste products away. Increased blood flow to tissues increases and enhances cellular healing. Cold laser therapy increases the formation of capillaries in damaged tissue. Specific laser frequency also increases blood flow to the area treated, to enhance injury repair.

    7. INCREASED REPAIR AND REGENERATION

    Low level lasers increases enzyme activity to improve metabolic activity that affects cell repair and regeneration. The enzymes are turned on "high" to speed the healing.

    8. NERVE FUNCTION AND REPAIR

    Nerves heal very slowly. Lasers speed up this process. Damage to nerves causes numbness, pain, muscle weakness, and altered sensations. Laser therapy treatments enhance nerve function, healing, and reduce pain.

    9. INCREASED ENERGY PRODUCTION - ATP

    ATP is like gasoline for cells, it is the energy source that cells operate. Injured cells often have low levels of ATP, which decreases their ability to heal and repair. By increasing ATP and "gasoline storage levels," cells have more ATP for healing and repair. Increased mitochondrial production is very important with nerve pain.

    10. ACUPRESSURE AND TRIGGER POINTS

    Low level laser therapy decreases trigger points and stimulates acupuncture points to decrease muscle and joint pain.

    We combine low level laser therapy with a variety of techniques and treatments. Cold laser therapy can be used alone as a single treatment modality, or in conjunction with other Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, massage therapy, or medical treatments.

    GT therapy
    Conservative Treatments

    Therapeutic treatments for addressing soft tissue injuries involve massage therapy, manual therapy, trigger point therapy, Graston Technique, or Active Release Technique. These treatments increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms, enhance flexibility, speed healing, and promote proper tissue repair.

    When these treatments are incorporated into a treatment plan patients heal faster and are less likely to have long-term pain or soft tissue fibrosis or scar tissue in the injured muscle. These soft tissue treatments are incorporated with therapeutic exercise and flexibility programs.

    Medical Treatments

    NSAIDs are often prescribed for the initial acute injury stages. In severe cases that involve multiple joint regions, muscle relaxers or oral steroids can be given. Trigger point injections, botox, or steroid injections can be treatment options. Pain management is not usually required unless stronger medications or joint injections are required for treatment.

    MRI and X-rays will not usually be ordered to evaluate mild to moderate muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. Severe cases may utilize advanced imaging to rule out bone fractures, edema, nerve entrapments, tendon or muscle ruptures. NCV testing may be utilized in cases that also involve muscle, sensory, or reflex loss.

    Sciatica is the term for radiating pain down the leg. Most commonly it comes from the back and radiates down the leg. Several back injuries and nerve entrapment injuries can cause sciatic pain in the leg. The pain patterns from a lumbar disc, lumbar joint sprain, sacroiliac sprain, or piriformis syndrome produces different patterns of radiating pain than trigger points. Proper identification of the pain pattern, along with reproduction of pain from palpation of trigger points allows the provider and patient to feel comfortable with the diagnosis.

    knee model patella labeled

    Many leg injuries are associated with radiating pain. The two legs function as a system for movement. Injuries in one area area of the system are commonly associated with poor joint stabilization in the foot, knee, or hip. This leads to poor alignment and excessive forces being placed onto muscles and tendons. Knee injuries and IT band syndrome is common in runners because of weakness and poor stabilization of the leg and hip muscles. These runners have a combination of muscle weakness, poor coordination, and altered gait mechanics. Leg sprains and strains usually cause injuries in multiple areas in the leg, one spot usually just hurts more than the others.

    Your chiropractor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or physician will evaluate your condition and make a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Ask them any questions you might have about your injury.

    In Conclusion

    The lower extremity works as a comprehensive unit performing many of the repetitive tasks at home, work, and recreational sports. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicate that additional damage has been incurred by other muscles.

    wobble board squatting two feet

    Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises. Followed by single plane rubber band exercises for hip, knee, and ankle; flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable of the surface the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

    Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.

    Our Chandler, AZ Chiropractic & Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.