What is MLS Laser Therapy and How Does It Work?
MLS Laser Therapy is an FDA cleared treatment for pain. This is a pain laser that in fact is painless! You won't even know that is it being used on the affected area, although a few number of people may feel some tingling or very minimal warmth after a treatment. This particular laser uses light energy and changes it into biomechanical energy to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. So in effect, it recruits what you already have in your body and enhances it so your body can fight pain and inflammation.
What does MLS mean?
MLS stands for Multiwave Lock Systems and is a technology that delivers light in two distinct wavelengths- the 808 nanometer and a 905 nanometer. The lower wavelength concentrates on reducing inflammation and edema, and 905 nm concentrates on pain reduction and thus an analgesic effect. The combination of these wavelengths produces greater pain relief as they are working to help different pathways causing the pain, and also minimizes any risk of thermal damage. The dual action, low energy laser light works on your cells at the cellular level, specifically targeting the mitochondria. The mitochondria is considered the "power house" of the cell that takes nutrients and creates energy rich molecules for the cell. These specific wavelengths increase the mitochondria activity of the cell, which promotes healing.
How Do I Know If MLS Therapy Will Work For Me?
MLS laser therapy works on all types of pain. Whether it is an acute injury, a chronic recurring injury, pain from arthritis, neuropathic pain, or post -operative pain and healing, this therapy is for you. Our patients that are suffering from pain associated with arthritis, sprains or strains, inflammation, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, or are recovering from a fracture or injury, or are recovering from surgery have all felt relief with the help of this therapy modality. Because it decreases edema (swelling) and is an analgesic (provides pain relief), patients who want to stay away from oral pain medications or oral anti-inflammatory medication can use this safely. There are no known side effects, and can be used with other therapies in conjunction with the treatment such as physical therapy. There are a few things to keep in mind when using the laser, for example, it is recommended not to ice the affected area within 24 hours of use. As the doctors come up with a treatment plan and protocol for your specific injury, then all of these will be reviewed for your specific situation.
Do the Laser Treatments Hurt?
The MLS laser light is emitted via a robotic head that is constantly in motion. It does not stay in one place for longer than a few seconds. And due to the MLS unique wavelength synchronization, there is no thermal tissue damage. You may feel a minimal warming at the treatment site, which is normal and indicates that the inflammation is being relieved and the body is responding. For certain conditions, there is also a hand held piece that can perform target spot treatments and trigger points that will enhance healing. Or, if there is a specific pinpoint area that is more affected by pain, then the doctor or laser technician can target this specific area as part of the treatment protocol as well.
How Often Do I Come In For Treatments?
It is recommended that the painful area should be treated at least two to three times a week for several weeks. Depending on your injury, and if it is acute or chronic or if the pain is post operative, there are different treatment protocols. It is important for acute injuries to be seen right away and start the laser therapy as soon as possible because we find that the sooner it is started, the faster the recovery. This includes anything from a sprain to a stress fracture of the bone. For more chronic issues such as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, the sessions may be 2-3 times a week for a few weeks and then there may be maintenance that is needed to make sure the pain does not emerge again. Although our patients feel relief and may want to come in more often than 2-3 times a week, the treatments need at least one day in between. This is in order for the cells to respond to the laser therapy and be able to start to heal the affected areas. For many of our patients, even after the pain has resolved, they inquire about a maintenance plan. For our patients that have long term metabolic conditions such as diabetic neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy caused by neurological conditions, it may take a few weeks to see results but the results are unrefuteable. For these patients, a maintenance program is needed in order to maintain and benefits that have been accrued.
Is MLS Laser Therapy Covered By Insurance?
While MLS Laser Therapy is FDA cleared, it is not covered by insurance carriers. If you break it down, with the rising costs of co-pays and co-insurances for covered services, the cost per session of the MLS laser therapy may even come out to be less costly than other “covered” therapies.
With the movement against oral medications such as pain killers and NSAID medications (non-steroidal anti inflammatories) both prescription strength and over the counter versions, MLS laser therapy is a perfect option. It is non-invasive, painless, and there are no known side effects. This modality is sure to enhance pain relief and augment faster healing in your foot and ankle muskuloskeletal problems.