The application of near infra-red light over injuries or lesions is called Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). It is applied to heal wound and soft tissue damage, while reducing the inflammation and providing relief for both acute & chronic pain. Low Level Laser Therapy or Cold laser uses low intensity, coherent light in specific wavelengths to penetrate the damaged tissue without hurting or heating the skin.
How does it work?
The effects of LLLT are photochemical (similar to photosynthesis). When a specific intensity and time is used, infrared light reduces oxidative stress and increases ATP production (a molecule which is important for cell energy). This improves cell metabolism and reduces inflammation. These effects can be further enhanced with pulses.
The treatment also reduces inflammation by increasing production of nitric oxide that increases the width of the blood vessels and brings oxygen and other molecules while metabolising the injured tissue and promoting cell health.
It provides great pain relief by stimulating the body’s own production of endogenous opioids, serotonin and other pain reducing molecules. It also has an inhibitory effect on pain receptors.
What are the conditions treated through LLLT?
Soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains, muscle strains and muscle trigger points
Tendinopathy/ Tendinits (Achilles, Peroneal etc)
Post-surgical healing and pain relief
Joint conditions e.g. synovitis
Arthritis – like osteoarthritic joints
Neuropathic (nerve) pain – like diabetic neuropathy
Wound healing like chronic ulcers
Is the treatment safe?
Low-level laser therapy has been in use since the 1960’s and there have been over three thousand published trials on its effectiveness and benefits. Upto this day, there is no published evidence to say that LLLT is harmful or that it caused any kind of injury to a person from using or receiving treatment from it. Low level laser therapy is painless, drug free as well as non-invasive.
LLLT is really a superb treatment without any side effects. It is important to know that eyes and thyroid gland are the only area on the body where this treatment is not applied. Also, pregnant uterus or over carcinomas are avoided when it comers to treatment with low level laser therapy. Caution needs to be exercised over tattoos and hairlines because the tattoo dye and hairlines can absorb more laser light turning the area too hot.
For a significant amount of people in Perth who are suffering from various ailments, especially from foot injuries and deformation, low level laser therapy is a highly beneficial remedy.
Bunion is a common foot deformity that most Australians suffer from. Currently, podiatrists are the leading professionals who treat this deformity. It is a very unique foot problem which has a specific appearance.
What is a bunion?
When your biggest toe gets angled towards the second toe, it is called a bunion. This creates a bump on the side of the big toe. In addition to that, the skin and tissues next to the affected joint often thicken. The thickened skin and tissues may sometimes become painful with swelling and inflammation. Sometimes, the joint even develops a fluid-filled sac (bursa).
What is the cause?
Bunion is formed when a deformity occurs at the joint of the base of big toe. The deformity develops a prominent sideway angle of the joint. Due to this, the bones of big toe are pushed forcefully towards the smaller toes. With this angled joint, the skin above it naturally gets rubbed when a shoe is worn. This causes thickening and inflammation of the skin and tissues next to the affected joint.
It is still not clear why a such a deformity develops. Some hereditary tendency of weak big toe joint may be the cause. Some reports say that the deformity is associated with joint problems like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Whatever be the underlying cause, wearing a tight or improper fitted shoe can make the problem worse.
Symptoms and problems of bunions
Bunion causes severe pain, and if untreated you may have difficulties while walking.
Causes swelling and inflammation at the base of the toe and can even become infected.
Sometimes, in severe cases, the foot becomes so wide that it can be difficult to find suitable shoes.
The big toe may develop arthritis.
Second toe can become deformed.
Sometimes, the big toe can push the second toe out of its place.
Treatment for bunions
It is often said that good footwear can heal the deformity. But wearing a good footwear only eases the symptoms of discomfort and pain. Ideally, you can get the best footwear advice from a podiatrist in Perth.
Advice may include:
Wearing shoes or slippers that are spacious.
Avoiding high heels, pointed or tight shoes.
Padding over the bunion or applying ice packs.
Using orthoses which may help to reduce the pain.
Bunions can be really painful if left untreated. This is why it is suggested to make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Biomechanical podiatry is an assessment in which the muscles and joints are treated so that they can move freely during daily activities. This process includes clinical gait evaluation which is a fundamental skill for podiatrists.
Our feet are the foundation. They support the weight and act as natural shock absorbers to the body. They contain one-quarter of the body’s bones, each having 26 bones and 19 muscles. If this foundation becomes unstable, the entire body can be prone to imbalance and injury. This is why, most of the spinal problems start from the feet.
How can it be solved? Biomechanical Assessment
The biomechanical assessment is the cause-and-effect relationship in our feet, legs and upper anatomy. Every time a foot hits the ground to take a step, a message is passed all the way up to your body. Thus, improper transmission of that message can trigger problems in the spine, hip and knee. This can also make the foot go out of alignment, thereby contributing to foot injuries and severe pains.
A non-aligned foot can basically result from the imbalances of weight-bearing ability, and the amount of physical stress added during daily or sports activities. A podiatrist evaluates all these factors and prescribes the correct treatment to effectively meet an individual’s needs.
When to undergo the assessment?
A person must opt for a biomechanical podiatry service in Perth if he/she experiences these problems:
- Feet rolling in or out.
- The arches are flat or high.
- Claw toes, bunions, corns or callous.
- Feeling lopsided while walking or taking excessive pressure on a particular part of body.
- Pain with occupational or sporting activity.
- Longstanding pain in the back, hip, legs, knee or feet.
- Joint or muscle cramp during a particular exercise or activity.
How does the treatment work?
Static analysis: Evaluating the motion of joints, alignment of muscles and determining its tone and strength.
Gait analysis: It is simply the dynamic measurement or observation of joint motion. The treatment focuses on the alignment and position of the foot on the ground during gait.
The method of treatment
The most important feature of this treatment is to understand the background of a person’s activity and previous injuries or health factors. Observation of walking and standing is combined with the muscle and joint testing. Other tools may include the use of video gait analysis systems where a number of measuring devices are used to asses the joint position and movement.
Biomechanical treatment is the best and traditional way of treating foot injuries and several other joint pains.
Myofascial release or MFR is the therapy that focuses on releasing muscular deficiency and stiffness. There are various conditions and symptoms that myofascial release therapy addresses.
Myofascial treatment is applied when a person loses flexibility or functionality for an injury or when experiencing back, shoulder and hip pain. Myofascial treatment is also applied to cure migraine headaches. Symptoms usually include hardening of the tissues that pull or restrict motion of the body during a movement, and overusing one side of the hip or shoulder. A patient can experience excessive pressure on muscles or joints that produce pain. The pains can occur on any part of the body, including headache or back pain.
Now, before you go ahead you must know what is myofascia
Fascia or myofascia is a kind of dense and tough tissue that surrounds and covers the muscles and bones in the human body. This outer covering of fascia is very strong and flexible. In fact, the incredible tissue has a tensile strength of over two thousand pounds. Myofascia looks like a spider web or fish net. It can be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of the head to the bottom of the toes. The tissue is continuous, like yarn in a sweater and thus, the entire body is connected to other parts with the help of fascia.
Causes of Myofascial Pain
Myofascial pain generally has two sources:
Who can provide myofascial release therapy?
There are a number of health professionals who can provide myofascial release therapy along with appropriate osteopathy, low level laser therapy and other podiatric treatments. They are highly qualified podiatrists and attain their degree from a reputed university in Perth. Each therapy session follow a pattern similar to physical therapy applied for post-operative rehabilitation. An initial appointment has to be taken before undergoing the treatment.
The treatment sessions may:
Last for at least 30-50 minutes per session depending on the condition
Be conducted on a regular basis or after every few days
Complete its treatment period in some weeks or months, depending on the nature and intensity of disability.
Myofascial therapy can be utilised for numerous ailments including migraines, fibromalsia and chronic foot pain. The treatment is a holistic avenue to get rid of podiatric discomforts.
Low level laser therapy or LLLT is a kind of treatment for various conditions of the feet and ankles, using laser to induce a photochemical reaction at cellular level. The laser light is penetrated through the tissues and is absorbed by the cells to convert into energy. This energy boost the metabolic rate on the applied person.
The treatment produces invisible wavelength that goes deep into the tissues. It has been seen that LLLT can boost the metabolic rate of a body and thus, cause effective stimulation to repair the damaged tissues and relieve the pain. LLLT proves to be an effective treatment in promoting and accelerating the healing power of lower limbs.
What are the key benefits?
How the does the unique treatment works?
Acute: It is recommended to go for at least two sessions in each week and carry the routine for about three weeks. If a patient does not get quick results, then also he/she must carry on with it until the acute pain and inflammation starts to decrease.
Chronic: It is recommended to go for two sessions in a week and carry on for at least six weeks. Following the routine until resolution of pain is important.
However, this is just a basic treatment process. The best way to go ahead is to consult with a podiatrist in Perth.