The majority of patients undergoing Low Intensity Laser Therapy for a variety of medical conditions respond rapidly. After one to six treatments, a positive response occurs with significant reduction of pain in over 60% of all patients. On the other hand, a number of patients demonstrate a slower response. Problem patients requiring more than 10 treatments to obtain positive change are less than 10%. At the same time, both patients and therapists can become frustrated and in essence an impasse may occur. This is best dealt with in the following manner:
- Periodic re-examination to determine the correct diagnosis
- Further tests to establish additional pathologies that may be responsible for symptoms
- Consultation with a specialist to obtain another opinion
Most important, however is an ongoing dialogue with the patient to help them understand that the condition which may have been developing over decades, cannot necessarily be resolved in a matter of days, or even weeks in certain situations.
Almost invariably this approach is effective.
Just in the past two weeks, I have seen two patients who fall into the “difficult” category. One was a portly gentleman of 75 years with extensive degenerative osteoarthritis/stenosis of the lumbar spine. On the cerebral level, no improvement had been noted. Although I assured him that the cells were benefiting from the therapy, he was not convinced.
After his twelfth visit, he came in quite excited about his situation; following the last visit he had experienced three days without any pain and had actually resumed many normal activities. He was truly “beaming” and felt that he had achieved a major breakthrough. Moreover, he has continued to improve rapidly.
Another patient, somewhat younger and more active, but with many problems including degenerative osteoarthritis of the spine, a stubborn plantar fascitis (biomechanical factor) and two knees suffering from degenerative osteoarthritis, returned one month after completing treatment. I asked him how he was doing and his response was, “fine.” I inquired whether he needed additional treatment and he stated, “no.” The purpose of his visit was to thank me for the efforts of the staff and he took it upon himself to make a personal visit to express his appreciation.
Practicing medicine is never easy but does have its rewards. The problems with these two patients emphasize the axiom that you must persist and follow an intelligent course of therapy as the situation demands. I have also written the following notes which may help both therapists and patients to understand procedure.
Patients are frequently concerned about the number of treatments required to improve or cure their medical condition. The number can vary from 1-30 or more and is often dependent on the severity of the disease and its duration. The average number of treatments for all problems treated is 9.5.
30% of all individuals notice a significant improvement after 1-4 treatment sessions. For others, 10 or more treatments may be required in order to reduce symptoms and the need for analgesics.
The reasons for this are numerous: i.e.
- the genetic makeup of individual cells
- the extent of the pathology involved
- the chronicity of the disease process
- activity factors
- other factors still undefined
What is required at all times is patience on the part of both the therapist and the patient undergoing treatment. Our objective is to cure your problem in as few treatments as possible.
All parties need to cooperate in order to attain our common objectives: i.e.
- a return to normal activities
- an existence that obviates the need for medication
- the elimination of pain
We are dedicated to this process and ask for your compliance with the recommended treatment program.