As most of us know, disease entities follow many different paths. The clinical picture may be chronic or acute and in most cases lies somewhere in between. Periodically, symptoms may be severe and may even constitute an emergency.
Rate of Healing
Surprisingly, a significant percentage of patients will feel markedly improved or even be asymptomatic after as few as 2 to 5 treatments. On the other hand, cases with similar diagnoses may take up to 15 or more treatments to cure the same condition. This relates to the severity of the disease process, the genetic makeup of the patient’s individual cells and their inherent preponderance to healing.
In the majority of cases, the rate of healing cannot be predicted in advance; however, it generally becomes apparent after the first 3 to 4 therapeutic sessions. Excessive degrees of physical activity however, may aggravate the disease process; therefore this is a factor which should be controlled during the course of treatment. The level of compliance with the physician’s directives are also of significant importance and should be carefully followed.
In the course of our daily activities at the clinic, I frequently see patients who state that they are relatively asymptomatic, again following only 2 to 3 treatment sessions and others with similar problems who have improved only minimally after as many as 8 to 9 treatments. In the latter situation, we find that resolution may often be only 1 or 2 treatments away. This demonstrates the many pathways of healing in individual patients.
Cooperation in order to accelerate the healing process is required by the patient, the therapist and the diagnostician. As you may appreciate, healing is not a direct or instant process as the enclosed testimonial indicates (see page 6). This patient was treated with many manual therapies, a number of conventional modalities and medications over a period of 3 to 4 years. Despite this, prior to the application of laser therapy, minimal improvement had only occurred at infrequent intervals. Many similar records of this type of healing endeavor are contained in our files and serve to reinforce my comments.
To reiterate, the following factors are of paramount importance in the production of a satisfactory healing process:
1.) Compliance with the physician’s directives – When the patient carefully follows the clinical dictates prescribed and pursues the course of treatment indicated, healing is generally more rapid than if the patient presents only on occasions of convenience.
2.) Activity levels – When symptoms are acute, rest should be prescribed by your attending clinician or as dictated by the severity of symptoms. Generally, it is important to reduce activities involving the injured area to a minimum. Frequently, one may enlist the use of aids such as crutches, canes and walkers, etc., depending on which area of the body is most severely affected. Bedrest along with the utilization of specific medications may be beneficial concomitant with the utilization of laser therapy, particularly when associated with arthritis and injuries of the spine.
3.) Analgesics and other complementary modalities – These may be utilized as indicated and advised by your personal physician. The patient should disregard the simultaneous advice of multiple healthcare advisors as this may be confusing and counterproductive. Laser therapy, rest and medications as required generally provide a relatively rapid and satisfactory course of resolution of the pathologies encountered.
4.) Common sense is always applicable – Do not engage in activities that increase symptoms including pain, etc. If it is painful to walk or engage in any activities, avoid those activities until symptoms have largely disappeared. Some factors that exist cannot always be controlled and therefore require persistence in continuing Laser Therapy. Do not cease treatment too early as a cure may be only a few treatments away. Laser Therapy is cumulative and in the majority of instances, coupled with rest and time, the healing process can be completed effectively. Progress can often be measured by serial measurement of the dimensions of the joint, the circumference of a limb, the range of motion of the spine or a computerized assessment of the three-dimensional wound.
Your physician should always takes a positive approach. If you follow this lead, complete healing in over 90% of cases can be achieved. As someone once commented, patience can be a virtue, particularly when applied to the process of tissue healing. Laser therapy, properly utilized, can speed the resolution of your particular problem and restore the normal standard of health and quality of life expeditiously.