College athletes are under a lot of pressure to make the most out of their college careers by winning as much as they can for the school. Any injury that they sustain needs to be handled in the most efficient way possible so that the athlete can return to competition quickly. It makes sense that athletic departments would try anything they could to accelerate this recovery process - this is why many of them have started to offer Class IV laser therapy for recovering athletes.
Out with the old...
The most common injuries that an athlete suffers are soft tissue injuries. These are injuries to either muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the body. Traditionally, an athletic department may tell the athlete to stop training, apply ice or heat, and stay off the injury for some time. Current research now suggests that this may not be the best option. Instead, athletes should be doing everything possible to support the healing process and maintain mobility.
...in with the new!!
Class IV laser therapy has been proven to be one of the best tools for supporting and accelerating the healing process. Using the high power of Class IV laser allows for enough energy to reach the damaged tissue and accelerate the cellular functions in the area. The process is called photobiomodulation and has been shown to be both beneficial for alleviating pain and promoting tissue regeneration.
Why college athletes love class IV laser
Injuries that happen during college sports can take an athlete out of competition for several weeks. In some sports, this can be the majority of the season. With only four or five years of eligibility to play at the college level, many athletes may feel the need to rush back even if they aren’t fully recovered. Photobiomodulation from Class IV laser therapy has been effective in accelerating the recovery time for many common athletic injuries such as ACL tears, rotator cuff tears, Achilles tendon ruptures, and minor fractures. Some athletes can see their recovery times cut in half with regular treatments.
Laser therapy isn’t just for accelerating the recovery of major season-ending injuries. Minor strains that may take a player out of a game can also be treated using a high-powered laser. When an athlete experiences a minor injury they are typically unable to return to play due to the pain. The injured area will also begin to swell due to inflammation building up which will restrict the range of motion. If an athlete tries to fight through the pain, they may compensate for the loss of motion by overusing a different body part. This unfamiliar movement most commonly leads to a secondary injury.
Class IV laser therapy helps minor injuries by both reducing the pain and inflammation in the area. Photobiomodulation causes the cells in the target area to send signals to the brain that inflammation needs to slow down. The extra energy in the area also accelerates the cells responsible for reducing the current inflammatory proteins in the injury site. These effects all combine to reduce inflammation and pain, possibly allowing the athlete to have full function and mobility.
Whether you are a college athlete or weekend warrior, if you are looking for a way to speed up recovery, schedule an appointment with your Rochester chiropractor. At Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, our chiropractor in Rochester has been using Class IV laser along with traditional chiropractic techniques to help the recovery of all levels of athletes in the area.