As all practitioners know, the rising cost of health care affects everyone. Physician reimbursements are lower but patients are frustrated by higher premiums. Then they discover they have terribly high deductibles and still have to pay significantly for care, even with their insurance. As doctors, we just want to treat our patients and guide them on a path to healing. At the same time, patients just want to get better!
When I first started in private practice I was terrible at talking about money. I would make the staff take on this task. As time went on, I realized I was doing a disservice to myself and to my patients. Most of my patients are athletes, working adults or seniors who have have robust lives. Their bottom line is they want to feel better, quickly and with the least possible down time. That is where Multiwave Locked System (MLS®, Cutting Edge Laser Technologies) laser technology has had a significant impact on my practice.
For patients who are reluctant or have a fear of injections and needles, MLS laser therapy provides a viable alternative, which facilitates comprehensive care with reduced treatment times.
The MLS laser is a Class IV laser that synchronizes continuous and pulsed emissions to generate simultaneous anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.1 The cold laser uses infrared light, which one cannot see or feel, to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. The anti-inflammatory effects of the infrared light work at the cellular level. Unlike modalities such as cortisone injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pills, laser does not suppress inflammation but rather stimulates the body's cells to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.1
Anecdotally, in our practice, 90 percent of our patients who had a course of laser treatments reported improvement and/or resolution of pain. We primarily employ the MLS laser for musculoskeletal inflammatory conditions, including plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, bursitis and osteoarthritis.
Once a condition is resolved, it is paramount to prevent recurrence of aggravation/inflammation from activities. Accordingly, we still recommend thorough warm up and stretching protocols, appropriate shoes and orthotics when applicable. We also let the patients know that if the condition is a structural bone/joint problem, cold laser therapy cannot resolve that but can help manage the associated symptoms.
Typical treatments are two to three times a week for six to 10 sessions. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours between treatments as we have found that patients experience soreness if they receive laser therapy too frequently in one area.
To be honest, I was initially doubtful our patients would pay for such a service. But then I realized they just want to feel better and quicker! MLS laser therapy has changed my practice for the better in this respect.
Dr. Bonnin is in private practice with Family Foot and Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ.
- MLS Laser Therapy. Cutting Edge Laser Technologies website. Available at: https://celasers.com/medical/mls-laser-therapy/ . Accessed November 22, 2019.