Whether you’ve been in an auto accident or live with a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia, the pain only complicates your situation. Fortunately, chiropractic care has various interventions designed to help you manage your pain. The following overview will help you understand how to use K-Laser therapy in your pain management regimen.

How Your Body Processes Pain

Before we dive into how the K-Laser can help with pain, it’s essential to understand how your body processes pain. Once you know this process, you’ll be able to more fully appreciate how the K-Laser can influence your experience of pain.

Whether your neck bones have been thrown out of alignment or you’re living with diabetic neuropathy, pain occurs in response to some kind of injury. When your skin, nerves, or other tissues are damaged, pain is first processed by the nociceptors, which are specialized pain receptors inside tissues.

Although nociceptors are small, they have extensive connections. In fact, each one of these units connects to the spinal cord and then to the brain. When a nociceptor is activated, it sends a pain message through this robust neurological network.

One of the primary reasons why pain is such a powerful experience is because of the way it’s processed in the brain. After pain signals reach the thalamus, they are sent to areas of the brain that are responsible for making it a mind-body phenomenon. These include the somatosensory cortex, frontal cortex, and limbic system, which process sensations, thoughts, and feelings, respectively.

Some Components of an Effective Pain Management Program

Since pain is a multifaceted phenomenon, managing it requires a multifaceted approach. Some components of pain and, therefore, a pain management program include its cognitive, physical, affective, behavioral, sensory, sociocultural, and spiritual aspects. These factors influence how you deal with pain, how you experience pain, and even if you experience it at all.

In fact, an established theory of pain displays the connection between these factors and pain. The Gate Control theory has been around since the 1960 and states that the Central Nervous System, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord, acts as a gate. It can let pain signals move through to the brain or block them before they move beyond the spinal cord.

This pain gate closing is responsible for some dramatic examples of moving on despite the pain. One example is those marathoners who put in the last mile or two or ten despite shin splints, heel spurs, and other painful conditions. Another example is individuals who perform typically painful feats, such as lifting cars off other people at accident scenes. In both instances, this pain gate temporarily closes.

Although these are high-stress or mind-over-matter kinds of incidents, you can use other means to help partially or fully close these pain gates. Distractions such as music or artwork have been used to reduce pain travel as well as meditation, deep breathing, and other mindfulness-based strategies.

How the K-Laser Helps With Pain Management

During K-Laser therapy sessions, patients often report a gentle warming sensation. This sensation can help distract you and close your pain gates. As therapy progresses, however, there are different healing agents at work.

When your tissues are exposed to a Class IV laser such as the K-Laser, operating at a wavelength of 970 nanometers, the energy from the laser causes chemical reactions. One of these biochemical reactions involves regulating calcium. Since calcium is needed to properly transmit nerve signals such as pain properly, maintaining appropriate calcium levels in cells can help your body accurately perceive pain.

While you might be thinking that stopping pain signals is a much better goal, consider that pain signals are needed to protect your body from harm. In pain-related conditions such as fibromyalgia, pain signals or even normal sensations are often felt as if they’re from much more painful causes. It’s the inappropriate processing of pain signals that leads to intensified feelings of pain.

Another way K-Laser can help manage pain is by treating the underlying source of the pain. The K-Laser increases circulation to treated tissues. Once fluids, nutrients, and oxygen can flow more freely to the site of injury, the cells have the materials needed to heal tissue.

Benefits of K-Laser Therapy Over Other Pain Management Options

If you want a quick fix, prescription pain medications are still readily available elsewhere to mask your pain for a few hours. Unfortunately, they soon wear off and need to be retaken. Opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone are some of the most commonly prescribed pain medications. These powerful drugs have side effects that include:

  • Confusion
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced respiratory rate
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Although you might be tempted to think that little euphoria, for example, might not be a bad thing, consider how it can impair your reasoning. If you’re driving or working, any reckless behavior caused by these medications can have lasting consequences. Adding the K-Laser to your pain management regimen doesn’t add any of these potential side effects to your day or your life.

Surgery has made so many advances in recent years and allows us to correct various issues. We don’t have any problem with surgery. In fact, we sometimes recommend our patients have surgical procedures.

The issue we have is getting surgery done when there are noninvasive alternatives. No matter how minor it is, surgical procedures always increase your risk of infection and further injury. Since surgeries often require hours of immobility, they increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. This is a type of blood clot that most frequently forms in the deep veins of the lower legs. These clots are dangerous because they can break free and travel to the lungs, interfering with blood flow to your lungs. K-Laser sessions are entirely noninvasive, so they don’t increase your risk of infections, blood clots, and other side effects associated with surgical procedures.

Although a course of K-Laser treatments might take between six and 15 weeks, sessions require no downtime and only take between ten and 20 minutes each. You can schedule your sessions around your busy life rather than the other way around. While a surgical procedure is a one-time event that takes a few hours, recovery from it limits your activities for weeks to months.

Integrating K-Laser Therapy Into Your Pain Management Program

If you’re wondering how best to add K-Laser therapy to your existing pain management program or want help designing a new regimen, you’ll need to weigh your options carefully. Fortunately, our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide range of acute, chronic, and nerve-related pain issues. We’d be happy to meet with you and perform a comprehensive assessment of your situation. Taking a few moments to schedule a consultation with our Denver Chiropractic team is your first step toward a future of optimal pain management.