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Sports injuries and acute injuries in general vary widely in terms of the mechanism of injury, how the individual presents, and how the injury should be managed. Acute injuries can affect bone, articular cartilage, ligaments, muscles, tendons, bursae, nerves, and the skin, with conditions presenting such as periosteal contusions, sprains and strains, nerve damage or abrasions.

Acute injuries occur due to sudden trauma, and the symptoms present almost immediately. The mechanism of injury is that the force exerted on the tissue (i.e. muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone) exceeds its strength.

Common acute injuries include ankle sprains, muscle strains especially the quadriceps and hamstrings, fractures of the clavicle or fingers and shoulder dislocation. In all types of acute injuries, the body will rapidly respond with inflammation. The anciently recognized five characteristic signs of inflammation are redness (rubor), swelling (tumour), heat (calor), pain (dolor) and loss of function (functio laesa).

Many treatment methods seek to suppress or counter-act these five signs, with ice packs frequently being applied to the injured site. But does that help? Is there a better solution?

Photobiomodulation (PBM), more commonly known as laser therapy delivers red and infrared wavelengths of light to both superficial and deep tissues to enhance blood circulation, increase tissue oxygenation and improve metabolic activity. In turn this helps the body progress through the healing stages of inflammation, proliferation, remodeling, and maturation.

Class 4 therapeutic lasers can deliver multiple wavelengths of laser light, which in turn get absorbed by chromophores in the tissues. This creates a healing environment for acute injuries.  Treatments with a class 4 therapeutic laser are safe and non-invasive. They can effectively treat the large volumes of tissue damaged in sports and acute injuries. Therapeutic lasers use light, there is no tissue heating in treatments for acute injuries.

Studies and clinical experience show that PBM treatments can and should be immediately after acute injury. The mechanism is to facilitate rather than suppress inflammation, leading to quicker reduction of pain and swelling while also contributing to growth of healthy collagen fibers.

Are you dealing with a sprained ankle, strained hamstring, or broken collarbone? Consider class 4 laser therapy as a new solution.