31 thoughts on ““I fractured my foot and it’s now in a cast. Could cold laser therapy help?”

  1. Dr. Todd,
    I’m excited to receive my “at home” cold laser. Will the laser penetrate my cast? What protocol would you have me follow? For example, how often should I use it and for how long? How far away from my foot (the cast) should I hold it? Thank you so much, I’ll keep you posted on my results!
    Yolanda

  2. First of all, Yolanda….. as a Chiropractic Physician, it’s out of my scope to be “treating fractures”. Also, none of the cold laser devices in question are approved for “treatment of fractures”. Many of the laser devices that I use in my practice, some of which I’ll refer to here have received FDA Clearance for “treating pain and inflammation associated with musculoskeletal origin”. So this is what we’ll be doing INDIRECTLY through acupuncture points while the cast is on and then DIRECTLY over the site of swelling / inflammation / edema / pain once the cast is removed. So enough of the disclaimer. Here goes:

    WITH CAST STILL ON:

    Unfortunately, the LASER won’t penetrate the cast. With that being said, my initial protocol will consist of working towards reducing inflammation with LASER light (working upstream from the cast) along with using some special acupuncture points on the toes called ‘Akabane points’ (ie, working downstream from the site of inflammation too).

    The Akabane points are very powerful and this ‘at home’ 5 mW visible red LASER will effectively stimulate them quite nicely! They are superficial points.

    A 5 mW visible red LASER is NOT really ideal for the deeper ‘upstream’ points though. The best choice here would be a 905 nanometer (near infrared) super-pulsed Gallium Arsenide LASER which offers penetration up to 5 cm. The second choice would be an 808 nanometer (near infrared) Gallium Aluminium Arsenide LASER which can penetrate up to 3 cm. Of course, the ‘at home’ LASER can be of some benefit here although it’s not the ideal LASER for the job at hand, thus requiring much longer treatment time and lacking optimal depth of penetration.

    For this reason it would be nice to be visiting a local D.C. who could provide you with 2 or 3 LASER treatments per week until the cast comes off. I know your D.C. utilizes LLLT, but is semi-retired. If you’d like for me to locate you another LLLT practitioner, I’d be happy to do so for the time being. Just give me the word.

    ONCE THE CAST COMES OFF:

    Once the cast comes off, the job gets much easier! You simply LASER the point of the inflammation or pain with your ‘at home’ LASER. It wouldn’t hurt to continue with the Akabane points as well. Of course, a D.C.’s stronger penetrating (808 & 905 nm) LASERS would speed this up too over the inflamed or painful area.

    AT HOME TREATMENT TIME:

    I would shoot for using the ‘at home’ LASER for 30 minutes per day. That’s what I recommend to all of my LLLT patients. They seem to get better quicker, thus requiring fewer visits to my office that way.

    HOW TO PROPERLY LASER THE TREATMENT POINTS:

    Ideally we should touch all points with a firm pressure. In this way, we can increase the depth of penetration and close off any capillary beds just below the skin. Hemoglobin in red blood cells is notorious for absorbing mass quantities of visible red LASER light. So if you were just aiming at the point in question from a few inches away without making skin contact (and obviously without a firm pressure), much less light would be getting past that capillary bed barrier!

    I’ll post pictures of the actual points for my initial protocol later.

    Best wishes, Yolanda.

    Yours in health,

    Dr. Todd

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