It was a normal day at the community pool. Splashing about and having fun with the kids, Bruce McCartney, 46, decided to show off a little by swimming the entire length of the pool underwater. At the end of his feat, he quickly lifted up his head to gasp for precious oxygen. What he didn’t notice was the lip of the pool that struck him on the front of his head.
Dizzy and in severe pain, his neck and shoulders began to bother him so much that any movement of the head was nearly impossible. Work, recreation, home chores, even sleeping caused great difficulty.
For two months he underwent physiotherapy and acupuncture to curb the ache. Finding no relief, he finally walked into his doctor’s office for further assessment.
“I’m a “no pain, no gain” kinda guy, so I just thought it would heal on its own,” he says. “My doctor called me crazy for leaving it that long.”
McCartney suffered from a sprain/strain injury to his neck. When sprains and tears occur, scar tissue forms in the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues. This can cause headaches and stiffness in the muscles and joints, along with reduced strength and mobility.
Two years after the injury, McCartney somehow aggravated his condition playing tennis. Fed up with traditional treatments, he turned to Dr. Jay Shephard and Dave Swagar of Shephard Health in Kensington. They introduced a less painful, non-invasive soft tissue therapy known as Active Release Techniques (ART).
“I did the ART for about a month and I was feeling better, but my healing plateaued,” he says. “Then Jay suggested laser therapy to speed up the healing.”
Dr. Shephard says laser treatment is the latest, cutting edge method for treating all forms of muscular injury. Painless, convenient, and pleasantly effective, the clinic’s new Bioflex Low Intensity Light Therapy Laser dispenses healing light that creates positive effects from the first treatment.
“The laser uses a complex computer program to get straight to the problem,” he says. “Velcro wraps hold the special light plates in place. The laser then quietly goes to work. The benefits of laser therapy don’t stop at the end of each session but continue for hours or days after their treatment.”
LASER, an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, is a stream of focused light that reaches deep into injured tissue, bringing much needed blood supply and promoting faster healing and repair to damaged cells.
When a tightened, strained or torn muscle is exposed to light therapy, the body releases natural pain and inflammation-fighting chemicals (endorphins and cortisol). These chemicals reduce the painful sensations caused by the injury.
“One of the best advantages of the laser is that it gives maximum opportunity for repairing damaged tissue in the shortest amount of time—as little as 30 minutes,” Shephard adds.
To ensure safety and security for patients, the Shephard Health staff underwent intensive training to operate the laser system. Swagar says the Biofl ex system is the most advanced on the market, which ensures futuristic technology for age-old problems.
“Everything we’ve been doing up to now has been manual manipulation,” says Swagar. “The laser works at a cellular level, exciting the cells, allowing the cells to produce more energy to stimulate healing. It’s like a kick start to your body’s natural healing mechanism.”
McCartney tips his hat to Shephard Health, which has helped him regain his mobility in as little as four treatments. Today, he is experiencing less pain and increased mobility, allowing him to live work and play pain free. His physiotherapist is even impressed.
“When I first had my injury, I was told my neck was as stiff as a fence post. During my last physiotherapy appointment, they measured my range of motion, and it’s greater than it’s ever been. I chalk it up to Jay and the laser.”
Shephard Health is a multidisciplinary clinic focusing on the rehabilitation of soft tissue injury. Their mandate is to allow patients to “live, work and play pain free”.
Common Conditions that can be treated with Lasers include but are not limited to the following*:
- Sciatica/Low back pain
- Rotator Cuff Strain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Knee Pain
- Ankle Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Neck Pain/ Whiplash
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Frozen Shoulder
- Sports Injuries
If your condition is not listed please contact Shephard Health at 543-7499 and ask if Laser Therapy is an option for you.
Source: Calgary Herald Neighbors – December 2006