Combining laser and ultrasound therapies can be a win-win for doctors and patients.
Doctors often ask–Why would you combine laser and ultrasound therapies in the same treatment sessions? An article published in Lasers in Medical Science answers the question. Ultrasound acts as a facilitator and allows the laser beam to penetrate more deeply into the tissues where the source of pain lies. The ultrasound effects apply to both superpulsed and continuous wave lasers and their combinations.
A natural protector, skin tissue presents a resistance to penetration by all forms of energy, including electrical current and laser light. The mechanical pressure of ultrasound waves decreases this resistance in the tissues. In the use of laser energy, the amount of tissue resistance to laser penetration also depends on the laser wavelength.
According to this research article, ultrasound:
- facilitates more efficient medical therapeutic treatments, including lasers
- potentially reduces the risk of thermal side effects associated with projecting high laser power through the skin
When the ultrasound waves mechanically decrease resistance, less energy – whether of electrical or laser therapies – is required, delivering more effective treatment with less energy.
Enhanced tissue penetration gives the doctor and patient several benefits:
- Greater pain relief, reduced inflammation is delivered to deeper tissues.
- Faster, more comfortable results are achieved with less average laser power.
- Lower average power and decreased thermal risks allow the doctor to confidently delegate treatments to assistants.
There are additional parameters to consider, such as the best ultrasound frequency and the best laser wavelengths to use in combination. But doctors who own both ultrasound and laser devices in their practice can leverage the combination into greater patient outcomes.