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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 12:09 am

High intensive laser therapy

Quell pain and induce healing

Dr. John Folkerts
A new form of therapy at a local chiropractic office promises to decrease pain and speed up the recovery process. Dr. John Folkerts of Sherman Chiropractic located at 420 Crossing Drive in Sherman is offering high-intensive laser therapy (HILT) to patients with several different ailments. HILT is described as a drug-free, cost-effective laser beam treatment certified by the Food and Drug Administration.

HILT uses a laser beam, which enters parts of the body to transport light energy towards damaged cells. The cells are reproduced, and the DNA and RNA cells are modified as well throughout this process. As a result of the beam, cells found in bones, tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscle are fixed at an accelerated rate. “I trained under Dr. Curt Draeger from Wisconsin, and he is actually the person that developed the laser,” Folkerts said, stating that the therapy has been in practice since the 1970s. The treatment came to prominence through professional athletes who were treated by Dr. Draeger, as they saw HILT as a way to quicken the rehabilitation following an injury.

Recovery from HILT is generally effective, as Folkerts states that the treatments have an 80 percent success rate. “It is non-invasive and speeds the healing of damaged tissue,” Folkerts said. “Full recovery is typically eight to 24 treatments.”

In the May 2016 issue of Lasers Medical Science, a study was conducted to determine the effect HILT had on patients with chronic neck pain, cervical range of motion (ROM) and functional activity. After testing 60 male subjects for the study, the researchers concluded that the treatment had a positive effect on its patients. “The combination of HILT and exercise effectively increased cervical ROM, functional activity and reduced pain after six weeks of treatment,” the study said.

Folkerts described the difference between HILT and low-level laser therapy, a treatment that uses a cooler beam of light to eradicate scarred body tissue. “This high-intensity laser is a ‘class four treatment’ as opposed to the ‘class three’ cold laser,” said Folkerts. “It is more powerful and able to penetrate up to four to five inches in the body.” He added: “There are no side effects, not when it is used by a trained practitioner.”

Numerous injuries can be treated by HILT, such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, headaches and tennis elbow. Folkerts used carpal tunnel syndrome, also treatable by HILT, as an example of how the therapy works. “HILT reduces soft tissue inflammation around the nerves,” he said. The therapy then reduces swelling on the hand through its anti-inflammatory effect, improving blood flow as the damaged tissue is replaced with new cells.

A video on Sherman Chiropractic’s YouTube page shows Folkerts explaining how HILT treats an injury such as plantar fasciitis. “The reason why the laser does so well is that it goes to the inside where the actual inflammation is inside the foot, and helps heal that along with reducing the pain and resetting that chronic pain cycle,” Folkerts states in the video.

When asked what patients can expect from using the treatment, Folkerts referred readers to his clinic’s website. “It is important to know that HILT has been shown to have a cumulative effect, meaning that it requires a series of treatments for the laser to be able to do its job, with each session building upon the one before,” according to the site.

Alex Camp is an editiorial intern for Illinois Times. He is pursuing his master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting at University of Illinois Springfield. Contact him at intern@illinoistimes.com.

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