Dec 2

Break the Arthritis Pain Cycle with Laser Therapy!

cold-laser-therapyThe wait times for total knee replacement surgeries in Nova Scotia can be very long. There seem to be many patients presenting with knee osteoarthritis that are too young for surgery. They are told to loose weight and exercise; however, for many patients, they are unable to do this on their own. They are caught in a cycle where they want to exercise but there is too much pain and as a result it is difficult for them to loose weight. At Balance Physiotherapy we have found that using laser therapy in combination with exercise is a recipe for success. The laser helps reduce swelling and provides an analgesic (numbs the pain) effect. As a result, it is easier for patients to exercise. We provide them with exercises to strengthen their legs particularly their quadriceps muscles. Scientific studies have shown that exercise is more effective than arthroscopic surgery for reducing arthritic pain.  Typically, we perform a series of 10-12 treatments quite close together. After that, some patients need no further treatment and others will come for maintenance treatments one time per month. This also increases compliance with exercises and allows for exercise progression if needed. Some patients feel so good they are able to join aquacise to maintain the strength in their legs. Aquacise is non-weight bearing exercise and can be very beneficial to arthritic sufferers. As a result of performing laser therapy and starting an exercise program, patient’s legs are stronger; they have usually lost weight and are better candidates for surgery.

Case Study: Knee Osteoarthritis

Mrs. L. presented to Balance Physiotherapy with complaints of knee pain. Her x-ray showed grade 3 medial compartment osteoarthritis. She had reduced range of motion in the knee such that she had difficulty with walking, stairs, standing to cook a meal and getting on/off toilet. She had 19 laser sessions over a period of three months. She performed a home exercise program of quadricep strengthening and range of motion exercises. After 8 laser sessions, she started attending aquacise. Laser therapy and physiotherapy supported her with this as when she first started attending aquacise, she complained of increased pain and stiffness. 6 months later she is very functional with her knee, complains more of stiffness than pain, has significantly improved her strength and range of motion and has lost 20lbs. She attends laser therapy one time per month. She is on the wait list for a total knee replacement.

– Liz van Zutphen, PT

For more information on any of our physiotherapists, massage therapists, or services, please visit our website at

We offer gift certificates for both Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy!

On Wednesday, December 18th, Balance Physiotherapy will be having a customer appreciation day! Join us at the clinic during office hours. We will have treats, coffee, and all existing clients that attend the event will be entered into a draw to win a 60 minute theraputic massage!

We will have a donation box for Feed Nova Scotia and will be accepting any non-perishable food items!