MLS Laser: A Faster Way to Get Back on the Field
There’s a reason we’re known as the foot and ankle specialists for athletes, by athletes. We love working with active people—from professional soccer stars to Wednesday night beer leaguers.
One thing all these athletes have in common? They’re not especially patient when it comes to recovery and rehab!
It doesn’t matter whether there’s an MLS Cup on the line, or just bragging rights at the pub afterward. Our patients are driven to perform their best and give everything they have for themselves and their teammates. And that’s why we always aim to help them get back from an injury as quickly and as safely as possible.
One of the ways we do that is through an advanced laser therapy called MLS. No, not Major League Soccer—this time, MLS stands for Multiwave Locked System. And we’ve been using it to help athletes of all ages and ability levels recover quickly and completely from injury.
Recovery & Rehab: The Struggle for All Athletes
Passion, drive, and determination may serve you well out on the field, the ice, or the running trail. But those same qualities sometimes make it very difficult for active people to commit to taking rest days during training, or slow down as much as they need to after an injury.
We’re often our own worst enemies here. And that excitement (or perhaps impatience) to get back to speed can have disastrous consequences:
- You return too soon after an injury—say an ankle sprain or stress fracture—and don’t give your body enough time to fully heal itself. This can cause a reaggravation of the same injury, undoing all the healing that already took place and quite possibly making the injury worse than it was before.
- You keep pushing through pain until an injury becomes chronic. In other words, the pace of healing isn’t enough to counteract the ongoing inflammation and trauma.
Now, several years ago, when advanced therapies like MLS laser weren’t really an option, an athlete at this point would be stuck with some very unpalatable options.
Option one: keep pushing through the pain, even though it’s making your life miserable and reducing your performance level.
Option two: commit to weeks or even months of rest, physical therapy, and quite possibly surgical treatment and recovery, followed by disciplined rehab, before returning to top form.
Fortunately, we’ve got much better options at our disposal now. And MLS is one of them.
So What Is MLS, Anyway?
We’ve been dancing around the subject, so let’s dive in.
MLS laser therapy is an advanced therapy that works by engaging and accelerating the natural biological processes critical for injury healing that already exist within your body. It’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-edema, pain-relieving, metabolism-supercharging, immunoregulating, scar-tissue-destroying wonder. (And that’s only the beginning!)
Here’s the simple explanation of the science:
Your cells need energy to go about their work—which includes healing injuries, fighting inflammation, forming new capillaries, etc. And what is light, after all? A form of energy.
(Maybe you can see where this is going.)
The pair of lasers used by the MLS system are configured to emit light at wavelengths that can actually be absorbed and triggered by your cells, and tuned to provide just the right “kick” without the risk of burning, cutting, or damaging you in any way.
It’s safe, therapeutic energy that helps your body break down scar tissue, regenerate healthy new tissue, and get “over the hump” when healing has stalled for chronic injuries.
Better yet, there are no medications, no chemicals, no surgery, no incisions, and no side effects.
So How Does It Help Me Get Back on the Field Faster?
Studies (and our own in-office experience) have shown that adding MLS laser to the standard treatment course for a traumatic injury can cut weeks off the expected timetable for injury healing. The tissues just simply regenerate faster and stronger than they could on their own.
You’ll still need to rest up a bit, go to the PT, do your exercises, etc. But now, instead of being “out for the season,” you might be able to return in plenty of time to make the playoffs.
As for chronic injuries—the kind that are always there, holding you back from playing your best, even if you do try to play through them? MLS could be the difference between getting back to full strength and not getting better at all.
And of course, if MLS is able to prevent the need for surgery … well, we don’t have to tell you how much better that is going to be for your recovery timetable.
But as anyone who has been through a foot surgery or suffered a severe injury that shut them down for months knows, “healing” is only half the battle.
All that time off your feet means that, even once the injury has healed, the surrounding joints and muscles aren’t as strong as they once were. Your cardiovascular fitness has probably also declined, since you weren’t able to exercise as much.
The longer you are shut down, the more your physical abilities decline in the meantime—and the longer and more difficult your rehab will be.
Again, we bet you can see where this is going.
Faster healing with MLS means less required downtime for you during the healing process—especially if it helps you avoid surgery. You’re able to stay more active throughout the process and keep your physical capabilities at a higher level. So rehab is a lot shorter and easier, and you’re back to full ability potentially a lot sooner than you otherwise could.
How Does It Compare with Other Advanced Therapies?
If you’re a current patient of ours, or if you’ve explored our website a little bit, you’ll know that MLS is far from the only advanced, healing-accelerating treatment we offer. Ask our office about other advance treatment options!
All these treatments can help you accomplish similar goals, but they vary in terms of how they work, what types of conditions they’re best for, how many appointments are needed, etc.
At the Colorado Center for Podiatric Sports Medicine, we’re all about building custom treatment and recovery plans tailored to the individual needs of each athlete we see. So we may recommend MLS, another therapy, or some combination of therapies depending on your personal goals and needs.
The most important step you can take, right now, is make sure your foot or ankle injury is being cared for by a specialist with the tools, the training, and the passion necessary to help you recover as quickly and as safely as possible.
To book your appointment with Dr. Yakel and the Colorado Center for Sports Medicine, please call (720) 600-3380 today.