Pain Relief for CrossFit Athletes: Soft Tissue Laser Therapy

As CrossFit athletes train over time, some pain and inflammation of the soft tissue may occur. Often times proper care, mobility and massage work will treat these symptoms, however in circumstances where additional therapy is required, laser may be the answer.

Laser therapy is a non-invasive technique that reduces pain and inflammation. This pain relief treatment is FDA cleared and enables patients to have an alternative to drugs and surgery. Doctors and therapists have seen great results with using laser therapy along with other soft tissue techniques such as Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, Fascial Manipulation and Rock Tape.

Depending on the condition being treated, the therapy may be administered through either a contact or non-contact hand piece. The contact hand piece is designed to allow the practitioner to physically manipulate the tissue while administering the treatment, resulting in a laser-massage treat


ment. This allows for light to penetrate deeper into tissues than the non-contact hand piece due to its ability to displace tissue through a laser-massage technique.

Laser therapy treatments last between five and 10 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. Laser therapy treatments must be administered directly to skin, as laser light cannot penetrate through layers of clothing. The patient will feel a soothing warmth as the therapy is administered. Patients generally see results after three to five treatments. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan that is optimal for your condition.

Laser therapy has been adopted as an essential pain management tool by athletic trainers in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, FIFA and Olympic teams, and is now being performed on CrossFit athletes of all levels.

Dr. Richard Green is the founder of the Spine and Sports Injury Center located within Reebok CrossFit Back Bay in Boston.