From Steen Rose (athletes on track coaching aka my coach)
This is Road Rash Care Pt II, and continues from Part I on how to care for road rash. I’ve asked Dr. Lezlie Maloy of Spring Valley Spine & Sports (Dallas) to give us the technical explanation of my favorite treatment – cold laser therapy.
Also, Dr. Maloy brings up a good point, and one that I missed last month. Road rash, properly treated, really isn’t that big of a deal…as long as it’s not on, or near, a joint. Tegaderm does wonders for road rash, but it will not stick on a joint, there is simply too much movement of the skin. The alternative is a product called New Skin; it’s a spray-on version of Tegaderm. It comes in either aerosol or pump varieties. Two caveats: first, it can be messy, especially while it dries; and two, it stings, pretty badly, but it’s worth it.
Q: First, tell us a little bit about Spring Valley Spine & SportsCare?
A: Spring Valley Spine and SportsCare is a one-stop-shop for athletes. We feature two ART (Active Release Techniques) Certified Chiropractors, an Acupuncturist, a USAT Certified Level II coach and two massage therapists. Our doctors are proficient in the care of sports injuries including soft tissue disorders and injuries of the extremities as well as the spine. Our doctors have both completed postgraduate work relating to sports rehabilitation and the treatment of overuse injuries. The doctors of SVSS incorporate the use of ART, joint manipulation, active and passive rehabilitation as well as complete biomechanical assessments to evaluate and treat each patient.
Q: What is Cold Laser Therapy?
A: Cold Laser Therapy is a form of Low-level laser therapy. It uses low level lasers (less than 500 mW) to stimulate cellular energy (metabolism) of tissue without heat. Cold lasers can be used to aid in wound healing, pain relief and muscle relaxation.
I use it most often in my practice to reduce inflammation commonly seen in overuse injuries as well as patients with acute pain (bike/car accidents, spasms, etc).
Q: Tell us about Cold Laser for road rash?
A: There have been many studies conducted and there is much research concerning cold lasers and their effectiveness in wound healing. The cold laser is able to effectively speed up the cellular metabolism thereby speeding up the healing process and growth of new skin. Allowing a small knee scrape to heal naturally is no big deal, but road rash often spans a large area and goes across joints. So, with every movement of your shoulder, elbow, knee, etc. you are opening that wound back up and it takes forever for the new skin growth to take hold. With road rash I typically treat the whole area but really focus the laser treatments over the problem areas (joints) to speed up the growth of the new tissue. I have found if we can speed up the healing of the tissue over those problem joint areas we can tremendously speed up the time it takes for the rest of the injury to heal. Every person’s injury is different so it is hard to pin-point a specific decrease in healing time, but I can say with certainty that with the use of the cold laser, patients see a decrease in the time their road rash spends as an open, oozing wound.
(Note from Steen: I find the healing time is usually cut in half with Cold Laser Therapy)