We’ve all been there: the crick in your neck that just won’t go away, the frustrating feeling of lower back pain from spending too much time at a desk, and that old running injury that just won’t shift. What you may not know is that our fair city is home to one of the most up-to-date pieces of technology that can help with such problems.
In fact, we’re the only place in Yorkshire to have one of these therapeutic lasers, which is housed at Bannerdale Osteopaths in Nether Edge. We sat down with the owner, Steve, to hear more.
Tell us a little bit about Bannerdale Osteopaths and your work there.
We were started in 2005 on Bannerdale Road, hence the name, spending five years on Abbeydale Road before moving to Nether Edge in summer 2013, where we are very happy. We are open six days a week, with myself, Mariska and Alex being here to help you with whatever injury or pain you’ve got.
I’ve tried to build a clinic where we focus on getting people better as quickly as possible, using the fewest number of treatments possible. We do this by involving you in your recovery as much as possible, be that with stretches, exercises or advice about changes to work or home environment if suitable. We consider a successful outcome being when, in the nicest possible way, we don’t see you again – except maybe for a wave as you walk or drive by!
We hear you’ve got a new laser. Can you tell us about it.
Yeah, we’re really excited by our therapeutic laser, as it’s the most advanced one out there and can do some amazing things to help people get better quicker.
Essentially, the only thing that can repair damage in your body is your own body. As osteopaths we try to speed this up by removing any barriers to this happening: tight muscles, stiff joints, trapped nerves, that sort of thing. But the K-Laser works on a cellular level, speeding up the repair process in the damaged tissue itself.
Lasers have been used therapeutically for years, but the K-Laser we have is more than 40 times more powerful than traditional lasers and has four wavelengths of light, as opposed to one. This means it does more, much quicker.
Therapeutic lasers work by allowing the damaged tissues in your body to heal at their fastest rate. This is largely by speeding up the process by which oxygen leaves haemoglobin and is used by the mitochondria to produce ATP, which is used as energy by the body to heal. The specific wavelengths used by the K-Laser are at the optimal absorption for the different phases of increased ATP production.
What does the laser enable you to do now that you couldn’t do before?
The K-Laser allows us to speed up the healing process in most injuries that we see, about 25%, and also treat things we could never have done directly, like damage in muscles, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone injuries.
How much does the laser treatment cost?
The first session, regardless of if we use the laser or not, is £30. Here we will diagnose your complaint and discuss treatment options, including the K-Laser, if we think you’re suitable. After that, there are three pathways: laser or osteopathy only (£40 per session) or our gold service of both combined, which usually brings the quickest recovery (£60 per session).
We understand the laser has been a big investment for you. What prompted you to make this investment?
We don’t believe anyone should live with pain and our mission is to get people out of pain as quickly as possible. We are always looking at how we can help people recover quicker and that’s what led us to invest in this technology, as it really is a game-changer as far as bringing recovery times down.
Are we right in thinking you’re the only osteopath in Yorkshire with this equipment?
We’re the only clinic in Yorkshire with one of this power and sophistication. Nearly all the others are in and around London.
Which types of injuries are best suited to this kind of laser treatment?
As I’ve mentioned, the K-Laser will help speed up most injuries, but where the laser excels as a standalone therapy is injuries where either lots of healing needs to take place – fractures, ligament or cartilage damage – or tissues that respond slowly to healing largely due to poor blood supply, such as tendon injuries, old fractures or stress fractures and arthritic joints.
Do you see this technology changing the face of osteopathy?
Osteopaths are traditionally technophobes and I don’t see many investing in this technology. Lots of physiotherapists use therapeutic lasers, but not many of this power and sophistication. Veterinary medicine allows for easier implementation of new technology and there are lots of K-Lasers being used by vets, including ‘supervet’ Noel Fitzpatrick.
I’m trying to be the change so my patients can feel the change and not live with pain.