Low-level laser (light) therapy was first discovered in 1967 by Endre Mester at the Semmelweis Medical University in Hungary. Mester was trying to repeat an experiment first conducted by Paul McGuff in Boston, MA who had successfully used a ruby laser to cure cancerous tumors in rats . Mester’s laser, however, was very weak. While it did not cure cancer, he observed faster hair growth and wound healing in the rats he was testing. This was the first indication that low-level laser light (rather than high power lasers) could have its own medical use [2, 3] and has led to the use of light energy for healing that we have available today.
Low-level laser therapy is now known as photobiomodulation, a name which more accurately describes how this therapy works. Over the last 10 years, photobiomodulation has gained acceptance as a legitimate treatment with proven benefits. Part of this shift in acceptance is due to the progress in understanding how photobiomodulation actually works at the cellular and tissue level .
Tiina Karu, of Russia, first identified cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria as a primary signaling pathway through which a brief exposure to light can have an effect lasting for hours, days, or even weeks . This finding uncovered the mechanism behind the clinical success seen with photobiomodulation to manage pain  inflammatory processes, and to accelerate tissue healing . Further research has uncovered additional cellular changes: increases in the cellular energy molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP) [7,8] and modulations of DNA and RNA synthesis [6–9].
But how can photobiomodulation decrease pain? Laser light has been shown to slow down signaling in sensory nerve fibers , while other studies have shown anti-inflammatory changes, vasodilation (increased blood flow), collagen synthesis (tissue regeneration), and even endorphin production.
In 2019 SoLá Pelvic Therapy became the first and only FDA approved device utilizing photobiomodulation technology to treat patients with pelvic pain. Since 2019, approximately 3,000 patients have received the treatment and 70-80% reported pain relief within an average of 4-5 sessions or 2 weeks.
We are excited to be able to offer this treatment at the Center for Advanced Gynecology,-the only location in Virginia as of June 2021.
Why are patients turning to SoLá Pelvic Therapy?
It’s FDA approved, but more importantly, it’s a holistic approach (unlike pain medication). It doesn’t just target one link in the chain of events leading to pain, but targets the whole chain that lead to pelvic pain . Patients like that it is non-invasive, non-pharmacological, and that it helps the body heal from within. There are no injections, no surgery, no instillations and the aftermath is not like other therapies—it’s gentle. Lastly, there are no side effects, no allergies, and no absolute contraindications.
What is SoLá Pelvic Therapy?
SoLá Pelvic Therapy is the first infrared light therapy to be used for pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. Since 2019, approximately 3,000 patients have received the treatment and 70-80% reported pain relief within an average of 4.5 sessions or 2 weeks. SoLá Pelvic Therapy uses a class IV near-infrared laser administered directly to the pelvic floor muscles, bladder wall, and rectal wall through the vagina.
SoLá Pelvic Therapy has been approved for several conditions that can cause pain, discomfort, and inflammation in women. Some of the conditions this treatment has been known to help include:
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginismus (women)
- Interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome
- Overactive bladder
- Pelvic scar tissue/adhesions
- Muscle spasms in the vagina
- Certain types of vulvodynia
- Piriformis syndrome
- Symptoms including pain with sitting, pain with intercourse, pain with exercise, pain with bowel movements, and urinary symptoms
While there may be other conditions that SoLá Pelvic Therapy can help treat, it is best to talk to Dr. Barron about the best ways to combat your specific symptoms.
How is SoLá Pelvic Therapy Performed?
SoLá Pelvic Therapy is a procedure performed by using a PBM (Photobiomodulation) laser. The safe, gentle, and pain-free procedure does not require anesthesia, so it can be performed during lunch break, mid-day, or any other time without worrying about the side effects, the need to recover, or the risks that come with anesthesia.
In order to begin treatment with SoLá Pelvic Therapy, a thin wand (3/4 inch) is internally placed into the vagina. While you should feel no pain, you will more than likely feel a pleasant warming sensation. The overall time of the treatment is typically just a few minutes.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
Treatments for SoLá Pelvic Therapy are typically scheduled 2-3 times a week over 3-5 weeks for a treatment course. For patients traveling from far away, treatments can be clustered over 2-3 days while you stay locally.
How Soon Can I Expect Results?
With SoLá Pelvic Therapy, many patients claim to feel the effects of the treatment right away. While you may feel some relief, it is best to continue with a set schedule. Patient data has found an average of 4.5 treatments before benefits are noted. Benefits are expected to gradually increase over time. Although photobiomodulation works well for many people, it is not a magic bullet. Persistent pelvic pain conditions are complicated and often require more than one therapy.
Are There Risks with SoLá Pelvic Therapy?
Since SoLá Pelvic Therapy is a non-invasive procedure, the risk of side effects is very low. Slight discomfort at the treatment site may be felt, along with tenderness in the muscles. Since SoLá has not been studied in pregnant women, it is vital that you are not pregnant at the time of your treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about SoLá Pelvic Therapy, including how it can help you, please contact the office of Dr. Barron today!
How does SoLá Pelvic Therapy help those with Chronic Pelvic Pain?
SoLá Pelvic Therapy delivers therapeutic doses of painless light energy deep into the muscles of the pelvis. This activating light energy stimulates your mitochondria— the healing powerhouses within your cells—to help your body heal from the inside out.
- Releases Nitric Oxide from cells improving blood flow and relaxing spastic muscles.
- Increases production of growth factors
- Decreases inflammation and pain-signaling cytokines
- Turns down hypersensitive pelvic nerve signaling
SOOTHES TENSE MUSCLES
- The small SoLá Probe provides a gentle massage
- Encourages draining of harmful lymphatic toxins
- Stimulates oxygen delivery to the painful tissue by stimulating blood flow
What to Expect
Each SoLá Pelvic Therapy session is performed at our office. The entire treatment takes less than five minutes.
- The wand applies healing light energy internally, directly to your pelvic muscles
- You may feel a soothing warmth during the treatment
- Many patients experience significant pain reduction over the course of their first few treatments
What are patients saying about their experience?
——————————————To Learn More, Visit SoLáTherapy.com ——————————————
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