Laser for Pain

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries can be both painful and debilitating, impacting the stability of the knee joint. High-Intensity Laser Therapy (HILT) has emerged as a groundbreaking modality, offering a non-invasive and effective approach to accelerate healing and provide relief for individuals grappling with various severities of MCL injuries.

Understanding MCL Injuries: Types and Severity

MCL injuries commonly occur due to a direct blow to the outer part of the knee, causing stress and strain on the medial collateral ligament. These injuries are often classified into three grades based on severity:

  • Grade I: Mild stretching and microscopic tearing of the ligament.
  • Grade II: Partial tearing of the ligament with noticeable instability.
  • Grade III: Severe or complete tearing of the ligament, resulting in significant instability.

Each grade presents its unique challenges, from mild discomfort to considerable pain, swelling, and compromised knee function.

The Evolution of High-Intensity Laser Therapy: A Background

HILT, originally developed for veterinary applications, found its early success in treating injuries in horses, particularly ligamentous injuries. The therapy involves the use of high-powered lasers, initially used to treat musculoskeletal issues in horses, including injuries to the suspensory ligament and other connective tissues. This success paved the way for the application of HILT in human medicine, revolutionizing the approach to ligament injuries, including MCL injuries.

You may find a blog post here that dives into the science and mechanisms of laser therapy, aka photobiomodulation, if interested!

Benefits of HILT for MCL Injuries

Accelerated Healing:

HILT works by delivering targeted energy to the affected area, stimulating cellular activity and promoting faster tissue repair. This acceleration is particularly beneficial for MCL injuries, where swift healing is essential to restore knee stability.

Here, you will find an article that discusses therapeutic lasers for treating ligament injuries, specifically the medial cruciate ligament. This study examined the ultrastructural morphology of the MCL during injury repair; this would be assessing number of collagen fibrils and the mean and mass-averaged diameter. It was found the core mass-averaged diameters of the laser group was significantly larger than that of the control group. Fibril diameter was even larger and approaching that of the intact MCL after 3 weeks of treatment (9 treatment sessions).

Reduced Inflammation:

The anti-inflammatory effects of HILT aid in mitigating swelling and inflammation associated with MCL injuries. This reduction in inflammation contributes to pain relief and facilitates the healing process.

Pain Management:

HILT’s analgesic properties provide effective pain management for individuals with MCL injuries. By influencing nerve conduction and reducing pain signals, the therapy enhances the overall comfort of patients during their recovery.

Improved Collagen Formation:

HILT encourages the production of collagen, a crucial component in the healing of ligaments. Enhanced collagen formation contributes to the restoration of MCL integrity and strength, promoting long-term stability.

Applying HILT to Different Severities of MCL Injuries

  • Grade I MCL Injuries: HILT can aid in reducing inflammation, accelerating the healing process, and preventing the progression of mild MCL injuries to more severe stages.
  • Grade II MCL Injuries: For partial tears, HILT can play a crucial role in promoting optimal healing, minimizing scar tissue formation, and restoring knee stability.
  • Grade III MCL Injuries: In cases of severe MCL tears, HILT can still contribute to the overall rehabilitation process, assisting in the formation of robust scar tissue and supporting the ligament’s reconstruction.


High-Intensity Laser Therapy represents a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with the challenges of MCL injuries. Its roots in equine medicine underscore the evolution of this innovative modality, now providing transformative benefits for human patients. As research and clinical applications continue to expand, HILT’s role in enhancing the healing process for MCL injuries becomes increasingly significant. For those seeking non-invasive, efficient, and targeted treatment options, HILT stands as a powerful ally in the journey towards recovery and restored knee function. Always consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable treatment plan tailored to individual needs and injury severities.

If you are interested to learn more, read more, and see how laser therapy may be a beneficial option for you, stay tuned for a new blog post every Tuesday! You can also find research articles on our website about all sorts of pathologies and treatment areas, here, if you like to read science!

As always, we can’t wait to help you heal from an injury- MCL or other! Reach out to us to get on the schedule – or schedule online! If you have any questions, you can contact us here.