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Low-Level Laser Therapy

Consider it acupuncture sans needles: A low-level cold laser beam is directed at the injury to stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in cell mitochondria, which reduces inflammation and causes tissue to regenerate more quickly, according to Kevin Reichlin, chiropractor for Tour de France cycling team Garmin-Chipotle. Reichlin regularly prescribes laser therapy for everything from tendinitis to road rash—even to reconnect damaged neurological pathways. "Next to my hands, the laser is my most important tool," he says. In 2002, the FDA approved it as a safe and effective pain treatment, based on the success ofa clinical study in which over 65 percent of test subjects with chronic neck pain reported significant improvement after laser treatment.

My prescribed two and a half minutes of laser therapy cost $20. The number of treatments generally depends on the severity of the injury and the rate of recovery; since I was only suffering from general achiness, I had just one session. It was totally painless. My knee felt oddly warm right after but less sore that afternoon.

Next: Electro-Acupuncture

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