Osteoarthritis stands as the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions worldwide. Characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, it can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling, making physical activity challenging. For older individual and athletes alike, living with knee osteoarthritis (OA) can be debilitating and painful. Fortunately, advancements in nonoperative treatments offer hope for improvement without the need for invasive surgery. Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy is a cutting-edge approach heralded by the recent acceptance of laser treatment into the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) guidelines for the management of knee OA pain.

Conventional treatments for OA knee pain include pain medications, physical therapy, and if the condition progresses, joint replacement surgeries. With the addition of MLS laser therapy, patients now have a noninvasive tool that can potentially alleviate pain and promote tissue repair, significantly affecting their treatment options and recovery pathways. MLS laser therapy is an innovative treatment modality that uses specific wavelengths of light to treat painful and debilitating conditions efficiently. It’s a noninvasive and painless method that enhances tissue repair and reduces pain and inflammation.


How Does MLS Laser Therapy Actually Work?

The therapy operates through a process called photo-bio modulation. The laser penetrates deep into the tissues and stimulates cellular activity, which can lead to a cascade of healing responses, including a reduction in pain and a decrease in inflammation. The use of synchronized continuous and pulsed emissions optimizes this biological reaction, accelerating recovery.
MLS Laser Therapy operates within a specific set of parameters that are both safe and effective. It is backed by a growing body of evidence demonstrating its potential in OA management. Recent studies, including one published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research and Therapy, report significant improvements in pain reduction and functionality for patients receiving MLS laser therapy. Notably, patients experienced these benefits without the need for concurrent pain medications, demonstrating the therapy’s standalone efficacy.
Side effects are minimal, generally limited to mild and transient discomfort. It is vital, however, to address concerns with a healthcare professional, as individual patient history can lead to different experiences.

Finding Reputable Providers

Starting the search for an MLS laser therapy provider involves looking for a reputable clinic with a track record of success in treating knee osteoarthritis. Charleston Sports Medicine’s founder Dr. Bright McConnell is skilled in the use of MLSlaser therapy. Upon consultation with a patient interested in this treatment, Dr. McConnell recommends an individualized treatment plan for those who qualify as a candidate.
Post-therapy care typically involves home exercises and sometimes adjunct treatments, such as ultrasound therapy or bracing. This holistic approach is designed to support the ongoing health and functionality of the knee joint.

The acceptance of MLS laser therapy into the AAOS guidelines marks a significant moment in the evolution of OA management. This offers athletes a future where knee pain does not necessarily equate to the end of their active careers. It also offers older patients a noninvasive treatment option where healing is expedited,” says Bright McConnell, MD.


With the continued evolution of nonoperative treatments, the future is promising. We can anticipate advancements in technology and even more effective therapies that allow for long-term, sustainable management of knee OA at all stages and levels of activity.”


To schedule an appointment with Charleston Sports Medicine, please request and appointment on our website at www.charlestonsportsmed.com or call 843-284-5200.
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