Modic Changes

Many people with lower back pain suffer from Modic changes. Modic is changes in the vertebrae, either in the body of the vertebrae or in the end plates of the adjacent discs. Modic changes therefore often result from a slipped disc.

Modic changes are divided into types 1, 2, and 3, as follows;

  1. Modic type 1 changes involve fluids in the part of the vertebral body that is close to the disc, and they stem from an infection in the disc, with low virulence anaerobic bacteria, especially the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes. The bacterium enters the disc through small cracks, sometimes following a slipped disc. Type 1 changes cause severe back pain, and in some cases the inflammatory condition leads to a breakdown of the vertebral bodies – often in a matter of only a few months.
  2. Modic type 2 changes are visible on an MRI scanning that will show a low signal for water and a high signal for fat. The different Modic types can change into a different Modic type.
  3. Modic type 3 changes involve a former edema or an increased fat content that has transformed into bone.

The pain from Modic changes in the lower back does not go away on its own but needs treatment. To our knowledge, the condition is not treatable at this time through physical therapy, exercises, chiropractic etc. Some practitioners will prescribe a strong antibiotic targeted towards the particular bacterium to fight the infection, but this treatment is still (as of June 2014) at an experimental level. The treatment is lengthy, about three months, and is often supplemented with laser therapy.
It is also possible to remove the disc through surgery and replace it with an artificial disc. This procedure also removes the bacteria. This surgery can be supplemented with laser therapy to accelerate the healing and reduce the pain.
We recommend treatment with a GigaLaser a couple of times a week, each treatment session takes 15-30 minutes. With a total output effect of 18,000 mW, the GigaLaser sends its laser light through the skin, tissue and bones where the energy is absorbed by those cells suffering from an energy deficit and accelerates the body’s natural healing process in the area being treated. The GigaLaser sends out laser beams at a wavelength of 808 nm, which has the best ability to penetrate when it comes to bone tissue (documented here).

The treatment program on the GigaLaser is 15 minutes, to avoid over dosage and because it, in our opinion and from our experience, is the optimal energy dosage (30 J/cm2). The treatment may be repeted if necessary.

Furthermore, the programs on our lasers are based on the recommendations from WALT (World Association for Laser Therapy), as well as on feedback from practitioners and their patients.

Many patients report a reduction in pain after being treated, and the practitioners who use our GigaLaser generally come back with good results from treating Modic patients, as well as patients with other injuries and disorders.