When you think about the term laser, some people may automatically imagine a laser sword fight in Star Wars but the laser we are going to discuss is used to battle pain and inflammation, not galactic enemies. So what exactly is cold laser therapy? Let us explain.
Laser therapy was introduced as a non-invasive treatment option over 30 years ago. Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a light source that generates pure light of a single wavelength. The effect that is produced is not thermal (heat) but instead has to do with photochemical reactions in cells. This reaction stimulates protein synthesis (creation of new protein cells), as well as cell metabolism (process to keep the cells alive), improving cell health and ensuring proper cell functionality.
The lasers used in cold therapy are hardly comparable to laser types used in other treatments. Instead of intentionally using heat and heat damage to be effective, cold laser therapy have a low intensity, therefore posing no risk of cutting or burning of the treated skin area. The wavelengths of light interact with the tissue to stimulate the cells of the targeted area and dramatically accelerate its healing process. This function helps eliminate inflammation and pain caused by arthritis or other conditions and the absorption rate of the lasers is so low that the treatment is safe and painless.
Some conditions that may typically be treated using cold laser therapy include:
- Arthritis pain
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Fibromyalgia pain
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
- Pain caused by sports injury
Since 1967 there have been over 2,500 clinical studies published all over the world. Many of these studies are double-blinded, placebo-controlled and have demonstrated cold laser therapy to be a proven method for pain relief.
A study in the August 2000 Journal of Rheumatology compared the outcomes of laser therapy used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with laser therapy had 70% reduction in pain compared to the placebo group. There was also significant improvement in morning stiffness and hand flexibility.
Cold laser therapy is getting a lot of press and was even featured on Dr. Oz.
Dr. Oz’s Pill Free Pain Solutions
The procedure is painless, comes with no risk for complications or side effects, and has no downtime. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately after treatment.
Our doctors at Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine are experienced in cold laser therapy. Contact usto make an appointment and learn more.