Cold Laser Therapy Definition and Advantages
Sometimes referred to as Low Level Lasers (LLL) or soft lasers, cold laser therapy is a relatively new technology and is now being utilized as a form of therapy comparable to acupuncture.
FDA approved in 2001, cold laser therapy assists the body’s natural healing process by implementing electric stimulation and cold laser technology. As its name may suggest, these low level lasers are devices capable of emitting an impulse of light at specific wavelengths which is administered to the affected area.
In cases, cold lasers are used in two unique ways:
- Targeting — The lasers are focused on specific pin-pointed areas of the body to alleviate pain and pressure, much like the effect of acupuncture but without any needles piercing skin
- Broad — The tissue and bone are in a sense blanketed with IR or Red light photons to alleviate pain and facilitate the healing process
The thing that makes cold laser therapy such an attractive option is the fact that it affords patients the opportunity to opt out of intrusive procedures like acupuncture and surgery. As a result, there is a very minimal to nonexistent recovery time after treatment.
Cold laser therapy is widely used in the treatment of:
- Acute and chronic pain
- Ligament sprains
- Muscle strain
- Soft tissue injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Back pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Low level lasers also offer a treatment that eliminates the risk of addiction and the complications that come with long-term drug treatment programs. Studies have also shown that patients receiving cold laser therapy do not report any serious side effects when administered correctly by a licensed medical professional.
Benefit of Cold Laser Therapy
- Easy to apply
- Extremely safe
- No side effects or pain
- Cost effective for both the practitioner and patient
- Highly effective in treating ailments (more than 90% efficacy)
- Superior alternative to analgesics, NSAID’s and other medications
- Reduces the need for surgery
- Works synergistically with other modalities like Chiro, Acupuncture, and PT
One of the most asked questions related to cold laser therapy is: what does it feel like? In most cases patients have reported no sensation at all, although some have said that there is a slight tingling sensation which is likely caused by an increased in blood flow to the affected area. Cold laser therapy lives up to its name as it produces no heat so there is absolutely no risk of a patient experiencing the burning sensation that comes with other more extreme types of laser therapy.
The duration of treatment varies from patient to patient and case to case, some taking as little as five minutes while others last as long as twenty minutes. The number of treatments a patient will require also varies although it generally ranges from eight to fifteen visits depending on the factors considered by the patient’s chiropractor. It is crucial to note that a response of immediate relief does not indicated a full recovery, and treatments should still continue as projected by the physician.