Cold laser therapy has become a household name in the United States as an effective pain management procedure for musculoskeletal pain and related diseases such as Low Back Pain, Neck Pain and Knoulders and Knee pain. It is one of the latest procedures in pain management technology.
It is the most preferred treatment option for those who do not want to go under the knives or take medications. With that said, cold laser therapy has shown promising results in pain relief, particularly for those patients who are seeking treatment without drugs or surgery.
While it doesn’t provide permanent treatment, it plays a crucial role in pain management. Many doctors prescribe cold laser therapy with other noninvasive procedures like physiotherapy, cryotherapy, shockwave therapy, etc. For people treating pain in the joints and muscles.
If you recently started experiencing musculoskeletal pain and were told by your doctor to get cold laser therapy, you may be wondering what it actually is and is it really effective. Well, before you search laser therapy for pain near me, go through this article, as we have tried to cover everything related to cold laser therapy.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What is cold laser therapy?
Cold laser therapy is the use of low-intensity lasers for stimulating the healing process of the cells in the body. It uses low levels of light energy to stimulate connective tissue cells.
Now, most people may be confused with the term ‘cold’ in cold laser therapy. The laser isn’t actually cold, but since extremely low levels of lasers are used, hence, the name.
As compared to other forms of lasers used in the medical field, such as those used for correcting the retina, destroying tumors, dissecting brains, and coagulating tissues, the heat dissipated from cold lasers cannot harm you.
How does it work?
The working of a cold laser is similar to photosynthesis. Depending on the severity of musculoskeletal pain you are experiencing, different outputs and wavelengths of low-level light are used. Just like plants use sunlight to heal and develop, our cells are also responsive to light energy, which can increase the process of healing.
For starters, it can be used to treat minor injuries and sprains, including sports injuries. This means injuries like knee pain, lower back pain, neck pain, tennis elbow, bursitis, muscle strains, and ligament sprains can be treated using cold laser therapy.
On the other hand, it also helps in reducing swelling and inflammation, aiding better movement.
The doctor uses a handheld laser device that produces low-level light. It is directly applied to the affected area. The photons emitted from the laser is absorbed by the connective tissue cells. The photons trigger a chemical reaction in the cells, affecting the mitochondria, also known as the powerhouse of the cells. As a result, the damaged cells respond with a psychological reaction. This ultimately promotes cell regeneration.
As said, lasers with different wavelengths are used. For example, for treating superficial tissues, the doctor may use a laser with wavelengths between 600nm and 700nm. In case, if the injury or trauma is deep, a deeper penetration laser will be needed. In that case, the doctor may use wavelengths between 780nm and 950nm.
While you may experience a tingling sensation like the laser is touching your skin, the whole procedure is noninvasive and painless. There will be no or minimal heat or any vibration, and you will not hear any sound as well. Depending on the area that is being treated and how grave the injury is, the laser will be applied from anywhere between 30 seconds to a few several minutes.
Is it effective?
Yes, cold laser therapy is an effective pain management procedure used by doctors. Neuropathic pain to musculoskeletal pain, cold laser therapy is beneficial in providing temporary relief.
And, in the majority of the cases, a single treatment will not work. For the cold laser therapy to be effective, you need at least 3-4 appointments with the doctor in a month. Or several times in a week, depending on how serious the injury or pain is.
Cold laser therapy is approved by the FDA for numerous settings and conditions. When used under the care of a certified practitioner or doctor, cold laser therapy is considered safe.
What are the use cases of cold laser therapy?
Cold laser therapy is highly effective in treating musculoskeletal pain. Whether you are experiencing pain due to old age, due to injury, trauma, or post-surgery, cold laser therapy has many uses in these aspects.