What is Cold Laser Therapy?
Laser Therapy involves using low levels of light to promote healing. This method may be referred to as ‘cold laser therapy’ as the low light level doesn’t heat the patient’s tissue as opposed to surgical and aesthetic lasers which use heat on the tissues to destroy tumors and coagulate body tissue.
Varying wavelengths and different intensities of low level light are directed to the damaged or injured area of the body. The patient’s tissue will absorb the light and the red and nearly infrared light generate a response within the damaged cells which promotes the cells to regenerate.
The patient may be aware of the laser touching their skin, however the laser therapy is quiet, painless and noninvasive. Typically superficial tissue is targeted with wavelengths between 600 and 700 nanometers, and for deep tissue wavelengths will be between 780 and 950 nanometers.
The Science Behind Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is also known as photobiomodulation, soft laser biostimulation, low-power laser therapy (LPLT), and lower-level laser therapy (LLLT). During the cold laser therapy procedure, low-level wavelengths of light are applied to the treated area. The skin absorbs the light, which causes a reaction amongst the damaged cells that leads to natural regeneration.
While a patient may feel the laser device pressed on their skin, the procedure itself is completely noninvasive and painless. There are no sensations of heat or vibration, and the treatment should only take a few minutes.
What Can Cold Laser Therapy Treat?
Cold laser therapy can be used for a variety of purposes, although the main purposes of this type of laser therapy is tissue repair, leading to relief from inflammation and pain. Some of the uses of cold laser therapy include:
- Minor sprains and injuries: Knee pain, lower back pain, neck pain, tennis elbow, bursitis, tendonitis, muscle strains, ligament sprains
- Inflammation: Inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis and a variety of autoimmune diseases
- Acute or chronic pain: Caused by conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Healing wounds related to diabetes
- Skin rejuvenation: Dermatologists often use cold laser therapy to treat skin conditions such as burns, psoriasis, acne (and acne scars), dermatitis, vitiligo, edema, and more
Should You Get Cold Laser Therapy?
More and more clinics are offering cold laser therapy, as this treatment has been approved by the FDA for safe treatment for a variety of conditions. When performed by a trained and qualified team, cold laser therapy is a completely safe procedure that requires no medication or extensive preparation.
Patients who undergo cold laser therapy should note that it may take several weeks before significant results will start to show. Finally, cold laser therapy shouldn’t be administered on pregnant women, or on the eyes or thyroid.