What You Should Know About Cold Laser Therapy

Laser knee.JPG

Doctors have been leveraging the power of laser therapy for healing and injury rehab for decades, so why are you just now hearing about it? Ever heard of the pharmaceutical lobby? For those who are looking for natural therapies and just now discovering cold laser therapy, here are 5 things you should know about it:

1. Cold Laser Therapy Reduces Pain and Inflammation With No Side Effects

When cells are stressed, nitric oxide (NO) inhibits oxygen consumption by mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase. This reduces production of ATP and causes oxidative stress leading to increased inflammation and reduced production of ATP. Laser light displaces NO from cytochrome c oxidase thereby reducing inflammation and restoring ATP production, helping tissues heal more quickly. This interaction triggers a biological cascade of events that leads to an increase in cellular metabolism and a decrease in both pain and inflammation. Unlike medications, laser therapy reduces pain without undesirable side effects.

2. Cold Laser Therapy Can Be Used For Acute and Chronic Injuries

Treating acute conditions with laser therapy is particularly effective when it is administered as soon as possible following the injury. The faster the inflammation is reduced and the healing process can begin, the better.

With chronic conditions, laser therapy is used most often to help combat persistent pain and inflammation. Cold laser is especially well-suited for treating chronic conditions because it so effectively relieves pain and inflammation.

3. Treatment Protocols Are Doctor-designed For Each Specific Condition/Injury

Although laser sounds high-tech, you cannot just "shine the light" and be healed.  Doctors have designed protocols for each specific injury/condition, and each protocol uses laser probes in four different areas to accomplish four specific objectives: 1) activate cellular repair and regeneration at the injury site; 2) stimulate lymph nodes to reduce inflammation and edema; 3) de-activate trigger points; 4) initiate analgesia via spinous process to relieve/reduce pain.

4. Cold Laser Therapy Activates Your Body's Natural Recovery Mechanisms

Laser light is used to stimulate the cells in your body that repair tissue, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In biological terms, this photo-therapy (like photosynthesis in plants) reduces oxidative stress which causes cell death, and enables your cells to increase ATP production (which produces cellular energy).  When cells can produce ATP, the result is cellular repair and regeneration.

5. Cold Laser Therapy Treatments Are Quick and Painless

Laser therapy sessions usually last 10-20 minutes depending on the size, depth, and acuteness of the condition being treated. For people with packed schedules, these fast and effective treatments are a benefit.

6. Cold Laser Therapy Treats Many Conditions

  • Muscle/tendon strains and ligament sprains
  • Back and neck pain
  • Joint pain/osteoarthritis
  • Nerve pain (e.g. from disc injuries)
  • Post-operative recovery
  • Wounds and burns

Now that you've "seen the light" regarding cold laser therapy, which road would you prefer to travel: the natural therapy route that activates your body's systemic healing, or the pharmaceutical road with it's many potholes?

References

Hamblin MR, Demidova TN. “Mechanisms of low level light therapy.” Proc. of SPIE Photonics. 2006; 6140: 614001-01-12. doi: 10.1117/12.646294

Kingsley JD, Demchak T, Mathis R. “Low-level laser therapy as a treatment for chronic pain.” Frontiers in Physiology. 2014; 5(306): 1-3. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2014.00306