What is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy, also referred to as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is an FDA-cleared medical treatment that provides a safe, non-invasive, non-addictive, drug-free, well-tested solution for reducing inflammation and acute or chronic pain (unlike pain medications that only mask symptoms).
Unlike “hot” lasers that are used for surgery, cold lasers are photochemical, and cannot burn the skin. Another way to think about it is this: hot lasers are used for surgical precision, cold lasers are used for healing precision.
Cold laser technology, also known as photobiomodulation, was originally developed in 1967 by Professor Andre Mester who began using low power lasers in medicine. Since then it has undergone dramatic refinements, resulting in today’s powerful treatment technology that is highly effective.
The low level laser delivers specific frequencies of light to the cells of the body. Each treatment consists of placing the targeted area under the laser light for an average of 3 to 5 minutes.
Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy
- Reduces pain
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces swelling
- Accelerates recovery/healing
Why Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
Cold lasers are set at a frequency consistent with the frequency of all cells in the body. The cold laser penetrates the skin and projects light photons deep into your cells stimulating the cell mitochondria (often described as the “powerhouse” of a cell) to produce Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP). ATP is known as the source of energy for every cell in the body. An increase in ATP results in increased cellular regeneration and communication. In this way, cold laser therapy:
- Heals damaged cells; LLLT helps sick or injured cells take in oxygen and nutrients at a level similar to that of a healthy cell, and it helps them release wastes and toxins.
- “Up-regulates” the function of normal, healthy cells.
What Conditions Can be Treated with Cold Laser Therapy?
The FDA has approved cold laser therapy for neck and shoulder pain, as well as low back pain and plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Cold lasers are also safely used for treatment of conditions including, but not limited to, the following :
- Athletic injuries
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Inflammatory and scarring conditions
- Ligament sprains
- Migraine headaches
- Muscle strain
- Muscle/joint pains
- Post-operative pain
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Tennis elbow
- Wound healing
Why You Should Try Cold Laser Therapy
Cold Laser therapy is highly recommended because it has the following characteristics:
- Easy to apply
- Extremely safe
- No adverse side effects - lasers do not damage skin, tissue, or muscle; there is no recovery needed
- Cost effective
- Highly effective in treating pain and injury (more than 90% efficacy)
- Treats the root cause rather than symptoms; safer than analgesics, NSAIDs, opioids and other medications
- Reduces the need for surgery
- Works synergistically with other modalities such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.
FAQs About Cold Laser Therapy
How long does each laser treatment session last?
Each cold laser therapy session lasts approximately 3-5 minutes.
Are there any negative side effects?
Unlike NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that have side effects, there are no side effects of low level laser therapy.
Can I get a laser treatment without getting a chiropractic adjustment?
Yes, we offer cold laser only treatment packages.
What sensations do people experience during a session?
Commonly there are none, although a very few patients have reported experiencing a little tingling sensation, but the laser creates no pain, heat, sound, or vibration.
Does insurance cover the cost of this treatment?
At this time we do not accept insurance to cover cold laser therapy treatments.
What results should I expect?
Most patients report improvement (less pain, greater mobility, etc.) after 4 - 6 treatment sessions, however some patients have reported improvement after the first session.
Is it possible to “overdose” on cold laser therapy?
There are no known cases of overdosing on cold laser therapy. This is among the safest treatments available, and we follow established and proven protocols.
What's the difference between the laser that Dr. Todd uses and the ones sold online?
There are a variety of cold laser technologies, but not all are equal; lasers vary in their output, and some products found online may not have the output they claim. Some are not lasers at all, but are light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are much less effective. Dr. Todd uses the Erchonia Level 2 PL-Touch® Low Level Laser because it is the most advanced, proven and effective cold laser technology on the market.
Do I have to expose my skin to receive the light, or can the laser light penetrate my clothing?
Laser light can penetrate a light layer of clothing.
Can the laser damage my eyes if exposed to it?
Eye damage is possible, but extremely unlikely. We prevent it by giving proper eyewear protection to the patient if needed to prevent any possible exposure.
Are there any contraindications for low level laser therapy?
Yes, cold laser therapy should not be used over any suspicious lesions, or carcinoma (cancer) or the thyroid, or on pregnant women (since its effects on unborn children are not yet known).
How does cold laser therapy complement chiropractic adjustments?
Chiropractic adjustments align the musculoskeletal system, and mobilize the joints of the body. Cold laser treatments help heal the body at a cellular level; in this way, they are very complementary treatment modalities.