What is Laser?
L-A-S-E-R is an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In simple terms this refers to light waves of a specific wavelength. Both artificial and sunlight consist of many different wavelengths of light scattering in all different directions. Lasers can be used for any number of purposes, however, therapeutic lasers providing Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) are unique to the field of medicine. They are known by several names, Cold Laser, Soft Laser, Low Level Laser, Photobiomodulation and more. Unlike surgical or aesthetic lasers, LLLT does not cause your tissues to heat up. During the procedure, you’ll feel the device against your skin, but it creates no heat, sound, or vibration. Even better, it is completely noninvasive and painless. Most of the time, one treatment will take only a few minutes.
How Laser Therapy Works
Laser therapy energizes living systems.
Four well accepted effects in the scientific literature are:
- Biostimulation / Tissue Regeneration
- Reduction of Inflammation
- Enhanced Immune Function / Antimicrobial
One important way in which laser therapy adds energy is through photon absorption by mitochondria. These tiny organelles which have been called the “powerhouses” of the cell, are found in most plants and animals. Mitochondria are able to absorb laser light which then activates a series of reactions to increase and store more cellular energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
By increasing energy available in this readily accessible form, laser light is able to greatly stimulate the biological function of cells, tissue, and systems and even raise overall vital energy throughout the individual.
When energy is available, the body can heal itself.
Laser therapy has been shown to stimulate the regeneration of bone, blood, the lining of blood vessels, cartilage, cochlear hair cells, central and peripheral nerve, and muscle. Moreover, it has been documented to enhance the quality of healed tissue. Laser therapy may be an ideal treatment. It may not only effectively address many medical conditions but also has been widely reported to improve health and wellbeing as evidenced by a host of biological markers.
What Is Cold Laser Therapy Used For?
The main uses for cold laser therapy are tissue repair and relief from pain and inflammation.
Minor Injuries and Sprains
The use of cold laser therapy in the treatment of minor injuries and sprains is to help reduce swelling and promote healing of the joints and soft tissue.
Cold lasers treat inflammation caused by arthritis and other chronic autoimmune diseases.
Aches and Pains
Cold Laser has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain and injuries.
Cold laser therapy is used to promote skin rejuvenation and to treat various skin problems such as ulcers, burns, inflammation of the skin (edema), and rashes (dermatitis).
Cold laser therapy is being used to treat hard-to-heal wounds, including wounds related to diabetes.
Cold laser therapy is ideal for clients who are uncomfortable with needles. The low-level laser beams can stimulate your acupoints the same way needles do, but without piercing your skin. This makes it a powerful tool for dealing with addictions, quitting smoking and weight loss.
The potential for new applications of cold laser therapy is virtually limitless. There is hope that it will someday be used to treat traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and degenerative nervous system diseases. Researchers are studying its use in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among other illnesses.
Examples of the types of injuries that this kind of laser therapy can be helpful for include:
- Acute injuries, such as strains, sprains, and shoulder injuries
- Repetitive-use injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Traumatic injuries, such as post-motor vehicle accident with cervical strain/sprain
- Chronic issues such as frozen shoulder and arthritis
- Neuropathy (nerve pain)
- Soft tissue injuries such as plantar faciitis, herniated discs, tennis elbow
- Burns and non-healing wounds such as diabetic ulcers