The use of lasers in a therapeutic setting has been around for many years, starting with small studies conducted in the 1960s to test the use of lasers for pain relief. Cold laser therapy has gained popularity recently in the therapy world since its first FDA approved trail began in 2002. This low-level laser has been shown to decrease swelling and inflammation in people with acute and chronic pain. More recent studies involving Cold Laser therapy in combination with exercise have been shown to reduce pain levels in patients with Carpal tunnel syndrome and myofascial pain syndrome, among other common chronic pain conditions.
How does Cold laser therapy work?
The laser uses a light calibrated to a specific frequency and placed directly over the skin for a selected interval of time. This stimulates the light-sensitive cells in the body (similar to photosynthesis in plants) to convert light into energy in an effort to encourage healing of the damaged tissues. The laser will operate a low-level, non-thermal frequency that will not create any heat when applied directly to the skin giving it the name of “cold” laser therapy.
What is the difference between each laser?
Class 1 & 1m Continuous and Modulated Lasers are widely used in office setting, and are also available for home use. This is a very low-powered laser and requires a longer duration of treatment time. This laser is considered the safest with no chance of damaging the eyes.
Class 3 and 3b cold lasers can also produce a pulsed or continues wavelength and can be used for broad or pinpoint treatments.
Class 4 lasers have a higher dosage level and can be harmful to the eyes if proper precautions aren’t taken.
What conditions can cold laser therapy treat?
Cold laser therapy is most commonly used to treat the following conditions:
• Knee pain
• Back pain
• Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
• Diabetic Neuropathy
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Is cold laser therapy right for me?
Low-level laser therapy is a non-invasive alternative for treatment of acute and chronic conditions. If you have been suffering from pain for many years or even a few months, speak with your physician and see if cold laser therapy would be a good option for you.