Cold Laser Therapy
Inflammation affects a significant number of individuals and is especially present in athletes such as runners. Inflammation is often accompanied by pain. Numerous underlying conditions can lead to the development of inflammation, including arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and more. While there are many treatment options available, some come with adverse effects.
Cold laser therapy is a safe and research-proven alternative option for a multitude of conditions. This therapy has been approved by the FDA and holds the potential to relieve both inflammation and pain symptoms. Let’s look at what photobiomodulation therapy is, how it works, and what benefits it could offer to runners.
What Is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy is also known as include photobiomodulation therapy and low-level laser therapy. Cold lasers is differentiated from other types of laser in that it is not designed to heat body tissue, which is especially true with super-pulsed cold laser therapy. Aesthetic lasers and surgical lasers are designed to cut tissue using heat.
Photobiomodulation therapy produces profound proven biological effects on tissue including relief of pain, acceleration of the healing process, increased cell proliferation, promoting tissue regeneration, preventing cell death and anti-inflammatory activity. It is dose dependent and can be designed to decrease pain (inhibitory dose) or decrease stimulation while increasing tissue repair.
Photobiomodulation therapy is an option that holds few side effects and almost negligible risks. There are numerous studies that have shown photobiomodulation therapy is an effective treatment.
What Is Photobiomodulation Therapy Used For?
Medical professionals often suggest the use of photobiomodulation therapy for the treatment of pain and inflammatory conditions. While the therapy is used to treat these symptoms, there are other uses for photobiomodulation therapy too.
- Pain Relief: In patients with acute and chronic pain conditions, cold laser therapy may also be useful. The pain associated with arthritis and Fibromyalgia is often treated with the use of photobiomodulation therapy. Another condition where cold laser therapy also poses as a useful option is carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Sprains: Cold laser is often used in the sports industry to assist in the treatment of sprains. Minor injuries could also be treated with the use of this therapy. This includes ligament and muscle strains. Cold laser therapy is sometimes used to treat bursitis, tennis elbow, neck pain, muscle spasms and tendonitis too.
- Inflammation: Several types of inflammation can be successfully treated with cold laser therapy. Photobiomodulation therapy is sometimes used to assist in treating inflammation caused by dental problems. It is also used to treat autoimmune conditions that cause inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Wound Healing: In some cases, the use of photobiomodulation may be used to help in the treatment of wounds. This is generally considered in cases where a patient has a wound that seems difficult to heal. Diabetes often causes such wounds.
- Nerve Regeneration
- Rapid Cell Growth
- Muscle Performance & Recovery
Cold Laser Therapy Benefits
The benefits of cold laser therapy are the reason why this treatment has become such a popular option. The therapy effectively reduces inflammation in the body. One study explains that photobiomodulation therapy provides a significant reduction in inflammation while also lowering edema in the body.
Low-level laser therapy tends to be a more cost-effective solution. There are several times where cold laser therapy is more affordable compared to other types of treatments. Since super-pulsed cold laser therapy does not cause the tissue to heat up, it provides a safer approach to the treatment of pain and skin conditions.
The use of cold laser therapy leads to a significantly faster wound healing process.
- Free of Side Effects
- Treats Broad Range of Conditions
- No anesthetic or pain medication required
- Relieves Stiffness and Pain
- Proven Results
- Restored mobility and quality of life
- Often makes surgical interventions unnecessary
- Enables patients get to therapeutic exercise faster
Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
There are studies that show photobiomodulation therapy is a highly effective treatment option for multiple conditions. Let’s take a look at a few of these studies:
- One study shows that cold laser therapy effectively relieves pain symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. Chronic pain levels were significantly reduced.
- Patients with knee osteoarthritis experienced reduced levels of pain. Disability scores also improved among these patients.
- In one study, researchers show that cold laser therapy is not only effective but also a very safe option to consider for treating chronic pain conditions.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Laser treatment is a non-invasive method to help reduce acute and chronic pain. This treatment is FDA-cleared and enables patients to have an alternative to drugs and surgery. Laser treatments take just minutes depending on the condition being treated. The treatment must be administered directly to skin for better efficacy. You feel a soothing warmth as the therapy is administered.
Patients generally see results after 2 to 5 treatments. Your therapist/doctor will develop a treatment plan that is optimal for your condition. Multi Radiance Medical laser technology has been used safely and effectively among the wide range of patient populations for over 5 years in the US, and for over 20 years in other countries in physical therapy, orthopedics, outpatient clinics and elite athletics, where the MR4 Laser is the “equipment of choice” for numerous national, professional and collegiate athletes and teams worldwide.
How Does Photobiomodulation Therapy Work?
Cold laser therapy primarily takes advantage of photons, also known as light energy. These photons are directed toward the skin and are able to penetrate the skin without any cuts being made during the procedure. The process of photobiomodulation involves using light to impart extra energy into deeper tissues in the skin. Light penetrates the skin down into tissue and the depth of penetration is dependent on factors like wavelength but can penetrate from several centimeters. Light gets absorbed by the energy powerhouse in the cell, which is called the mitochondria and is similar to how photosynthesis works in plants. To be nerdy about it, photobiomodulation therapy works by energizing the electron transport chain within the mitochondria and therefore stimulating ATP production, decreasing free radicals and inducing transcription factors, which leads to increased healing.
Why is Super Pulsed Cold Laser the best form of Photobiomodulation Therapy?
Photobiomodulation therapy is also known as low-level light therapy because low levels of light energy are used in the therapy. Different types of cold laser therapy techniques have been developed using machines of varying strength. There are different classifications of the strengths of the machines and some of the stronger “cold lasers” can cause the skin to heat up and even cause a burn, which is especially true for those with darker skin tones. Those who use these “cold lasers” must constantly move or scan the area to prevent unwanted heat build-up. Too much intensity can not only cause harm but is counterproductive as it results in diminishing returns.
Super pulsed cold laser therapy is often considered superior as it uses light energy with a much higher density compared to more traditional cold laser systems. This ensures the photons can penetrate deeper into the skin, reaching more tissue, joints, and other points of interest. This is achieved without the use of any thermal properties. It means deep penetration in the skin is possible without having to heat up the skin, as one would usually find with a standard low-level light therapy technique. The therapy remains non-invasive, with no surgical procedures or cuts needed.
Cold Laser therapies have become popular in modern medicine. Photobiomodulation therapy provides a significant improvement in pain, inflammation, and can help you get back in the race faster.
Cold laser therapy is a perfect complement to the other treatments used at Harmony Chiropractic Center to include chiropractic adjustments, Graston Technique, corrective exercises and kinesio taping.