Pain is a problem. When you’re hurting, simply getting through the day can be a challenge. Growing fears about the potential for unpleasant side effects and addiction have made many people understandably reluctant to rely on medications like painkillers to treat their discomfort. That’s why so many people are intrigued by therapies like cold laser therapy that can battle pain and promote healing. How does cold laser therapy work? It doesn’t involve popping a pill. Instead, it relies on the healing power of light.
How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
Cold laser therapy goes by many names, including low-level laser therapy, low-power laser therapy, biostimulation, and photobiomodulation. It is a versatile tool. Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, dentists, acupuncturists, and other medical professionals utilize cold laser therapy in the treatment of a wide range of issues.
What Makes a Laser Cold?
Health care professionals have found numerous uses for lasers. The ones used to cut tissue or destroy tumors produce enough energy to heat the body’s tissues; that’s why they’re considered hot lasers. Low-level lasers that do not emit enough energy to heat up cells are referred to as cold lasers. Instead of slicing through tissue with surgical precision, these lasers stimulate the body’s cells, triggering regeneration in damaged tissue.
What Happens During Cold Laser Therapy?
How does cold laser therapy work? A health care professional uses a handheld device to apply low-level light to the problem area. Patients will feel the device against their skin, but it doesn’t cause a cold sensation or trigger any pain. As the targeted tissue absorbs the light energy, the red and near infrared light sets off biological reactions that promote healing. While multiple treatment sessions may be required to generate an effective reaction, each treatment session typically takes a few minutes.
How Does Cold Laser Therapy Help?
How does cold laser therapy work to benefit the body? This treatment provides all of the following advantages:
- Accelerates wound healing. The energy from the cold laser speeds cellular growth and reproduction and prompts the development of fibroblasts, cells that play a vital role in wound healing. The result is a faster recovery from injury.
- Reduces swelling and inflammation. Swelling and inflammation may be part of the body’s natural response to an injury, but they often contribute to the patient’s discomfort and limit their ability to move the damaged area. With less inflammation and swelling, patients see a decrease in bruising and discomfort and an increase in mobility.
- Decreases scar tissue. Cold laser therapy reduces the formation of fibrous tissue during the recovery process, so less scar tissue forms as surgical incisions, cuts, scratches, and burns heal.
- Improves vascular activity. Treatment with laser energy encourages blood and lymph circulation, flooding the affected tissue with the raw materials the body needs to perform repairs on its tissues.
- Enhances metabolic activity. The laser’s energy spurs increased oxygen delivery to the targeted area, prompts a more effective immune response, and fuels a greater output of specific enzymes. This additional activity contributes to speedier healing.
- Stimulates nerve function. When nerve function in damaged tissue lags, the result is numbness or loss of function. The light energy emitted by the cold laser supports the recovery and reconnection of nerve cells, speeding the restoration of feeling and control to the site of the injury.
- Reduces pain. Cold laser therapy fights pain in multiple ways. For starters, it supports faster healing, and a shorter recovery time means less time spent being uncomfortable. More directly, this therapy is effective in decreasing inflammation, swelling, scar tissue, and nerve dysfunction. Since these are all factors that can cause discomfort, reducing their impact means the patient experiences less pain.
What Conditions Does Cold Laser Therapy Treat?
Because cold laser therapy supports tissue repair and fights inflammation and pain, it can be beneficial in many situations. It is currently being used to reduce pain and inflammation from both acute injuries like sprains and strains and chronic pain conditions like arthritis and joint troubles. It is also being utilized in the treatment of hard-to-heal wounds, ulcers, burns, and rashes. Researchers are exploring its use in the treatment of illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Although further study is needed, some experts believe that cold laser therapy will eventually be used to treat traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, degenerative nervous system diseases, and other serious health conditions.
Is Cold Laser Therapy Safe?
When provided by a qualified professional, cold laser therapy is considered safe. It is noninvasive and drug-free, and it requires no preparation. Although multiple sessions may be required before the patient sees results, each session takes just a few minutes, and the potential benefits are substantial.
Cold laser therapy is a safe, effective way to combat pain and promote healing. Could you benefit from this treatment? If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities presented by cold laser therapy, contact Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture today by calling 417-887-8075 or using our online form. Our experienced staff will work with you to find a therapy plan that best meets your needs. We aim to find natural, noninvasive solutions for your pain or discomfort. Let us show you how we’re redefining the standard of health and wellness. We look forward to your call!