Are you suffering from back pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or other types of physical pain? If you’re looking for relief without relying on medications, you may be interested in trying cold laser therapy.
The concept of using lasers to heal has been around for since the 1960s, and in fact, Einstein even suggested that lasers could be used to heal the human body back in 1918.
Unlike lasers that are used in surgery, which typically use 300 watts of energy to burn through your skin, muscles and soft tissue, cold lasers are non-thermal lasers that only use between 5 and 500 milliwatts of energy. They are completely cold to the touch, yet they are thought to have a powerful effect on the structures of the cells below your skin.
Cold lasers are FDA-approved medical devices that are about the size of a flashlight. A doctor or medical professional holds it over your affected area and sends photons of light through the skin, penetrating tissue that is two to five centimeters below the surface. When the light hits the cells, it causes a photochemical reaction (similar to photosynthesis in plants), which helps injured cells restore their mitochondrial function, resulting in reduced inflammation and a reduction in pain.
This non-invasive procedure only lasts a few minutes and is completely painless. Typically, patients return to the doctor two to four times a week to repeat the procedure for a total of eight to 30 sessions to have their pain completely go away.
Cold laser therapy can be used to treat a wide range of problems, including neck pain, back pain, knee pain, arthritis pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia pain and more. It’s also especially helpful in treating sports injuries like muscle sprains and swollen ankles, helping to reduce swelling and promote healing of your joints.
Unfortunately, the medical community and insurance companies has been slow to embrace cold laser therapy because there have only been a few scientific studies about it, and those have been small and haven’t had many controls, so the data is still inconclusive.
But there are a few studies that have shown just how effective cold laser therapy can be.
One 1995 study looked at 119 workers from General Motors who were suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. About 80 percent of those who received cold laser therapy saw their symptoms completely disappear and were able to return to work.
In another study in 1997 conducted on female office workers with carpal tunnel syndrome at St. Mary’s Spine Center in San Francisco and at the Head and Neck Pain Center in Honolulu, researchers found that 77 percent of those who had cold laser therapy experienced a complete resolution of their symptoms.
Pretty amazing, huh?
Dr. Richard Bisceglie, a doctor for naprapathy at the Center for Holistic Medicine, is certified in light and LASER therapies. He says he has been amazed at the effectiveness of cold laser therapy in his patients.
“I’m continually amazed by the results form LASER therapies in my practice,” he says. “We have avoided surgery, delayed it or accelerated the healing process.”