Cold laser therapy, also known as low level laser therapy, is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and is known to accelerate the healing process of a variety of clinical conditions. By definition, this type of therapy uses radiation intensities that induce minimal temperature elevation (not more than 0.1 to 0.5 degrees celsius), if any. Low-energy lasers have been promoted as an effective way to produce pain relief.
Cold laser therapy is widely used for treatment of:
- Acute and chronic pain
- Ligament sprains
- Muscle strain
- Soft tissue injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Wound healing
Cold lasers are handheld devices used by the doctor and are typically the size of a flashlight. The laser is placed directly over the injured area for 30 seconds to several minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated and the dose provided by the cold laser unit.
Cold laser therapy is one option among a variety of treatment approaches that can potentially alleviate pain symptoms without the use of surgery or drugs.
Thor LLLT/Photobiomodulation Therapy
There is substantial clinical evidence published in peer reviewed medical journals that laser therapy (LLLT)/Photobiomodulation Therapy can stimulate repair of tissue, reduce inflammation and relieve pain in musculoskeletal disorders.
LLLT works predominately on a protein in mitochondria (cytochrome c oxidase) to increase ATP and reduce oxidative stress. A cascade of mitochondrial and intracellular downstream effects lead to improved tissue repair and reduced inflammation.
How LLLT/Cold Laser/Photobiomodulation Therapy Works
Lasers and LED's produce intense beams of light at specific wavelengths. When the right wavelength at the right intensity is used at the correct anatomical location for the right amount of time you can stimulate repair, resolve inflammation and reduce pain.
One of the primary mechanisms is the effect of light on cytochrome c oxidase and the consequently the unbinding of nitric oxide and release of ATP leading to improved cellular function. For anti-inflammatory effects we have found a measurable reduction in PGE2, TNF Alpha and IL-6 in the synovia surrounding damaged tendons and for analgesia high intensity lasers over nerve supply can inhibit fast axonal flow.
In addition, high intensity single point lasers can release trigger points and treat acupuncture points instead of needles.