You may have heard about cold laser therapy through some of many names used for describing this procedure. Namely, you may have heard about low level laser therapy, low power laser therapy, soft laser, biostimulation laser, therapeutic laser or, perhaps, laser acupuncture.
Regardless whether you have heard about it or not, the following lines will explain the procedure and describe its capabilities in terms of pain relief.
What is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy is called this way due to the low levels of intensity of the laser light used in the process. This form of laser light exposure is said to be related to the reduction of pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, the Food and Drug Administration has labeled this treatment method experimental, allowing it to be used for such purposes only, until more evidence is found about its effectiveness.
The cold laser therapy is mainly directed towards helping people overcome problems related to pain, inflammations and healing of any wounds present. Basically, the treatment is carried out through the exposure of the affected body part to the laser light, either directly or by moving it over thearea.
In some cases, cold laser therapy is used instead of acupuncture needles, the light being applied onto the acupressure points. This alternative is usually the choice of those who desire acupuncture treatment but fear the needles which are involved in the treatment process.
All in all, there is a wide-array of uses for cold laser therapy and various types of lasers can be used to make these possible. However, it is hard to find a laser device which fully meets the requirements for the cold laser therapy since many of these devices are not actually regulated. Hence, the FDA has forbidden advertising of cold laser therapy as a method which is capable of curing diseases. Therefore, sellers of such products cannot use such words while presenting the laser until the device has actually been proven worthy of such information.
Subsequently, currently, countless tests, studies and analyses are being carried out, trying to prove the positive aspects related to the cold laser therapy, giving their best to show that low intensity lasers can actually treat pain, wounds, injuries and other health problems. For all we know, if these tests deliver affirmative and positive results, we might be looking at a future of cold laser therapy widely used in medicine. Nevertheless, until this happens, we should not misinterpret this therapy for conventional laser surgery, which is currently used as an approved form of cancer treatment. This approach uses hot and high intensity lasers in order to remove polyps or tumors which lead to health problems in people, leading to the alleviation of symptoms related to many forms of cancer.
The main benefit of cold laser therapy is its non-invasive characteristic. Simply, it does not penetrate the tissue and requires no surgical incision. Rather, people recover from this therapy quickly and without any significant problems, without a need for medications. However, a drawback of this therapy can be the number of sessions necessary for a positive effect to be noticed. Usually, people need to undergo cold laser therapy for about 8 to 30 times in order to get relief, depending on the severity of their condition, paying their doctor a visit about 3 or 4 times a week. Furthermore, taking into consideration that Medicare does not cover the expenses related to this form of treatment, this can be a serious flaw for some people too.
What is Cold Laser Therapy Used for?
Apart from relieving pain affecting certain body parts and some other utilizations of the cold laser therapy mentioned below, this form of treatment is also used for helping people quit smoking. Here, the treatment focuses on relaxing the smoker and stimulating his/her release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, allowing him/her to deal with the withdrawal effects without any problems.
Some other manufacturers of these lasers claim that cold laser therapy can be used for treating herpes infections and outbreaks, relieving high blood pressure, migraine headaches, cerebral palsy and a whole plethora of other conditions. Yet, again, we need to remember that not adequate scientific proof for these capabilities of cold laser therapy have been found to this day. Still, such claims make the cold laser therapy extremely potent, holding great promise for it future usage in the world of medicine.
As for some effective clinical usages of the cold laser therapy, it was successfully used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinopathy and even chronic joint disorders, along with acute and chronic neck pain. Some other applications of this therapy, directed towards the treatment of conditions like wounds, chronic low back pain or chronic periodontitis etc., require further scientific researching.
To sum up, cold laser therapy is a powerful treatment on the rise and we are probably going to witness its application in many areas of medicine in years to come, due to its countless potential when it comes to relieving pain and treating numerous health conditions.