Low-Level Laser (also known as Cold Laser) Therapy uses light to enhance the body’s natural healing processes. The light source is placed on the skin, allowing the light energy (photons) to penetrate tissue where it interacts to increase circulation and help restore normal cellular function. LLLT does not break the skin, as do surgical lasers.
The FDA approved LLLT (also known as cold laser) as an effective method for pain relief. One FDA study showed that LLLT caused tissues (muscle, skin, nerve) to heal 66 percent faster!
For inflammation, laser therapy causes the smaller arteries and lymph vessels of the body to increase in size, which is called vasodilation. Vasodilation allows inflammation, swelling, and edema to be cleared away from injury sites more effectively. Vasodilation in lymph nodes promotes lymphatic drainage, which also aids in the healing process.
The laser is also used to help heal wounds and to treat many types of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders such as sprains/strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia.
I have a client who had terrible pain in her heels and walked around on her tiptoes. I did 5-10 cold laser sessions on her feet and she has been pain free (and hiking several times a week) for about 18 months. In her case, it took several sessions for the pain to begin to diminish. The benefits of cold laser therapy appear to be cumulative – in some cases, relief can begin immediately, but it may take several treatments for the results to become evident. The total number of treatments needed depends on the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, and each patient’s individual response. In general, 4-12 treatments are usually necessary to begin the healing process of tissue.