Shift in Health: Cold laser therapy
By Dr. Wendy M. Henrichs, Board Certified chiropractic pediatrician and nutrition counselor
The cold laser could be “The Therapy” of the 21st century. With over 200 clinical studies – many of which are double-blind, placebo-controlled – and more than 2,000 published articles on low-level laser therapy, this innovative technology has a well-documented research and application history.
LLLT is now being considered a therapy of choice for difficult pain management challenges such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. LLLT is safe, non-toxic, easy to use, has synergistic effects with other therapies and is doctor-and-patient-friendly. You may have heard of the many benefits of cold laser or LLLT, but do not really know what it is.
Cold laser therapy aims to photo-biostimulate chemically damaged cells via specific wavelengths of light. When cells are chemically damaged, they stimulate the pain cycle. Cold laser excites the kinetic energy within cells by transmitting healing stimuli known as photons. The skin absorbs these photons via a photo-chemical effect, not photo-thermal; therefore, it does not cause heat damage to the tissues. Once photons reach the cells of the body, they promote a cascade of cellular activities. Laser therapy light can ignite the production of enzymes, stimulate mitochondria, increase vasodilation, increase lymphatic drainage, increase ATP synthesis (energy), and elevate collagen formation substances to prevent the formation of scar tissues. These cellular activities are a critical step in reducing long-term disabling chronic myofascial pain syndromes. Your immune system is also stimulated by increasing the number of macrophages. Simply stated, cold laser can enable you to get out of pain faster and heal at the same time.
What is Cold Laser? Laser is light amplification at specific wavelengths that has been scientifically proven to create healing properties in human cells. Like a plant cell uses sunlight for growth and health, human cells have been shown to respond to light in a comparable way.
Are all lasers the same? No. Research demonstrates that lasers in the range of 630 – 830 nM and doses levels ranging from 0.5 – 10 J/cm2 to be the ideal “sweet spot” for optimal health benefits.
Are lasers safe? Yes. When used in the ranges mentioned above lasers are one of the safest devices currently used in healthcare. They are non-ionizing, non-thermal, non-invasive, non- toxic applications so you do not receive any harmful byproducts. When lasers get too powerful, they serve a different purpose such as surgical lasers. These are not “cold lasers”. The only tissues that Class 2 lasers are contraindicated with are directly onto the retina.
What can lasers help with? Research has shown lasers to be helpful in nearly every tissue of the human body including brain, muscle, bone, cartilage, and ligaments. They stimulate nerve function and growth, decrease pain, decrease inflammation, stimulate antioxidant pathways, promote wound healing, decrease scar tissue formation, increase blood flow, stimulate new blood flow, and speed up recovery time in almost every injury. Cold Laser Therapy has been FDA Cleared for use with all Musculoskeletal Conditions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). It can quickly and dramatically reduce acute and chronic pain by:
– Reducing inflammation
– Reducing free radical production and oxidative stress
– Improving blood flow
– Enhancing tissue repair
– Increasing collagen production
– Increasing enzyme activity
– Improving cellular energy production (increasing production of cellular ATP).
Does cold laser therapy hurt? No. Patients typically do not “feel” cold laser therapy, but some patients do say they feel a tingling sensation in the area the cold laser is applied.
Can I receive just laser therapy? Cold laser can be used as a stand-alone treatment or with other modalities and therapies.
It does not matter if you have a new or old injury, cold laser therapy can aid in accelerating or starting your healing process. Cold laser therapy can help you can tear down the walls of pain and suffering without the use of drugs or surgery, beginning your journey towards healing. Remember, it is never too late to make a Shift in Health.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs provides comprehensive chiropractic care among other services, including pregnancy, newborn and pediatric care, post-concussion and sports performance, FX 635 Laser, Zerona fat loss laser, nutrition counseling and wellness services at Timberland Chiropractic. Visit timberlandchiropractic.com, social media, or call 715-362-4852.