We have compiled common questions about cold laser therapy here.
- What is cold laser therapy?
- What health conditions can cold laser therapy help?
- What are the advantages of cold laser therapy over other forms of therapy?
- Is cold laser therapy safe?
- Is cold laser therapy FDA approved?
- Are there any side effects of cold laser therapy?
- Is cold laser therapy helpful for everyone?
- What is the effective penetration depth of cold laser therapy?
- How long and how often should I use cold laser therapy?
- When will cold laser therapy take effect?
- Are the treatment results of cold laser therapy long-lasting?
- Can I feel the cold laser during the treatment?
- Can we use cold laser therapy for horses, dogs, cats, and other animals?
- Can cold laser therapy be used over medical implants or over metal?
- Can cold laser therapy be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?
1. What is cold laser therapy?
Cold laser therapy is also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), soft laser biostimulation and photobiomodulation. It can deliver non-thermal photons of light to the body to help heal injured cells. Generally, surgical lasers used to destroy tumors tend to heat the tissue. Cold laser therapy is called “cold” because the low levels of light aren’t enough to heat your body’s tissue.
Nowadays, cold laser therapy is regarded as one of the most popular, natural and non-invasive treatment without side effect. Cold laser therapy is very safe and usually used as a complementary or alternative therapy to increase the efficiency of traditional physiotherapy and conventional treatments.
2. What health conditions can cold laser therapy help?
According to plenty of clinical trials, cold laser therapy can stimulate cellular metabolism, improve blood circulation, diminish inflammation, relieve pain and accelerate tissue repair. It can benefit both human and pets.
Some of the conditions that may typically be treated by cold laser therapy include:
- Ligament sprains, muscle strains
- Tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, frozen shoulder
- Neck pain, lower back pain, knee pain, sciatica
- Tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Acne and acne scars, psoriasis, vitiligo, dermatitis and rashes
- Wound healing, ulcerations, burns, edema
- Chronic autoimmune diseases
In addition, acupuncturists often use cold laser therapy for clients who are uncomfortable with needles. The low-level laser beams can stimulate your acupoints without piercing your skin.
3. What are the advantages of cold laser therapy over other forms of therapy?
As a non-invasive treatment, cold laser therapy does not require a surgical incision. It means that you don’t have to experience unbearable pain and prolonged recovery time.
Cold laser therapy does not have side effects and complications when used properly. So, patients who are worried about the potential dangers of medications prefer to choose cold laser therapy.
4. Is cold laser therapy safe?
Yes! Cold laser therapy has been in use for several decades around the world. Hundreds of clinical studies and scientific papers have documented the effectiveness and safety of this therapy. Cold laser devices are also FDA approved for relief of carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis, neck pain, lower back pain, wound healing, etc.
5. Is cold laser therapy FDA approved?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes four major classes (I to IV) of lasers, including three subclasses (IIa, IIIa, and IIIb). The higher the class, the more powerful the laser.
Three categories among them are classified as medical lasers by FDA. These are Class 3A Non-surgical Lasers, Class 3B Low-Level Lasers, and Class 4 Surgical Lasers.
Class 4 Surgical Lasers are used to cut, coagulate, and vaporize tissue. This is different from Class 3A and Class 3B lasers, which are non-surgical, painless, non-burning, and non-cutting forms of lasers. Class 3A or Class 3B which belong to Low-Level Lasers do not have the intensity to damage cells. Class 3A lasers help heal superficial wounds and conditions and will typically not penetrate below the skin’s surface. However, Class 3B low-level lasers have the ability to penetrate and assist in the healing process of deep tissue and joint problems.
The first experimental FDA clearance of Class 3B Lasers occurred in February of 2002, after a successful study for carpal tunnel syndrome on workers at General Motors.
Cold laser devices are also FDA approved for relief of the following conditions:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Stiffness associated with arthritis
- Pain associated with muscle spasms
- Hand pain and wrist pain associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Wound healing
6. Are there any side effects of cold laser therapy?
Cold laser therapy does not have side effects and complications when used properly. It offers a safe, non-invasive and non-addicting treatment to patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Nowadays, cold laser therapy is usually used as a complementary or alternative therapy to increase the efficiency of traditional physiotherapy and conventional treatments.
7. Is cold laser therapy helpful for everyone?
Although cold laser therapy is quite safe and healthy, it is not recommended in some cases.
Cold laser therapy shouldn’t be used on carcinomas or cancerous lesions. It should also be avoided on the thyroid or eyes. With little research done in this area, cold laser therapy has not been proven to be safe for unborn children. So, it’s not suggested that pregnant women use this type of treatment.
8. What is the effective penetration depth of cold laser therapy?
808 nm near-infrared light can penetrate to a MAXIMUM tissue depth of approximately 3.5-4.5 cm (1.4-1.8 inches). However, the effective depth, the maximum depth at which an effect can still be generated, will be determined by numerous factors, including the wavelength and intensity of the beam(s), the physical design of the applicator, the technique with which it is applied, the tissue tip and condition, and the preparation of the area being irradiated. For this specific device, the effective penetration depth would likely fall between 2.5-3.5 cm (1-1.4 inches), although, since the majority of the output is from the 650 nm visible red laser emitters, the light from which has an effective penetration depth of 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 inches), the treatment time for deeper-tissue targets will be quite long.
9. How long and how often should I use cold laser therapy?
In fact, the treatment time of cold laser varies from device to device. Take MiraMate Joint Aid as an example. Most users start with low-power settings and short time periods, then increase the power level gradually after the body adapts. We recommend using this device once or twice a day for 30 minutes each time. The treatment cycle should be 10 to 15 days, with a rest-time between treatment cycles sessions of 5-7 days.
10. When will cold laser therapy take effect?
The actual effect of cold laser therapy begins at the time of treatment, but generally only becomes noticeable several hours after the treatment. Some patients will feel the relief of pain and experience an increased range of motion right away. If the condition being treated is chronic and severe, it may take several treatment sessions to produce a significant noticeable result.
11. Are the treatment results of cold laser therapy long-lasting?
Cold laser therapy is about producing a healing effect in the cells and structures of the body. Unlike other therapies which mask or cover up the condition, cold laser therapy is actually influencing your body to speed up and strengthen the healing process. The effect of cold laser therapy is not just temporary relief, it is cumulative over time, so the more treatments you have, the stronger and more permanent the effect. Because cold laser therapy interacts with the cells and a natural healing process is generated, the results are quite long-lasting. In many cases, the problem may be permanently resolved.
12. Can I feel the cold laser during the treatment?
Most people feel nothing at all during the treatment session. Some patients will feel slight tingling sensation brought on by the increased blood flow to the area being treated. Since the laser produces no heat, no burning sensation or warmth from the device can be felt.
13. Can we use cold laser therapy for horses, dogs, cats, and other animals?
Yes, cold laser therapy is very safe for both humans and animals to use.
14. Can cold laser therapy be used over medical implants or over metal?
Yes, cold laser therapy is a light treatment. It is very safe for patients with implanted electrical devices and implanted metals, such as cardiac pacemakers, joint replacements, and etc.
15. Can cold laser therapy be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?
Yes. In fact, cold laser therapy can be even more effective when combined with other forms of therapy. These may include physical therapy, PEMF therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, electrotherapy, and following surgery.
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