Understanding Cold Laser Therapy

History of Cold Laser Therapy

History of Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), has been used in clinical practices all around the world for several decades. In this blog, we will talk about the development of cold laser therapy.

In 1903, Dr. Nils Finsen was awarded a Nobel Prize for his contribution to the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris, with concentrated light radiation. In 1916, Albert Einstein conceived the theory of Light Amplification through Stimulated Emission of Radiation or Laser. In 1960, Professor Maiman TH built the first working red ruby laser.

In 1967, Professor Andre Mester began using low power lasers in medicine. Dr. Mester is recognized by many as the father of laser therapy. He performed tests on mice to determine whether or not laser exposure caused cancer. In the experiments, he shaved the hair off the backs of mice, and divided the subjects into two groups. He exposed one group to laser treatment using a low-power laser device while the control group received no laser therapy. The mice who received laser therapy experienced much faster hair regrowth than the control group. Thus, photo-biostimulation (activation of the cell by light) was discovered.

In the late 1970s, cold lasers have been widely utilized by health practitioners for the treatment of pain. These early cold laser devices can be purchased for a few dollars at any office supply stores. They were only slightly more powerful than modern keychain-sized laser pointers. The extremely low power limited the use of these cold laser devices to superficial wound treatment because they were unable to penetrate the skin.

In 2002, the first experimental Class 3B cold laser device was cleared by the FDA after a successful study for carpal tunnel syndrome on workers at General Motors. Since then, more and more people recognized the miraculous benefits of cold laser therapy. Class 3B laser therapy, commonly called cold laser therapy or Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), can penetrate into the ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones. So, cold laser therapy can be used widely for more health conditions, such as arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, frozen shoulder, etc.

So far, there are more than 300 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials have been reported, including:

2009 – The Lancet shows “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.”

2016 – Cold Laser Therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials found “moderate quality of evidence” and “clinically important benefits” in the short term.

2017 – American College of Physicians Guidelines include a “strong recommendation” for Cold Laser Therapy as a non-invasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute & Chronic Low Back Pain.

2017 – Low Level Laser improves survival of head and neck cancer patients.

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