“Cold laser therapy” is another way of saying low level laser therapy (LLLT) or even “low intensity laser therapy (LILT)” – different names for the same therapy.
The way cold laser therapy works is by stimulating damaged cells with a specific wavelength of light to promote healing. The wavelength of the light is very important, as it makes the difference between actually helping to heal the injured area or simply activating water molecules, like many class 4 (‘hot laser’) systems do, meaning they mostly just heat up the area similar to how microwaves heat up your food, just on a smaller scale.
More information on exactly how lasers work is outlined in our informative page low level laser therapy, but for this post, I’d like to focus on the benefits of cold laser therapy.
What exactly does it do?
Cold laser therapy can cause the release of enzymes, stimulate mitochondria (the producers of energy in your body’s cells), increase vasodilation (better blood flow) and lymphatic drainage (getting waste products out of the injured area), ATP synthesis (energy!), and elevate collagen formation substances (promote healing) to prevent scar tissue. Scar tissue is a common source of chronic pain since it is a tissue that causes pain when it is stretched or pulled on. Simply stated, LLLT lets you get out of pain faster and heal at the same time.
Low Level Laser Therapy for Sports Injuries
Low level laser therapy really helps patients in three major ways: immediate pain relief, faster recovery, and long term improvement. The gentle expanding of blood vessels, which begins soon after a low level laser therapy treatment begins, is one of the main reasons why immediate pain relief can often take place. ATP synthesis and mitochondria stimulation are the functions which increase the speed of healing, allowing the injury to resolve quicker. Furthermore, healing an injury as soon as possible decreases the amount of internal scar tissue that will form within the body. The sooner an injury can be treated with laser therapy, the less scar tissue that would develop, meaning less work from the chiropractor using ART and IASTM to break down the scar tissue. Reducing the amount of scar tissue helps prevent further injury, pain, loss of mobility, and other complications.
While painkillers and injections only mask pain and can have serious side effects, including pain at injection sites, laser therapy is non-invasive, not painful, and has no “down time” after treatment.
Low level laser therapy is a great treatment option for all populations since it can be used on virtually any person – which is why it is also a growing treatment strategy with dentists and veterinarians!
Book an appointment today to find out if cold laser therapy is right for you!