When you hear the word “laser,” your mind may picture a scene from a science fiction movie, a surgical procedure or laser hair removal. Did you know, however, that lasers are also used for healing? The type of lasers I am referring to are called “Cold Lasers” and they can be used to treat common conditions such as arthritis, sprains and even speed the healing of broken bones. Cold lasers are called “cold” because they do not induce any temperature change in the body’s tissues. They are a safe, painless and medication-free treatment with virtually no adverse effects.
The three major health benefits of cold lasers are that they reduce inflammation, speed tissue healing and reduce pain. When the body is injured, it reacts by “splinting” the injury with edema, a watery fluid that collects in the tissue. However, excess edema causes swelling that inhibits movement of the damaged tissue. Laser therapy helps the cells to clear this fluid faster than the body can on it’s own. Cold laser also reduces the inflammation associated with injury by increasing the amount of anti-inflammatory compounds produced by the body. Laser treatments further facilitate healing by stimulating an increase in endorphin levels. Endorphins serve as the body’s natural pain relievers.
How Does Cold Laser Work?
Cold laser works by affecting the mitochondria of the cell. The mitochondria is the part of the cell responsible for producing energy or ATP. Laser light accelerates the production of ATP, thus speeding up the overall activity of the cell. In cells responsible for repairing tissue, including bone, muscle, ligament, skin, and even nerves, this results in an increase rate of repair. Cold lasers have also been shown to have anti-viral and anti-fungal effects.
What Health Conditions Can Cold Lasers Benefit?
- Post-Surgical Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Headaches and Migraines
- Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Tennis Elbow
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic Fatigue
In our office we offer cold laser therapy for a wide variety of conditions. Based upon your own individual needs and medical history we can develop a treatment plan to get you to your best health. Whether you have a new injury or a chronic condition that is not responding to traditional therapies, cold laser may be the right choice for you.
Originally published in the March 10, 2012 issue of MailMax for Michigan’s Great Southwest