For over forty years, low level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) and LED (light emitting diode) therapy (also known as photobiomodulation) has been shown to reduce inflammation and edema, induce analgesia, and promote healing in a range of musculoskeletal pathologies.
LLLT, phototherapy or photobiomodulation refers to the use of photons at a non-thermal irradiance to alter biological activity. LLLT uses either coherent light sources (lasers) or non-coherent light sources consisting of filtered lamps or light-emitting diodes (LED) or, on occasion, a combination of both. The main medical applications of LLLT are reducing pain and inflammation, augmenting tissue repair and promoting regeneration of different tissues and nerves, and preventing tissue damage in situations where it is likely to occur. During this procedure, different wavelengths and outputs of low-level light are applied directly to a targeted area. The body tissue then absorbs the light. The red and near-infrared light cause a reaction, and the damaged cells respond with a physiological reaction that promotes regeneration. Superficial tissue is commonly treated with wavelengths between 600 and 700 nanometers (nm). For deeper penetration, wavelengths between 780 and 950 nm are used. Although you’ll feel the laser device touching your skin, the procedure is painless and noninvasive. There will be no sound and you’ll feel no vibration or heat. Each treatment typically takes only a few minutes.
Is cold laser therapy for you?
The use of cold laser therapy is growing in traditional medical practice and as a complementary or alternative therapy. It’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a number of conditions.
Cold laser therapy is considered safe when performed under the care of a doctor or qualified practitioner. On the plus side, it’s also noninvasive and painless. It doesn’t require medication or other preparation either.
That being said, cold laser therapy shouldn’t be used on carcinomas or cancerous lesions. It should also be avoided on the thyroid or eyes for home use. Since the effect of cold laser therapy on unborn children is unknown, it’s suggested that pregnant women avoid this type of treatment.