Laser Therapy Shines as an Alternative Complementary Treatment for Pain Management and Healing

Peer Reviewed

woman during laser physiotherapyLooking for a unique treatment that can help your body heal from chronic injuries and relieve pain? Low level laser therapy (LLLT), or "cold laser" is changing the way medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other health care professionals are helping individuals heal from injuries and chronic disease and improve their quality of life.

How LLLT Works
Low level laser therapy traces its history back to the early 1960's when researchers discovered that laser light could stimulate a response at the cellular level of tissues in the body, resulting in increased energy levels (ATP, adenosine triphosphate). This increase in energy enables the body's cells to metabolize at a higher rate and speeds its natural ability to heal. In short, the body converts the laser light into a form of energy that it can use (biochemical energy) to repair itself and function at a higher efficiency level. This process is similar to the human body using the sun's energy to manufacture Vitamin D.

FDA Approved
Researchers have since experimented over the decades to find out which intensities and wavelengths of light work best to promote healing in the body. Laser therapy has been successfully utilized in Europe, Asia, and Canada for years. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of low level laser therapy for use in the United States.

How Low Level Laser Therapy is Used
Low level laser therapy has almost endless applications because of its approach to healing. Its low intensity does not burn or cut tissue like high-powered surgical lasers and there are no known side effects in its over 40 year history of use. Laser therapy is effective in treating many conditions that are prominent today, such as chronic arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and sports injuries just to name a few. Many professional athletes utilize laser therapy to reduce healing time to get them back into the game with less chance of re-injury. Countless other people are reaping the benefits of laser therapy by eliminating their dependence on pain medications, avoiding surgery, decreasing or eliminating pain, and returning to a healthier lifestyle.

So, if you think LLLT may help you to cut back or eliminate certain pain medications or avoid surgery, talk to your doctor or health care practitioner. Low level laser therapy has been effective in my practice and is a treatment of choice in providing safe, effective, lasting results for those looking for a better approach to health.

1. Gur A, Karakoc M, Nas K, Cevik R, Sarac J, Demir E. Efficacy of low power laser therapy in fibromyalgia: a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lasers in Medical Science (2002) 17(1):57-61.

2. Oezdemir F, Birtane M, Kokino S. The clinical efficacy of low-power laser therapy on pain and function in cervical osteoarthritis. Clinical Rheumatology (2001) 20(3): 181-184.

3. Simunovic Z, Ivankovich AD, Depolo A. Wound healing of animal and human body sport and traffic accident injuries using low-level therapy treatment; a randomized clinical study of seventy-four patients with control group. Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery (2000) Apr;18(2):67-73.

Updated on: 07/06/16
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Ron Grassi, DC MS ACFEI
A concise introduction about the utilization of low level laser therapy (LLLT) in the management of pain and stimulation of accelerated tissue healing. This article should prompt the reader to further investigate LLLT's application in the treatment of their conditions.
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