Cold Laser Therapy for Pain Management
|Cold laser light penetrating deep Tissue|
For many people with acute or chronic pain, the options offered by tradition doctors are just not good enough. Long- term use of pain killers can cause liver damage, addiction, depression, deadly vascular problems and a low quality of life. Some drugs also require the use of other drugs to offset the side effects of the primary medicine. For some injuries, surgery is recommended but once again, the benefits may not outweigh the disadvantages. A recent study showed that patients who had a fake knee surgery felt as good as those that had a real knee surgery. Both surgery and prescription drug are the best answer for some but there are other who can get better results from a non-invasive treatment like cold laser therapy.
Over the past 10 years, cold laser therapy has exploded with many practitioners like chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists. These professionals are typically working to heal the root cause of the problems versus minimizing the effects of the problem. To do this, they have been using low level lasers or cold laser therapy in conjuction with their other treatment options. The wide spread use of cold lasers in doctor's offices has given access to the technology to hundreds of thousands of people who are now starting to buy cold lasers for their home.
Today, there are a variety of cold lasers that are FDA cleared for pain control, inflammation reduction and accelerated healing. The science behind cold lasers is based on using a wavelength that penetrates the body to an appropriate level and using a pulsing frequency or continuous wave that interacts with the tissue to inhibit or excite the damaged area. Studies have shown that laser light is absorbed by healthy tissue but it does not trigger a reaction. Lower wavelengths (like red light at 600nm) are best for shallow treatments, which is where many of the pain sensors are located, and higher IR wavelengths (up to 980nm) for deep penetration. The use of continuous or pulsed laser beams allows users to optimize the use of their cold laser to promote maximum pain control or maximum healing. There are several variables to consider when using a cold laser for pain control:
- Wavelength of Light- Infrared wavelengths are better for deep penetration while red wavelengths are best for shallow treatments.
- Power Level - Higher power levels mainly shorten the treatment time but very low power levels may not ever reach the optimum density in a reasonable time.
- Continuous or Pulsed Output - Continuous lasers allow for faster saturation of the tissue but pulsing the laser may result in better healing. It is best to have both options if you can afford it.
- Protocol Accuracy -The key to success is having the optimum protocol (treatment plan) for each condition. Some protocols treat the root cause and some treat the conditions.
- Treatment time - In a doctor's office or at home, the treatment time can be quite long for people with multiple problems but shorter treatment times require more expensive equipment.
These elements must be optimized for each therapy. This is done by selecting the right wavelength of light (600 to 900mnm) and then using enough power to bombard the tissue over a long enough therapy session that the unhealthy area is illuminated at the optimum level to provide the desired results.
Class 1 and class 2 lasers are the safest and lowest cost so they are best for home use. Class 3 lasers require a prescription for home use and Class 4 lasers are only used by trained professional. Because Class 3 and 4 lasers are so expensive, many doctors also use class 1 and 2 lasers in their office. In general, higher power laser have shorter treatment times, so the biggest advantage of class 4 lasers is the ability to treat more people per day. For home use, a class 1, 2 or 3 laser can be best since it is not being used all day, they are safer, and the payback period (ROI) is better that it would be if you buy more laser than you need.
ColdLasers.Org sells a wide range of low level or cold lasers that are specifically designed for pain control. We also have a very limited directory of practitioners that offer cold laser therapy. If possible, it is best for home users to have a professional cold laser therapy session before buying a product. If you are researching product, a wide range of options are listed at the top and left of this page. If you need help selecting a laser, please call us at 800-388-0850.