Jul 30

Cold Laser Treatment: Uses, Benefits, and Effects

Q and A with Dr. Tom Brzostowski of the Headache Center of Chicago.Chronic daily headaches and debilitating migraines, as well as a host of other pain conditions ranging from face pain to chronic muscular tension are things we treat here at the Headache Center of Chicago. One of the physical medicine modalities we use, usually in conjunction with other modalities, is low-level cold laser application.

Cold laser treatment has been studied carefully now by the medical community for about 30 years. However, it wasn’t until 2001 that the FDA cleared the first cold laser application devices for use in treating medical conditions. Nowadays, alternative healthcare practices, chiropractors, physical therapists, doctors, and dentists alike are offering their patients cold laser treatment to reduce pain, speed healing, and avoid invasive options for treating a wide variety of injuries and medical conditions.

Cold lasers are used by clinicians to target trigger points, tissue, and bone with red light photons or infrared which promotes speedy and more complete healing to injuries. However, low-level cold laser application can simultaneously reduce pain, providing added benefit. In fact, the sophisticated cold laser devices we use now can be incredibly useful for a wide variety of conditions.

Uses for Cold Laser Application:

• Pain reduction, both acute and chronic – wide variety of types
• Sprains of ligaments and moderate to severe muscle strains
• Numerous types of injuries to soft tissue
• Tendonitis, Arthritis, Bursitis, and even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Fibromyalgia
• Neuromuscular force imbalances of the Dentomandibular Complex

Cold lasers represent an effective alternative treatment option to invasive surgical procedures and medication use. Both surgery and drug options increase adverse risk to the patient. In the case of invasive surgery, risk that the procedure does not work as well as intended — or at all — is always present. Additionally, surgery introduces the potential for infections that can cause other problems. In a wide variety of cases, cold laser would be preferable the surgical option.

Cold laser application also provides a compelling solution for pain mitigation where normally the prescribed solution would involve drugs that mask symptoms for temporary relief. Medications — especially pain medications — are often narcotic and addictive. Medications can also leave the user in a drug-induced fog, decreasing their efficiency, productivity, mental alertness and comfort. This is hardly the preferred way if it can be avoided, and with the cold laser option sometimes it can. Thousands of studies have been conducted to validate the efficacy and effectiveness of cold laser treatment.

Cold Laser Benefits:

• Simple, safe application
• Non-toxic — no side effects from use or pain in its application
• Physically non-intrusive – reduces need for surgical options
• Less costly to patients than surgeries and long-term medication use
• Highly effective in treating ailments (improvement in over 90% of patients who receive cold laser)
• Can be used in conjunction with other physical medicine modalities like massage, electrical stim, ultrasound, etc.

General Effects of Cold Laser on the Body:

• Laser photons increase the speed of cellular reproduction and growth
• Using photons will promote increases of certain types of enzymes; increased oxygen and nutrients for cells; stronger production of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), a primary food source for your cells
• Rapid healing of damaged tissue through stronger fibroblast development and accelerated collagen synthesis
• Photons from the laser will reduce swelling and cause a general reduction in inflammation in joints and musculature
• Blood flow also increases to damaged and strained areas via temporary vasodilation
• Scar tissue and fibrous tissue formation is reduced and broken down after injury or surgery
• Photon exposure promotes nerve cell reconnection and stimulation, and can reduce numbness to areas with nerve damage
• Acute and Chronic pain manifestation is reduced and often eliminated, and the effects can be long-term, unlike medication

Is Cold Laser Treatment Right For You?

Quite possibly, but it does depend on your specific diagnosis and condition. Headache Center of Chicago offers low-level cold laser application in many of its neuromuscular rehabilitation programs. We frequently use cold laser for treating chronic daily headaches, persistent migraines with and without aura, cluster headaches and tension headaches, chronic head/neck muscular tension, orofacial pain, and TMJ jaw joint problems.

If you’ve tried other things and want to explore our non-invasive options for long-term pain relief, call the Headache Center of Chicago today and schedule a comprehensive diagnostic exam. We’ll not only be able to tell you if neuromuscular force problems are involved in your pain, but if cold laser application would be recommended in your treatment.