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Cold Laser Therapy

Stimulating Healing for HMG Patients in Exciting and Long-Lasting Ways

By: Dr. Pat Hopkins and Leslie Frodema, RN of Hopkins Medical Group

Light, in its many forms, is a fundamental element of life and healing. Ancient and modern medicines alike have harnessed the power of light, applying it to a multitude of ailments and illnesses, using its properties as medicine. 

Contemporary applications of light include:

  • Stimulating Vitamin D production through sun exposure.
  • Reducing neonatal jaundice with blue light.
  • Correcting vision with LASIK thermal laser.
  • Performing kidney stone ablation with thermal laser.
  • Combatting seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with lightboxes.
  • Assisting ventilated lungs during COVID-19 with UVA light.
  • And so much more.  

One of the most promising uses of light is Cold Laser Therapy. This exciting technology is also called Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) and Photobiomodulation Therapy, and was first brought to FDA clinical trials over 20 years ago by Dr. Richard Amy—researcher, clinician, educator, and guest on our very own Genius of Wellness podcast

What is Cold Laser Therapy?

The word “Laser” is an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” meaning, a laser is a tool capable of converting light into a focused, high-energy beam. Often, when thinking of lasers, we think of hot, burning or cutting beams like those used in various surgical and aesthetic procedures. 

But, there is a different kind of laser as well, a low-intensity therapy that does not heat the body’s tissue upon contact and thus, does not cut or burn. These are called “cold lasers” and they’re used to stimulate healing by causing a reaction at the cellular level that both enhances the function of healthy cells and triggers healing mechanisms for damaged cells, promoting repair and regeneration.

Cold Laser Therapy is often confused with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which can be purchased online for $25 – $100. Although LEDs have their own healing properties, Cold Lasers are a significantly more expensive, highly therapeutic tool, often used by medical professionals to help patients recover and heal from chronic and acute pain, injury, and more.

How Cold Laser Therapy Interacts with the Body

During a Cold Laser Therapy procedure, a low-level red, violet, or near-infrared light is applied to the skin’s surface, causing beneficial reactions at the cellular level.

This absorption of light triggers many of the body’s natural healing mechanisms, like increasing the levels of oxygenated blood in injured tissues, remodeling and promoting the production of collagen to improve tissue elasticity and rebuild cartilage, increasing inflammatory mediators to resolve painful inflammation, assisting and accelerating nerve and bone regeneration, and more.

What is Cold Laser Therapy used to treat?

There are many practical applications of Cold Laser Therapy, most of which are focused on accelerating or promoting healing and providing relief from different forms of pain and inflammation. Cold Laser Therapy is used for treating:

  • Pain and inflammation – In cases of pain and inflammation from injury or chronic inflammation, like that from rheumatoid arthritis, Cold Laser Therapy can work with the body’s natural ability to heal, promoting its built-in anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Minor injuries – Minor injuries like ligament and muscle strains, tendonitis, or common sprains can be healed more quickly through Cold Laser Therapy.
  • Skin rejuvenation – By promoting nerve and tissue regeneration, Cold Laser Therapy is often used by dermatologists for treating various skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and wrinkles. 
  • Neuropathies – By stimulating blood oxygenation and circulation, Cold Laser Therapy can be used to treat neuropathies, promoting nerve repair and helping decrease pain and discomfort.
  • Wounds and burns – Cold Laser Therapy can help promote the repair of difficult-to-heal wounds and burns in some cases by assisting with tissue regeneration.

Getting Cold Laser Therapy at Hopkins Medical Group

We are proud providers of Cold Laser Therapy at Hopkins Medical Group. A cold laser therapy session takes place in the privacy and comfort of an exam room and is performed by a licensed practitioner. These sessions are approximately 30 minutes long and are a non-invasive, pain-free way to accelerate healing. 

Here’s what our patients are saying about their experiences with Cold Laser Therapy: 

“The main & most profound effect the laser gave to me was reducing my pain from a huge leg wound. The leg wound healed much faster (compared to wounds I had before) without going to the wound clinic three times a week.”

“The laser therapy has really helped my back pain which I have had for many years. I am a physical therapist and had not worked directly with patients for 15 years, partly because of lower back pain. I have just started a new job in a clinical position. I no longer require any medication for back pain."

“One major impact of laser therapy was the decrease in migraines. Now if I have one piercing start of a migraine, it is very short-lived and I don't have to hide in a dark room.”