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Cold Laser Therapy

The laser we purchased is the first to reach government standards, is used by many medical and chiropractic facilities around the world and has recently been published in over 20 medical journals. Laser is not a “pain masking device”. It helps to facilitate the natural healing that takes place with an adjustment by allowing for quicker healing time through natural means within the cells. It is not the type of “HOT” laser that burns or breaks down tissue but is classified as a “ COLD” laser that assists the body in healing.

Some of the many clinical applications include treating soft tissue injury, chronic pain, wound healing and nerve regeneration, resolving viral and bacterial infections, tissue regeneration, inflammation, relieve pain, boost the immune system and strengthen muscles. One significant application is the treatment of inflammation, where the anti-inflammatory effect of location-and-dose-specific laser beamsnproduced similar outcomes as NSAIDs, but without the potentially harmful side-effects.

Laser can also be helpful in diagnosis of asymptomatic problems that may otherwise go undetected and remain hidden until damaged tissue creates symptoms.

For those that are research minded, there have been over 2,500 studies published worldwide and over 120 double-blinded studies performed that revealed the benefits of laser with no known side effects.

Numerous studies show that laser therapy can help with:

  • Tendinopathies
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Myofascial Trigger Points
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis Elbow)
  • Ligament Sprains
  • Muscle Sprains
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries
  • Chondromalacia Patellae
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Shoulder, Back & Knee Pain
  • Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
  • Post Traumatic Injury
  • Trigminal Neuralgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Venous Ulcers
  • Diabetic Foot Ulcers
  • Burns
  • Deep Edema/ Congestion
  • Sports Injuries
  • Auto & Work Related Injuries
  • Osteoarthritis

Chronic Pain and Lasers

Lasers are often used in health care for surgery, but less potent versions of light therapy can be used by chiropractors or physical therapists in pain management. These small battery-operated cold lasers could someday even be used at home by chronic pain sufferers.

Cold lasers, a low-energy laser, activate the local metabolic process, stimulating the healing process and decreasing pain.

Stairs and writing are two things Gary Arnold of Cape Girardeau has struggled with since the onset of his arthritis in 1992. After Arnold complained about his painful knees and wrists, his new neighbor brought over a small laser therapy machine and told him to “just try it.”

“It has helped quite a bit,” Arnold said. He uses the laser on his knees and hands twice a day for five to 10 minutes. “As soon as you use it, [the pain] goes away.”

Arnold’s new neighbor happened to be Dr. Barry Ungerleider, a physician from MO who moved to Southeast Missouri to practice family medicine at Southeast Missouri Health Network in Sikeston.

Ungerleider had collaborated with other physicians and laser enthusiasts to invent a handheld laser that would be affordable for smaller clinics who wanted to dip into the technology, but didn’t have the funds to commit to a large unit.

Most lasers on the market can run a physician’s office anywhere from $4,000 up to $16,000, depending on the size and amenities. Ungerleider markets his for about $1,500. The Healing Lasers Model A Laser is patent pending and not-yet FDA approved, but doctors are increasingly employing the technology for a variety of ailments.

“I use it for any and everything just about,” said Dr. Chris Miller of Miller Chiropractic & Laser Treatment Center in Olney, Ill.

Miller bought his first laser from Ungerleider about a year ago and now has six in his practice.

Miller said he uses it most on sprains, strains and tendinitis.

Typically, a badly sprained ankle can take four to six weeks.

“I think you see recovery with the laser in two to three weeks,” he said. With laser therapy, recovery time is cut “definitely in half, if not quicker.”

Cold lasers can be used for psoriasis, eczema, slipped disks, Bell’s palsy and carpal tunnel syndrome. “I have also used it for ADHD,” Miller said. He hits acupuncture spots to stimulate points and get results.

With all the uses, Miller said his lasers have earned their low price. Ungerleider has helped get roughly 2,000 Model A’s to physicians wanting to experiment with new healing methods.

“We were looking to serve the doctor or researcher who didn’t have an unlimited budget,” Ungerleider said. “And eventually get it down to in reach of the patients.”

He makes the distinction that personal-use lasers should be reserved for chronic pain sufferers, not a one-time sprained ankle. The Model A and similar units on the market use a low watt pulsating beam that is ultimately safe for novice use, after being instructed by a physician.

Cold lasers do not transfer enough energy to cut or permanently alter body issues.” Ungerleider instructed Arnold on how to use the Model A and now he and his wife, Doris Jean Arnold, get daily relief from a laser instead of medicine.

“You can take something with you and use it like a bottle of Tylenol,” Doris Jean said. “It’s wonderful.”

Cold Laser Therapy: What Is It and Can It Work For Me?

Cold laser therapy, sometimes called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a laser therapy that uses low levels of light to stimulate healing. Unlike surgical or aesthetic lasers, it does not cause your tissues to heat up or burn. Differing wavelengths and outputs are used, depending on the condition and purpose of the treatment. During the procedure, you’ll feel the device against your skin, but it creates no heat, sound, or vibration.

How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
The technique is called “cold” laser therapy because the low levels of light are not enough to heat your body’s tissue. The level of light is low when compared to other forms of laser therapy, such as those used to destroy tumors and coagulate tissue. Even better, it is completely noninvasive and painless. Most of the time, one treatment will take only a few minutes.

The technique is called “cold” laser therapy because the low levels of light are not enough to heat your body’s tissue. The level of light is low when compared to other forms of laser therapy, such as those used to destroy tumors and coagulate tissue. Even better, it is completely noninvasive and painless. Most of the time, one treatment will take only a few minutes.

What Is Cold Laser Therapy Used For?
Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, and other medical professionals use cold laser therapy in a variety of ways. The main uses for cold laser therapy are tissue repair and relief from pain. It is used to help reduce swelling and promote healing of the joints and soft tissue. Pain clinics use it to help people who suffer from chronic pain.

As a Chiropractor, we have used cold laser therapy to promote accelerated healing with some of the conditions related to:

  • Neck and Low Back Pain
  • Shoulder Problems: Bursitis, Tendonitis
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
  • Ulnar and Cluneal Nerve Entrapments
  • Knee Pain: Ligament and Cartilage Tears,
  • Plantar Fasciitis, Ankle Sprains
  • Scar Tissue Repair and Scar Related Pain
  • Wound Healing, Fracture Healing
  • Muscle Injuries, Tears, Sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • TMJ

Is Cold Laser Therapy Right for You?
? The use of cold laser therapy is growing in traditional medical practice and as complementary or alternative therapy. Under the care of a doctor or qualified practitioner, cold laser therapy is considered safe. Also on the plus side, it’s noninvasive, painless, and there’s no need for medication or other preparation. There are generally no side effects or reported adverse events.

One of the drawbacks may be time. While each session only takes a few minutes, it may take a series of treatments before you can gauge its effectiveness.

If you’re interested in cold laser therapy, speak with a doctor, physical therapist, or other medical professional to find out if it makes sense for you.

Dr. Joe Gitto, BA, DC, CFMP, FDN
Advanced Chiropractic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist
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