Cold laser therapy is an experimental form of therapy employing low power lasers at specific wavelengths (or colors) applied to select spots on human or animal bodies to either reduce pain or inflammation and to promote healing. Cold laser therapy is also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Low Power Laser Therapy (LPLT), biostimulation, soft laser, and laser acupuncture. LPLT is probably the most accurate terminology, but the term laser acupuncture may be the most accurate to describe some variations of the therapy.
LPLT is not considered a main-stream (allopathic) medicine which is why it it is not an established form of therapy for many places. Premiere Chiropractic physicians employ this type of therapy since they know it is effective and have seen proven benefits for their patients. It is also used in physical therapy, acupuncture, Osteopathy, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and veterinary medicine.
The therapeutic use of lasers dates back to at least 1967 when Endre Mester at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary was experimenting with the use of laser light for treating skin cancer. He noticed that the hair on shaved lab mice grew back more rapidly on mice treated with the laser light than on untreated mice.
Cold laser therapy is generally considered as effective for relief of pain for such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, and various chronic joint disorders. There is evidence that laser therapy may speed healing of wounds, and it has been suggested that it may be useful in promoting healing in dental procedures. The use of low level laser light to stimulate acupuncture points is advocated by many practitioners but studies to validate this practice have not been published in mainstream medical journals. LPLT has also been used in “face lift” procedures to reduce wrinkles.
Since the use of laser therapy in treating inflammation and pain in various joint and tendon problems is well established, the use of it in Chiropractic and physical therapy settings has become common-place. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a wide range of treatments using lasers for pain and inflammation and to promote healing.
Low level laser therapy has been effectively used to treat sports injuries with recovery times being as much as twice as fast. The use of laser therapy in conjunction with traditional physical therapy is rapidly becoming a standard.
Many chiropractors and physical therapists use laser therapy to treat whiplash injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome may also be treated. Chronic frozen shoulders may respond to this type of therapy.
Some other conditions may or may not respond to cold laser therapies. Some practitioners use low level laser therapy to treat cancer. This type of therapy would probably be compatible with most conventional treatments but should not be used as the sole therapy. Low level laser cancer therapies should not be confused with laser surgery or photodynamic therapy, which uses light sensitive drugs activated by laser light to treat cancer.
Laser therapy is still a fairly new mode of treatment and experience with it is constantly improving the results derived from it. Use of low level laser light for the treatment of many types of injuries is well established and is particularly useful in sprain type injuries. Seek out experienced practitioners for this type of therapy.
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