How do COLD LASERS Work?
Cold Lasers are handheld devices that are placed directly over the injured area. Typically, depending on the area being treated, and the number of lasers being used, laser treatments can last between 10-40 minutes. During the treatment, the laser light safely penetrates deep through several layers of skin and fat without injuring a single cell.
Once the cold laser light (photons) reaches the injured tissue it is readily absorbed by damaged, injured, or weakened cells. The light energy interacts and is absorbed by chromophores, specifically cytochrome c oxidase, (light sensitive enzymes in the mitochondria of the cells). By activating these enzymes it stimulates the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, energy of the cell). As a result, this new found energy initiates more ATP to be produced and a cascade of beneficial events occur; including, a reduction in pain, edema, inflammation, improved nerve function, and an increase in the intracellular metabolic rate of the cell which decreases the cells healing time and allows the damaged tissue to repair itself faster.
Cold Laser therapy has been successfully used around the world for over 35 years to help treat a myriad of conditions. There are more than 2,500 clinical studies that have been published and over 120 randomized controlled studies have been conducted. In the United States, cold laser therapy is used in certain hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and clinics as a safe treatment option to help assist in pain relief. Currently, cold laser therapy is also being used by professional sports teams to treat athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, PGA, NBL, and U.S Olympic Teams just to name a few.
“The laser treatment speeds up cell repair & stimulates the immune, lymphatic, & vascular systems.” Paul Sibert, M.D., Chief of Neurology at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
What are the differences between hot lasers and cold lasers?:
- Hot lasers should not be confused with Cold Lasers.
- High power lasers are also known as hot lasers or surgical lasers. Hot lasers are not placed directly on the treating area. Instead, they are either continuously moved around or they are set up to never come in direct contact with the injured area so at to not burn the patient.
- Hot lasers are used to cut through tissue, burn, heat, or vaporize tissue and are potentially dangerous.
- They can be dangerous if a patient is not being constantly monitored or the person applying the treatment is not trained properly. These lasers, for example, are used during arthroscopic surgery. We do not use hot lasers in our office because these lasers have the potential to burn you. Moreover, all the research on tissue healing has been completed with Cold lasers, the type Atlas Medical Center uses.
- In addition, don’t be confused by the term cold laser, the actual laser does not produce a cooling effect. Low level laser, (a.k.a cold laser), does not mean that it is ineffective, on the contrary, it simply means that cold lasers operate at a power and wavelength that does not have the potential to harm or damage tissue.
- Every Cold laser has a different power and wavelength. It is important that the appropriate laser is used for your condition. FYI, anything below a IIIB Classification is too low, and has not been proven to penetrate below the skin’s surface.
General Physiological and Biological Effects of Cold Laser
- Increased Metabolic Activity – Cold Laser therapy increases higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for cells. An increase in ATP production by the mitochondria of the cell allows the cell to heal and repair faster. In addition, the cell uses this new found energy, (that was never available before), to use for multiple biologic processes.
- Rapid Cell Growth – Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and growth due to increased mitochondrial activity.
- Stimulated Nerve Function – Cold Laser light speeds the process of nerve cell healing and repairing. Neurotransmission is facilitated due to increased levels of acetylcholine and serotonin.
- Faster Wound Healing – Cold laser light stimulates fibroblast (fibroblast cells are the building blocks of collagen) development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
- Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation – Cold laser light reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from post surgery, sprains and strains, cuts, scratches, or burns.
- Anti-Inflammatory Action – Cold laser light reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints to give enhanced joint mobility.
- Increased Vascular Activity – Cold laser light induces temporary vasodilation increasing blood flow and oxygen to damaged areas.
Atlas’ Cold Laser Programs for chronic low back, neck, or shoulder pain uniquely combine safe, painless Cold Laser Therapy along with Spinal Decompression therapy, and physiotherapy to help reduce pain, inflammation, and improve overall function. All of our Cold Lasers are FDA Cleared and harness advanced Class IIIB or Class IV technology.
In Summary Cold Lasers have shown to:
- Relieve or eliminate chronic and acute pain.
- Stimulates and improves nerve function.
- Increase mobility and muscle function (release of tight muscles that create decrease mobility, joint problems, and chronic pain).
- Reduces swelling and inflammation (suppresses inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, and heat).
- Increase the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair.
- Help generate new and healthy cells and tissues.
- Reduces scar tissue
- Enhances lymphatic drainage thus increasing circulation which speeds up healing.
- Reduces pain by causing production of natural pain killer’s endorphins.
**If you have cancer or taking immune system suppressants, low-level laser therapy is contradicted. In pregnant women, the uterus should not be irradiated.**
Experts in Coupling Cold Laser Therapy With Regenerative Medicine
Atlas Medical Center is one of only a handful of clinics in the United States that specialize in treating chronic pain with laser therapy AND coupling it with regenerative medicine. Oftentimes, our medical team will couple our proprietary laser protocols (Active Relief Laser Technique™) with Regenerative Cell Therapy or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for a powerful restorative combination to the area being treated.
Our Experience with Cold Laser Therapy is UNMATCHED
Our team of healthcare professionals have conducted clinical studies, have written peer reviewed articles, and have lectured on the topic of cold laser therapy. Dr. Schnee, DC sits on the Advisory Board for one of the original cold lasers. In addition, our center is a hub for teaching other doctors’ how to use the technology correctly. With over 100,000 treatments completed, our expertise in treating chronic pain with laser therapy is unmatched.
Besides our experience, our office is unique because whether we are treating neuropathy, knee pain, shoulder, back, neck or hip pain we can utilize 7 different types of cold lasers (oftentimes several are used simultaneously). Our healthcare team understands which laser or lasers are appropriate to use, for the condition and the severity of the problem being treated.
Which Type of Conditions Do You Treat with Laser Therapy?
We offer Cold Laser Therapy Programs for the following conditions:
- Knee Pain
- Hip Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Wrist/Elbow/Hand Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Neck Pain
** Our low back and neck programs also include non-surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy; which is FDA Cleared and very effective for treating sciatica, pinched nerves, herniated disc, bulging disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, radiating leg or arm pain, and many other conditions. Specifically, for neck and back pain sufferers, using a combination of both Cold Laser and Spinal Decompression Therapy is integral in achieving optimal results. We will customize your treatment plan according to your diagnosis, symptoms, and mobility.**
Real Patients… Real Results…
“I had to take pain pills every day because the pain was so severe. I couldn’t do any chores around the house or go shopping because I couldn’t walk. Thank God, my son heard about this program. Thanks to this program, after the third treatment, I was already having less pain. The pain is gone and I can now walk more comfortably and am able to sleep without pain in my leg. I am satisfied with my results and I am very grateful for the doctors and staff that took care of me. God bless them. I am 99% better! I would recommend this office to anyone. My sisters are already interested in doing treatments here.”
~ Abigail G.
“After coming to Atlas Medical Center my ‘bum’ knee is substantially better (about 85%) and I am able to move about during the day (including taking the stairs) virtually pain free for most activities. Prior to the treatment, almost any movement, especially sudden moves, had the potential to cause major discomfort. The only residual issues are occasional stiffness and lock-up after sitting for prolonged periods of time; however, that quickly resolves upon standing. I consider this treatment to be a success and I am delighted to be able to avoid debilitating surgical procedures.”
~ Wendy S.