If you’re like a lot of chronic pain sufferers, you’ve probably got a list of remedies you’ve tried for pain relief. We’ve heard it all, everything from the invasive and often unnecessary surgeries to pain pills, to ingesting spider venom (we absolutely do not recommend that one!). While we pass no judgment on whichever options you’ve tried or not tried, we wanted to talk to you today about low level laser therapy for pain relief. You may or may not have heard about this one already. You may be wondering is there any real science behind it or is this just another gimmick? Let’s get into it.
What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Low level laser therapy, sometimes referred to as cold laser therapy, is a type of light therapy that involves applying a laser, or a concentrated beam of light, directly to the body. The simplest explanation of how low level laser therapy works on the human body to provide pain relief is the comparison to photosynthesis in plants.
If this is the first time you’ve given photosynthesis a thought since your 7th grade science class, you’re not alone. As a quick refresher, plants absorb light from the sun (and carbon dioxide and water from the environment) and turn it into energy. That chemical change is what helps the plant grow from a seed into a flower or fruit.
The Science that Occurs in the Human Body During Low Laser Therapy
Similarly, our bodies absorb the light from low level laser and the chemical change that occurs within our cells’ mitochondria (back in 7th grade science here – you’ll remember the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell) signals cell production of fibroblasts (connective tissues), keratinocytes (skin), endothelial cells (blood) and lymphocytes (white blood – immune system). The energy used to signal this important cell production provides significantly more ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). ATP is necessary for cells to work and heal.
This biological process our body performs while undergoing low level laser therapy has helped patients heal more completely from injuries and to reduce their chronic pain more effectively. Lasers have been proven to do the following to help human biological tissue heal:
- Promote muscles regeneration and reduce muscle atrophy. 
- Promote joint and cartilage regeneration by increasing collagen and cartilage production. 
- Promote nerve regeneration. 
- Reduce inflammation and edema. 
- Improve circulation. 
More Noteworthy Facts on Low Level Laser Therapy for Pain Treatment
Low level laser therapy is being used in many hospitals and burn centers to treat burn victims. The laser therapy can accelerate healing of scars and reduce overall tissue damage. Likewise, professional and college sports trainers across the country have sought the benefits of low level lasers for their athletes in treating common sports injuries like tendonitis, bursitis, sprains, and strains.
Although laser technology for pain relief and healing feels fairly new, in reality, the medical and scientific community has been using lasers for more than 40 years for this purpose. When used appropriately, lasers have been helping with accelerated healing and pain relief for decades. Thousands of studies have been published, noting little to no side effects. Lasers are safe and effective.
Chronic Pain and Injuries that We’ve Successfully Treated with Low Level Laser Therapy
Here at LaserTech Pain and Back Relief Center in Scottsdale, AZ, we’ve been successfully treating patients using our laser technology since 2006. Most of our patients come to us looking for pain relief after having been prescribed addictive pain killers or being told that they need invasive surgeries or injections. We understand how frustrating it can be to have a doctor tell you the only solution is to take more pills, perpetually receive painful injections, or to have a surgery that may or may not work. That’s why we offer low level laser therapy, among other technologies, for the following conditions:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Arthritis of Any Joint
- Bulging and Herniated Discs
- Fibromyalgia Back and Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain and Rotator Cuff Injury
- Hip Pain and Arthritis
- Knee Pain and Arthritis
- Muscle Spasm
- Spinal Arthritis
- Sport Injuries and Strain/Sprain Injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Wrist Pain
- Ligament and Tendon Tears
- Car Accident Injuries
- Work Related Injuries
- And Many More
On top of all the science behind low level laser therapy technology, our very own Dr. Craig Zimmerman wrote a book, packed full of evidence-based results and his 30+ years’ experience of treating chronic pain. You can pick up Unlocking the Chronic Pain Code here.
1) Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) on muscle tissue: performance, fatigue and repair benefited by the power of light - [National Library of Medicine]