Cold laser therapy uses precise wavelengths of light to interact with tissue in the body. This type of treatment has been utilized to assist in weight-loss and to accelerate the healing process. Cold laser therapy can also be used on patients who have difficulty in the recover process because of pain and swelling, which may cause motion limitations, and it can also be useful for those who suffer from acute and chronic conditions to eliminate pain, swelling, reduce spasms, and increase functionality. This low-intensity laser treatment does not cause your skin to heat up, and even though you cannot feel it, the laser begins working immediately from the moment it touches your skin. Essentially, cold laser therapy is a therapeutic method to treat patients and potentially provide pain relief, pain reduction, weight loss, and injury recovery instead of relying surgery or drugs.
Simply put, cold laser therapy produces a low-level light from a handheld device that is applied directly to a problem area. When the process begins, the non-thermal photons of light that are released from the laser pass through the skins layers. The light has the ability to penetrate two to five centimeters below the skin and attack damaged cells to help promote cell regeneration. This process, in total, only takes a few minutes because the laser is applied to the problem area for about 30-60 seconds.
When discussing the functionality of cold laser therapy and how the application of this treatment is so effective, it is difficult to avoid the technical jargon of lasers. What's important to know about the process is that during treatment, the device will not create heat, will not make any sound, nor will it vibrate, and the most attractive part is that cold laser therapy is a quick solution that is absolutely noninvasive and painless. Cold laser therapy does not involve the use of medications, and most patients like the idea of not taking any medications, as some may have lasting side effects. Aside from its use for tissue repair, pain relief, and inflammation reduction, cold laser therapy is also used in accordance with sports medicine and physical therapy when treating minor injuries and sprains.
Similar to any medical evaluation, the process begins with consulting the patient's health history to get a better sense of general well-being. After establishing a dialogue of the patient's situation, a Eastside Spine & Injury physical therapists will test the range of motion to identify uncomfortable locations where the cold laser can help. Next, we continue with reflex tests to assess both strength and sensation. To confirm the patient's diagnosis, a physical therapist recommends obtaining imaging tests such as x-rays or MRIs to understand what is happening internally.
Essentially, there is not much to assess when considering cold laser therapy because your physician will have this information from the preliminary visit. It is important for patients to understand that cold laser therapy does not have any severe disadvantages; however, the treatment may require several sessions before results become noticeable.
The treatment of muscle and joint pain depends upon the diagnosis. Once we understand the cause behind the pain, we will use what we learned from the diagnostic testing to develop a personal physical therapy plan that may include cold laser therapy. Kirkland physical therapists focus the treatment on both pain control and strengthening the area to prevent or lessen future occurrences. A prevalent characteristic of muscle and joint pain is the possibility of recurrence once pain has surfaced, and Kirkland physical therapists address this recurring pain by scheduling a series of manual therapy sessions, depending on the severity of the pain. The process of the cold laser therapy may require a few treatments, but results are immanent. Even though research into the effectiveness and safety of cold laser therapy is ongoing, the purpose for using cold laser therapy is mainly for the continuous attention and maintenance of injuries, swelling, and to prevent the return of such conditions.
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