This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Generations Magazine.
Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. The American Academy of Pain Management estimates that more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Patients often explore multiple options for relief, but pain medication continues to be the mainstay of chronic pain management in the U.S.
Forty years of research supports the efficacy of cold laser therapy or low-level laser therapy (LLLT). It is a proven analgesic, anti-inflammatory and effective healing regimen. There are many modalities for pain management, but cold laser is unique because it not only reduces pain, but also stimulates healing in tissues, like bone, cartilage, muscle and spinal discs.
Under the care of a medical professional, LLLT is considered safe. It offers a non-invasive option to acupuncture and surgery. There is no prolonged recovery time, it is painless and FDA cleared. It is not addictive and eliminates the complications of long-term drug treatment.
Each session only takes 10 to 20 minutes, and it may take a series of treatments before you experience results. LLLT can provide pain relief or pain reduction, especially for patients seeking a treatment without the use of surgery or drugs. Used alone or in combination with other therapeutic tools, cold laser is changing the way physical therapists improve patients’ quality of life.