Cold laser therapy was first theorized by Albert Einstein in 1916 and brought into practice for medicine in 1967 by Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician. Although cold laser has been used around the world for more than 40 years, it has only been approved for use in the United States since 2002.
Cold lasers emit photons of light that penetrate into the tissue up to 5 centimeters and act to stimulate tissue on the cellular level. This stimulation - painless, nonburning and noncutting - is thought to speed the metabolism of the cell and therefore healing. Because the laser does not damage tissue, it can be effective on a variety of tissue ranging from muscle, tendons and ligaments to nervous tissue and bone.
The FDA has approved the use of cold lasers for treatment of:
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Arthritic Stiffness
- Muscle Spasms
- Neck and Low Back Pain
Cold laser is a passive modality used for reducing pain, swelling and muscle spasm. When combined with other treatments such as exercise, it can help to limit decreased function and help reduce the chance of the problem returning.
Most patients will see results in six to eight treatments but more may be needed to achieve optimal results.
Please note: Cold laser cannot be used over a cancerous site, over the thyroid gland or eyes; pregnant woman should not be treated with cold laser as the effect on the unborn is not known.
To learn more, see this history of cold laser therapy.