What Is Cold Laser Therapy (Low Level Laser Therapy)?
Cold Laser Therapy, also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has been researched and studied since the late 1960’s. The highly amplified and focused light energy at a specific wavelength promotes the process of photobiostimulation. The resulting photochemical reaction produces an increase in the cellular metabolic rate. After over 40 plus years of testing, and over 2,000 papers published on it, Cold Laser Therapy has been shown to aid in regenerating damaged tissue, decreasing inflammation, relieving pain and boosting the immune system. Professional athletes rely upon Cold Laser to treat their sports-related injuries. These guys use this remarkable therapy for one reason only…It promotes rapid healing of the injured tissues.
In 2002, one of the first cold lasers cleared by the FDA was utilized in a landmark double blind study conducted with General Motors. At the time, General Motors had serious challenges with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among its workers. GM decided to conduct the study to see if non-invasive Cold Laser Therapy would help. Among the afflicted workers who entered the program, those treated with Cold Laser demonstrated significant improvement in grip strength and range of motion compared to other workers who were treated with placebo lasers. A similar double-blind study was conducted in 1998 at a prominent medical school in Houston. The researchers concluded that there was a 70% improvement among patients receiving Laser Therapy.
Skin Depth of Cold Laser Penetration
Cold Laser and Dr. Roth, DC
Application of Cold Laser Therapy
After the study was completed with GM in 2002 and the FDA cleared the laser for clinical use, Dr. Randall Roth received training in its proper use and application. At the time, he was practicing in Plano, Texas. In 2009, he decided to bring the laser technology and his experience to the Hot Springs area. Since he obtained his first cold laser in 2002, Dr. Roth has provided thousands of treatments to patients for a variety of conditions.
Cold Laser Therapy is highly effective for many other musculoskeletal conditions, including shoulder, hip, back, and neck pain, to mention a few. At Health 1st Wellness & Physical Medicine, Dr. Roth developed a proprietary knee pain protocol utilizing the Cold Laser as a central component of the program. This unique knee treatment program has helped hundreds of patients get out of pain and avoid knee replacement.
Studies about Cold Laser Therapy and Knee Pain
Several studies have confirmed the value of Cold Laser Therapy in treating knee pain. In a 2015 study, researchers were trying to determine if the application of Cold Laser could successfully postpone the need for knee joint replacement. They took 100 elderly patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis and divided them into two groups. One group received protocol A which consisted of conventional physical therapy. The second group received protocol B which included the same physical therapy as in the protocol A group, but with the addition of Cold Laser. During a follow-up 6 years after the treatment, patients who received protocol B clearly benefited from the addition of Cold Laser, as only one knee needed joint replacement surgery. However, nine of the patients in the protocol A group that didn’t receive Cold Laser Therapy needed replacement surgery.
Studies about Cold Laser Therapy and Back Pain
Back Pain Study #1:
A study was conducted where 66 patients with low back pain and radiculopathy (leg pain from a compressed lumbar nerve) were divided into three groups. Each group received different doses of Non-Surgical Low Level Laser Therapy. Their low back pain and leg pain was measured by a visual analog scale before and after treatment. Highly significant improvements were noted in all the groups.
Jovicić, M., Konstantinović, L., Lazović, M., & Jovicić, V. (2012). Clinical and functional evaluation of patients with acute low back pain and radiculopathy treated with different energy doses of low level laser therapy. Vojnosanitetski pregled, 69(8), 656–662.
Back Pain Study #2:
Another study was conducted to determine if Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) would help back pain caused by lumbar disc problems. A group of 50 patients who were shown to have abnormal lumbar MRI findings were involved in the study. All of the patients who entered the study had failed response to a combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and had undergone not less than 3 months of conventional physical therapy. The treatment regimen consisted of three sessions per week for 12 consecutive weeks. All but one patient had significant improvement in their Disability Index Score. Surprisingly, the improvement was found to be maintained at follow-up assessments 1 year and 5 years later. Only 1 patient out of the 50 required surgery.
Ip, D., & Fu, N. Y. (2015). Can intractable discogenic back pain be managed by low-level laser therapy without recourse to operative intervention?. Journal of pain research, 8, 253–256. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S84458
I'm Interested in Cold Laser Therapy. What Should I Do Now?
If you are interested in Cold Laser Therapy, you need to schedule an appointment in our office. We can examine you to find out if you a candidate for treatment. If it is discovered that you are a candidate for treatment, Dr. Roth will discuss your options with you. Call our office at 501-881-4407 to schedule your appointment today!