What is cold laser therapy?

Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a medical treatment that uses low-level (or "cold") lasers to stimulate healing and relieve pain. The therapy involves the application of low-intensity laser light to the skin at specific wavelengths, which is thought to promote cellular function and reduce inflammation. Cold laser therapy is non-invasive, painless, and does not produce heat. Cold laser therapy uses a specific range of wavelengths, typically between 600 and 1000 nanometers. The most common wavelengths used in cold laser therapy are:

  • 650 nanometers (red light) - This wavelength is absorbed well by haemoglobin and myoglobin, making it effective for treating conditions that affect blood flow
  • 780 nanometers (infrared) - This wavelength is absorbed well by water, making it effective for treating conditions that affect the skin, such as wounds and burns.
  • 810 nanometers (infrared) - This wavelength is also absorbed well by water, making it effective for treating conditions that affect the skin and deeper tissues.

It's worth noting that different devices may use different wavelength ranges and some devices may have multiple wavelength settings.  In addition, different devices may have different power outputs, and therefore, the treatment protocols (dosage) may vary. A professional should always determine the appropriate treatment protocol for each individual patient.

The light energy is absorbed by the cells in the target area, which causes a biological response in the cells. The mechanism by which cold laser therapy works is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve a process called photobiomodulation. Photobiomodulation is the process by which light energy is used to stimulate cellular function. This process is thought to promote healing by increasing blood flow to the target area, reducing inflammation and stimulating the repair of damaged tissue. Additionally, it is known that cold laser therapy can also help to reduce pain by decreasing the activity of pain-causing cells and releasing endorphins.