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Cold Laser Therapy an alternative therapy for low back pain, carpal tunnel surgery and more.

Updated on August 20, 2016
Austinstar profile image

L. Cargill, B.A., Sam Houston University, Huntsville, TX., has been writing cool and interesting articles for the internet world since 1995.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy Red
Photodynamic Therapy Red | Source

Low Level Laser Light Therapy

Alliteration at its best!

Light heals. Low level laser light therapy heals quickly. Medical science discovers that superior healing is attributable to the healing power of light.

Laser therapy is successfully used around the world now. No reported long-term or irreversible side effects occur with this treatment. It is safe and very effective.

Did I mention painless? There is zero discomfort with this treatment! It's a sterile and non-invasive, drug free treatment. We are constantly destroying our cellular components and laser treatment counteracts that destruction in just minutes. Bone fractures heal 60% faster with this treatment. If light can heal bones, think what it can do for nerves and muscles.

Benefits of low level light lasers...

  • Relieves acute and chronic pains
  • Increases tissue repair
  • Increases blood supply
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Energizes nerve function
  • Helps to generate new cells and tissue
  • Promotes fast wound healing
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases cell metabolism
  • Reduces swelling

An ancient treatment, new applications...

Hippocrates advocated the use of light therapy to heal many conditions. Light is always used to demonstrate healing be it the sun, a heat lamp or a laser.

Laser light has special properties. Lasers are separated into specific wavelengths to give accurately measured pulses of light directly to the cells affected by inflammation, irritation and injury. Low level lasers provide energy to the body with non-thermal photons of light. The immune response is stimulated and healing begins.

The laser is hand held and positioned over the part of the body needing treatment. Most patients feel absolutely nothing, but some have reported slight tingling or warmth. Most of the sensation comes from the actual contact of the hand held unit. The treatment can last from two to 20 minutes and may be repeated daily if needed.

If you have have muscle, nerve or bone injuries that are chronic or old, the treatments may be extended for maximum relief and healing. Scar tissue responds well to low level light laser therapy. A good course of therapy consists of nine to eighteen treatments.

Lasers at 830 nano meters penetrate the skin up to 5 centimeters. This is considerably more than super luminous diodes (SLD's) or light emitting diodes (LED's) which only penetrate to a depth of one to 2.5 centimeters. Be sure you are getting the laser treatment at 830 nm.

Powerful Pain Relief

This week I had to take yet another medical leave from work. I was referred to Dr. Scott Shepard (not the astronaut) for Low Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLLT). My first treatment was truly painless and although I will have to report later on the effectiveness of this treatment, I did discover that my chronic nerve pain could be corrected with this treatment.

Along with chronic nerve pain, patients suffering from any kind of joint or muscle pain are candidates for LLLLT. I have had five surgeries to repair my carpal tunnel nerve entrapment, more commonly known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive stress injury common to anyone who must manipulate small objects with their hand and fingers.

In addition, I have had two ruptured discs in my lower back. Actually the same disc ruptured twice, but I now have plenty of scar tissue to cause my sciatica and foot pain. The LLLLT is supposed to be good for that too.

My therapist reported that she was in a car accident and had a serious break in her leg bone which healed nicely with LLLLT. Even migraine headaches can be helped with laser therapy.

Among other injuries or ailments, LLLLT can help with arthritis, joint pain, back pain, neck pain, bursitis and fibromyalgia. Reports say that heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are treatable by laser therapy.

Practically all musculoskeletal pain is mitigated by low level laser light therapy. And you don't have to get stuck by all those acupuncture needles! It may be possible to avoid surgical intervention of ruptured discs and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Source

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - A special kind of pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is something I hope my worst enemies never have to suffer. The pain is terrible, but there are other problems. The tingling keeps you awake at night. The numbness makes it hard to manipulate small items like your coffee cup. You will have a drinking problem if you have CTS.

Other symptoms of CTS include: burning sensations in the thumb and fingers, pain in the hands and fingers, lack of dexterity, inability to grip or pinch (I lost the ability to snap my fingers), swelling and in severe cases, pain going up into the arms and shoulders. Get help for CTS because it doesn't get better on its own. It only gets worse as the median nerve that is trapped cannot heal itself.

CTS is easily treated with surgery. It's an easy procedure that has you in and out in about an hour. Then the scar tissue starts building and CTS returns eventually. On February 11, 2002 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the ML830™ Cold Laser to be used in the non-surgical treatment and management of CTS. If you can avoid the surgery (or multiple surgeries), I say go for the laser treatment first!

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© 2011 Lela

Comments - Share some alternative medical treatments for chronic pain here...

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  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    My husband swears by it too. I did not find it quite so helpful though.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Thank you Seeker, I have completed the first 3 weeks of therapy now I believe the laser treatment took my pain level from a 9 to a 7 or 6, but as I have to pay for the treatments out of pocket, I have had to stop for a while.

    I'm still having nerve pain accompanied by electrical shocks in my foot and tingling down my arm. Do you know what might be causing this?

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 

    7 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    What a fascinating hub! It's the first time I've heard about this form of pain relief - and to have someone like yourself go through it and give first hand feedback is very interesting indeed.

    Although it's already making a miraculous difference to pain and various conditions, the potential for further use must be enormous!

    I sympathise with the Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. One of my sister's suffered from this for a number of years. She did have surgery that was successful and what a difference it has made to her life. But imagine being able to treat this very painful condition without surgery - amazing!

    I really enjoyed this fascinating hub! Voted up!

  • profile image

    Nan Mynatt 

    7 years ago

    Thanks for the insight. I have the same type of pain that you had. I had surgery last November, and it has returned. I need to find a doctor that will do the laser beam on me. I was out of commission for several months and had physical therapy after the surgery. I do therapy at home by myself exercising everyday.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 

    7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Lela, I'm sooo glad there's a painless and non-invasive treatment to fix what ails you. Before I got to the part where you list the different conditions LLLLT can help, I thought of fibromyalgia. How wonderful if it provides relief for sufferers! I can't imagine hurting all over, all day, every day 24/7.

    I had "mild" carpal tunnel for the 18 mos I worked as a book stripper (don't ask). (I say "mild" because it didn't turn into chronic CST that required surgery.) Some days the numbness in my right hand was so bad I could barely hold onto the steering wheel to drive home, and many nights the pain and tingling would wake me out of a sound sleep. A massage therapist friend had shown me a couple of places to apply pressure with my left thumb to relieve *most* of the nerve pinching, so between doing that and aspirin every 3 hours, I was able to continue that job until the company went bust.

  • christopheranton profile image

    Christopher Antony Meade 

    7 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

    I hope I never need it, but thanks for bringing such a useful therapy to our attention.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    I had my second treatment today and even talked her into zapping my big gouty toe. The toe is 100% better tonight and my shoulder and back are starting to actually feel better. This might work! I recommend it already.

    K, do check it out, it's easy. They are charging me $40 per treatment which is with a pre-pay discount of 15%. This is pretty cheap when you think about it.

    I had never heard about it before either.

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    I am learning that light is used in many forms for different treatments. Light therapy is also prescribed for people who may work night shifts or live in Alaska:). The light stimulates the release of certain chemicals in the brain that make us feel awake and alert....also improves the quality of mood!

    Another alternative treatment for pain is money. A truck load of money would work for me.

    I had never heard of this before - you did a great job of making it understandable. I might look into this - I have chronic low back pain. Another up and awesom!

  • Stephanie Henkel profile image

    Stephanie Henkel 

    7 years ago from USA

    Laser light therapy for CTS sounds too good to be true! I know several people who underwent surgery to correct the problem, and it certainly wasn't any fun. How wonderful if laser therapy could relieve the pain without surgery. Thanks for an interesting hub!

  • michelemacwrites profile image

    Michele McCallister 

    7 years ago from USA

    Very interesting and well written hub !! Never heard of this form of treatment and I love that its painless and non invasive. Thanks for this enlightening and informative hub. Keep hubbing ! Voted up and useful.


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