Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy.

Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy or photobiomodulation, is a non-invasive and painless treatment used to speed healing time, reduce inflammation and relieve both chronic and acute pain. Many patients benefit from the use of cold laser therapy in addition to chiropractic adjustments.

What Is a Cold Laser?

All visible light is measured in wavelengths. The term “cold laser” refers to laser or high-intensity LEDs that produce red and near-infrared light, which have long wavelengths (the opposite of ultraviolet, or UV, light which has a short wavelength and causes sunburn—ouch!). These specific longer wavelengths of light are able to penetrate tissue about 2–5 centimeters below the skin surface, and work to speed tissue healing at the cellular level.

How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?

The light from the cold laser unit goes through the skin and into the tissue below the surface of the skin. When the light reaches the injured area, cells in that area absorb the light. Then changes occur inside the cell to promote healing and normalize damaged tissue. Lasers accelerate wound healing by building up cellular structures that increase tissue strength.

What Does Cold Laser Therapy Feel Like?

A cold laser does not produce any kind of cool or warm sensation, and there is no pain when cold laser therapy is applied to an area. In fact, there is no sensation produced with cold laser at all. You should be generally comfortable when receiving cold laser therapy treatment. If you feel any temperature changes, please let your clinician or therapist know.

How Is Cold Laser Therapy Done?

Cold laser therapy can be done in either a sitting or lying down position, depending on the location of your pain or injury and your comfort level sitting or lying in one position for a short period of time.

The cold laser unit itself is a small handheld device that is placed on and around the area of pain or injury. Sometimes, a small amount of clear film may be placed gently over the area, especially if the cold laser is being used for wound healing. Without moving the laser around, your clinician or therapist will hold the laser in place for 20- to 50-second periods of time. This process is usually repeated anywhere from 3 to 8 times. The amount of time spent on an area depends on a few factors, including the strength of the laser, the density of the tissue and the size of the area that needs to be treated. Smaller areas require less treatment time than larger areas. Typically, a cold laser therapy treatment lasts somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes.

Who May Benefit From Cold Laser Therapy?

Because it is non-invasive, cold laser therapy is a good choice for most people experiencing the following: tendon, ligament and muscle pain; joint pain, including autoimmune joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis; nerve pain; and poorly healing wounds such as leg ulcers.

There are a few reasons, however, why we may choose not to treat your condition using cold laser therapy. These include if you are pregnant or if you have cancer (if the cold laser would be in an area where there is known cancer present), a pacemaker or known epilepsy.

Overall, cold laser therapy is a gentle and effective choice of therapy for most musculoskeletal conditions. If you would like to discuss possible therapy options, including cold laser therapy, for your pain or injury, please let your chiropractor know.

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've been coming to see Dr. Bob since 1984 for my back pain. After each visit, the vast improvement lasts about one whole month. Even after all these years, Dr. Bob continues to provide outstanding care for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I've referred several people to HealthWise Chiropractic, so they too can see the results I have. My favorite part of my visits is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and doctors and, of course, the results I get that improve my daily living."
    Danny S.
  • "About ten years ago I was at the gym, I bent over and couldn't get up, the pain was horrible. I contacted Healthwise and Dr. Mike gave me an emergency appointment that evening. He did a complete physical and x-ray before he started any treatment. After my first treatment I was able to stand up and walk with minimal pain. With a few visits I was back to normal. I continued treatments as needed for the next several years.
    I see Dr. Bob regularly to stay fit and pain-free. He tests my strength and weakness to determine the best treatment. Our open discussion led him to help my acid reflux. I now exercise and walk as is essential for a septuagenarian.
    I told Dr. Bob that I was starting to get knee pain that I thought was arthritis; I didn't think chiropractic care could help. He told me about new equipment to help. I look forward to improvement.
    I was a skeptic of chiropractic care, now I would recommend HealthWise to anyone with chronic/simple pain. It worked for me. It can work for you!"
    Sherry B.
  • "I was very miserable with constant pain in my leg while knowing it had something to do with my back. My friend surprised me with an appointment with Dr. Bob. After being treated by Dr. Bob I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I learned a lot through my conversations with the doctor. I am really thankful to Dr. Bob and his staff."
    Ed L.
  • "I had a very limited understanding of chiropractic care until I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. I came in with severe pain in my neck, which prohibited me from moving my head. I was greeted by a kind staff, had an exam and x-rays done on my first appointment followed by an adjustment. I felt so much better after my first adjustment and by following the treatment plan my headaches and migraines improved. My overall health has improved because of chiropractic care. Dr. Bob helps make sure that I am taking the right supplements to optimize my health and fitness performance. They have helped me with allergies, knee and shoulder pain, and earaches. I had no idea when I began my chiropractic journey just how much help the doctors and staff at HealthWise would be at improving my quality of life."
    Britt H.
  • "I have been a patient at HealthWise Chiropractic for over 20 years. In the past and currently I am seeing Dr. Bob, however, I have seen all docs at Healthwise. My general issues are usually seasonally related to sinus and allergies. Recently I have been receiving treatment for my hip and lower back. Dr. Bob zeros in on trigger points and quickly relieves my pain. He is a wealth of knowledge and offers help and suggestion on my health issues. The staff is friendly and helpful. I leave feeling better and I believe helps to keep my body aligned and energized. I have also come in after falls, injuries and surgeries. I truly believe my adjustments at the time added to a quicker recovery."
    Liz B.
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Bob for two and half months. . I see him for an adjustment every two weeks. I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in January 2021 while working in Florida for my continued lower back pain and chronic bilateral hip bursitis. Because my pain was mostly relieved with continued adjustments, I decided to continue with treatment when returning to Wisconsin. I have been very happy with my continued pain relief/adjustments at HealthWise. I highly recommend anyone with chronic back and neck pain to try chiropractic adjustments here at HealthWise. It will make your life better."
    Marianne V.
  • "Really enjoyed the different things that they can do for you and your pain management. Would highly recommend."
    Rhiannon P.
  • "I enjoy coming, getting readjusted and any additional therapies. It has made my life healthier and less stressful. If I have questions, they are answered at that visit. The staff is very professional, personable and friendly. I always look forward to my next visit with them. I am glad to be part of Healthwise Chiropractic family:)"
    Marcella L.
  • "DR MIKE IS A GREAT CHIROPRACTOR. HE TAKES THE TIME TO GIVE YOU A COMPLETE ADJUSTMENT IS TIME. HE IS ALSO A GOOD CONVERSATIONALIST. THANKS"
    RICHARD R.
  • "Dr. Mike is fantastic! He is very personable….will take time to really to your needs… I enjoy my visits…the maintenance has helped tremendously…..and he is there when the emergency pops up! Excellent Chiropractor!"
    Ann W.


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