Cold laser therapy, or low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is an alternative treatment that involves light energy. It reduces inflammation and pain in different body parts, including the knees.
It treats carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, and sports injuries. Unlike other lasers that produce heat, cold laser therapy uses light. It helps to understand the benefits of cold laser therapy for knee pain.
Cold laser therapy involves using a device that transmits low levels of energy. Unlike the high-frequency lasers used during surgery, cold lasers do not cut or heat the skin. Photons from the device penetrate the painful joint. The light particles start a chemical change that helps the damaged tissues or cells to heal and regrow.
The practitioner at our wellness center in San Jose aims the laser device at the knee, touching or coming very close to the skin. They would then turn on the device to release a light pulse lasting 30 to 60 seconds, transmitting photons to the knee. Several treatments are needed to get the desired results.
Cold light therapy can reduce chronic or acute knee pain. It can also help treat inflammation, accelerate wound healing, and promote tissue growth. LLLT helps boost blood circulation in the painful knee. It can relieve mild or moderate osteoarthritis knee pain.
It also improves joint flexibility and sensitivity to pressure. The therapy reduces knee swelling by opening blood vessels. It coaxes the immune system to create more chemicals to heal tissue. It triggers endorphins, the pain relief hormones, and builds additional knee connective tissue.
On the downside, cold light therapy does not have a standard approach or dose. It means that results often vary, depending on the cause of the knee pain. Other factors determining results are the laser device used and existing health conditions.
Some doctors are still skeptical about the effectiveness of the therapy but, recent research has proven that cold light therapy relieves pain. For LLLT to work, the setup must be exact. This means the intensity, dose, position, frequency, and treatment duration must be set precisely.
The therapy is a non-invasive and drug-free alternative to opioids. Medications can be addictive and produce side effects such as nausea, constipation, and drowsiness. Cold laser therapy has no known side effects. People with epilepsy and cancer should not get laser treatment. Pregnant women should also avoid getting LLLT.
It is helpful to realize that devices obtained OTC are not usually effective. You will find many products available online, but some may not be safe. Clinicians recommend that the therapy be performed by a certified and qualified healthcare professional.
Training is essential to the correct use of the device. Practitioners qualified to perform the therapy include orthopedists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors, among others. Cold laser therapy can be expensive, costing about $200 for each session. You may require up to 30 sessions for full results.
For more on the benefits of cold laser therapy for knee pain, visit South Bay Wellness Center at (408) 642-6060 to reach our office in San Jose, California.