What Is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy is low-intensity laser therapy, or laser therapy that uses low levels of light to stimulate healing. Unlike surgical or aesthetic lasers, it does not cause your tissues to heat up.
Cold laser therapy is sometimes called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), or soft laser. You may also hear it referred to as therapeutic laser, biostimulation, or photobiomodulation.
How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
Low-level light is applied directly to the problem area. The tissue then absorbs the light. In a basic sense, this leads to a biological or chemical reaction to red and near infrared light. Damaged cells have a physiological reaction that helps promote their regeneration.
What Is Cold Laser Therapy Used For?
Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, and other medical professionals use cold laser therapy in a variety of ways. The main uses for cold laser therapy are tissue repair and relief from pain and inflammation.
Minor Injuries and Sprains
Sports medicine and physical therapy practices use cold laser therapy in the treatment of minor injuries and sprains. It is used to help reduce swelling and promote healing of the joints and soft tissue.
Dentists use cold lasers to treat inflamed tissues in the mouth and to heal ulcerations. Doctors also use it to treat inflammation caused by arthritis and other chronic autoimmune diseases.
Aches and Pains
Pain clinics use it to help people who suffer from chronic pain. Therapeutic massage therapy sometimes involves cold laser therapy.
Skin Rejuvenation: Cold laser therapy is used to promote skin rejuvenation. Dermatologists use it to treat various skin problems such as ulcers, burns, inflammation of the skin (edema), and rashes (dermatitis).
Wound Healing Cold laser therapy is being used to treat hard-to-heal wounds, including wounds related to diabetes.
Acupuncture: Acupuncturists use cold laser therapy for clients who are uncomfortable with needles. The low-level laser beams can stimulate your acupoints the same way needles do, but without piercing your skin.
The potential for new applications of cold laser therapy is virtually limitless. There is hope that it will someday be used to treat traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and degenerative nervous system diseases. Researchers are studying its use in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among other illnesses.
Pietrangelo, Ann. “Is Cold Laser Therapy Right for You?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 21 Jan. 2015, <>