How Cold Laser Therapy Can Relieve Back Pain

May 01, 2023
How Cold Laser Therapy Can Relieve Back Pain
Chronic back pain can disrupt sleep, limit mobility, and make it hard to accomplish daily tasks. Learn how noninvasive cold laser therapy eases ongoing back pain and promotes healing to help you get back to your active life.

At the onset of persistent back discomfort — well before it becomes a long-standing problem — you can often get the relief you need with rest, activity modification, and anti-inflammatory pain medication. But when back pain sticks around so long it qualifies as a chronic condition, it’s time to try a different strategy.   

At Spine Care of Manassas Chiropractic Center in Manassas, Virginia, our skilled team takes a holistic, comprehensive approach to back pain to address the underlying problem, promote healing, alleviate pain, and restore mobility. 

In many cases, cold laser therapy is an effective and supportive component of care that can accelerate you toward your treatment goals. Here, Dr. Lincoln German and Dr. Mikaela Foley discuss the ins and outs of this innovative healing technique, including how it can benefit you.

A short tutorial on cold laser therapy 

Cold laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate healing and ease pain in areas affected by injury, trauma, degeneration, or dysfunction. Also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), this technique has been used in clinical practice worldwide for nearly half a century

The FDA classifies medical lasers into three categories:

  • Class 4 surgical lasers 
  • Class 3B non-surgical lasers 
  • Class 3A low-level lasers 

Whereas surgical lasers use high-intensity wavelengths of hot light energy to cut, coagulate, and vaporize tissue, non-surgical, low-level lasers are cold, meaning the low levels of light they emit aren’t intense enough to heat, cut, or otherwise damage body cells and tissues. 

Instead, low-level cold lasers foster cell and tissue healing. Class 3A lasers, which are used to heal superficial wounds and conditions, don’t penetrate below the surface of your skin. Class 3B lasers — the type our team uses to treat back pain — emit specific wavelengths of energy that can pass through your skin and stimulate healing in deeper body cells and tissues. 

How cold laser therapy alleviates pain 

Cold lasers are FDA-approved to ease many painful conditions, from muscle strain and joint stiffness to chronic lower back and neck pain. Low-level laser light stimulates a pain-easing healing response in all cell types, including those that comprise your muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and nerves. 

The laser is a simple handheld device about the size of a flashlight. When we pass it over the treatment area, its non-thermal light photons painlessly penetrate your skin tissues and the subcutaneous fat beneath your skin. Depending on the laser's setting, its light can reach two to five centimeters below your skin. 

Once the light energy reaches the target area, light-sensitive cell receptors absorb and interact with it. This process is often likened to photosynthesis: When plant leaves absorb sunlight, they convert it into growth-fueling energy. 

Likewise, when cells in an injured, damaged, or dysfunctional area of pain absorb cold laser energy, a cascade of healing effects is set in motion. This process: 

  • Increases metabolic activity within the targeted cells 
  • Improves the passage of nutrients across the cell membrane 
  • Stimulates the production of cellular energy (ATP)
  • Promotes increased blood flow and improved circulation
  • Draws blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area 

By setting this process in motion, cold laser therapy helps normalize injured or damaged tissue, reduce inflammation, ease swelling, alleviate pain, and accelerate healing.

Get relief from ongoing back pain today

When used in conjunction with chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy, postural rehabilitation, spinal decompression, and other holistic, evidence-based interventions for back pain, cold laser therapy targets the underlying cause of your discomfort to advance healing.      

Cold laser therapy can be a supportive component of care for back pain caused by:

  • Muscle strain and spasms
  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Pinched nerve inflammation
  • Vertebral misalignments
  • Osteoarthritis degeneration

When attaining real, long-lasting relief for chronic back pain, you may wonder why you waited so long to try cold laser therapy. Call or click online to schedule an appointment at Spine Care of Manassas Chiropractic Center in Manassas, Virginia, to discover how you can benefit from this simple and painless treatment.