Search

Chiropody Demystified: Cold Laser Therapy 

Updated: Feb 23

There is good news! Cold laser therapy is now available as a treatment option at Qureshy Footcare Clinic. But what is cold laser therapy and how does it work? What are some of the pros and cons? If you want the answers to these questions and more, keep reading this blog post.


What is Cold Laser Therapy?

Cold laser therapy, also referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), soft laser biostimulation, and photobiomodulation, uses low-intensity red and near-infrared light to promote healing [1,2]. This mode of therapy is called “cold” because, unlike surgical lasers, the targeted tissue is not heated [1,3,4]. Cold laser therapy is non-invasive and does not emit heat, sound, or vibrations [1,3].


How Does It Work?

The laser is directed to the targeted area and transfers energy to your body’s cells through light pulses lasting between 30 seconds to 1 minute [2,4,5,6]. Different wavelengths of light are used depending on the depth of the tissue being targeted [1]. It’s worth noting that damaged cells are more receptive to this energy transfer [6]. Once the body absorbs the light, damaged cells react physiologically, promoting regeneration and healing[1]. The physiological reactions include stimulation in an immune response, cellular metabolism, and protein synthesis [4,6]. The laser also stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural hormones that aid in pain relief [2].


Effects of Cold Laser Therapy

Through these physiological responses, cold laser therapy can help by:

  • Reducing and relieving pain [2,3,5]

  • Treating inflammation [2,3,5,6]

  • Stimulating tissue regrowth and repair [3,6]

  • Improving blood circulation [2]

  • Promoting wound healing [2,5,6]

  • Speeding up bone repair [5,6]

Cold laser therapy affects the muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, bone, nerves, and skin all at a cellular level [2].


Uses

Because cold laser therapy has many effects, it also has many uses. The overarching application of cold laser therapy, however, is tissue repair, inflammation reduction, and pain relief [1]. Here are some more specific uses of the laser:


  • Treating minor injuries and sprains such as tendonitis, bursitis, muscle strains, and knee pain [1,2,3]

  • Treat the inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis [1,2,3]

  • This therapy can be used for acute and chronic pain from conditions [1].

  • Skin rejuvenation [1]

  • Some wounds, such as the ones related to diabetes, tend to be difficult to heal. Cold therapy can help to treat said wounds [1].

  • Treat sport injuries [1,2]

  • Neuropathic pain [2,3]

  • Osteoarthritis of the knee [2,3]

  • Lymphedema [3]

  • Foot pain [3,6]

As it relates to Qureshy Footcare Clinic, the chiropodist may discuss using cold laser therapy to treat plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and other foot problems.


Evidence

Many scientific journal articles acknowledge cold laser therapy as a good treatment option. For instance, Li et al. (2018) performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of cold laser therapy on diabetic foot ulcers[7]. They found that cold laser therapy effectively reduced the ulcer area and increased the healing rate. Another systematic review by Rhim et al. (2021) stated that cold laser therapy used to treat plantar fasciitis helps to improve pain while decreasing the thickness of plantar fascia [8].


Advantages

There are many pros to cold laser therapy.

  • Drugless → Opioids, which can be prescribed for pain relief, can be addictive and have side effects such as nausea [2]. Anti-inflammatory medication can have effects on your blood pressure, heart, and stomach [5]. Cortisone injections can be painful [5].

  • Non invasive alternative to surgery [2,4]

  • Little to no side effects [2,2,4]

  • Painless [2,4]

  • Good treatment option for acute or chronic injuries [3]

  • Short treatment sessions [4]

Disadvantages

As with many other treatments, the results from this therapy will vary from patient to patient [2]. Moreover, cold laser therapy requires multiple treatment sessions [2]. However, patients may believe that multiple sessions are a fair tradeoff in lieu of more invasive treatment options.


Why might someone choose cold laser therapy over shockwave therapy?

Cold laser and shockwave therapy are both excellent to help with tissue damage and reduce inflammation [9]. However, there are a few key differences that may influence a patient to choose cold laser therapy over shockwave therapy:

  • Cold laser therapy helps cells heal faster [9]

  • Cold laser therapy is slightly more flexible. This is because it can be used on a broader range of body parts and can be used for both acute and chronic conditions [9]. Shockwave therapy is best for chronic conditions.

Book Your Appointment Today!

Overall, cold laser therapy is a powerful tool that has a plethora of uses. This technology offers many positive effects with many advantages. If you think cold laser therapy could be a good option for you or if you have any questions, please contact us via phone at (905)723-3668, via email at info@qfcclinic.com, or via our website at www.qfcclinic.com.

Happy Healthy Feet

Author: Fatima Bah


References

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-laser-therapy

[2] https://www.foundationpodiatry.com.au/low-level-laser-therapy-in-the-management-of-plantar-fasciitis/

[3] https://www.physio-pedia.com/Low_Level_Laser_Therapy

[4] https://heelthatpain.com/laser-therapy-plantar-fasciitis/

[5] https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/cold-laser-knee-pain

[6] https://www.footcare.net/laser-pain-treatment

[7] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2018.07.014

[8] https://doi.org/10.3390/life11121287


63 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All