Pain Management/Chronic Pain

Using Low Level Laser Therapy/Cold Laser in Pain Management Can Speed Healing Times

laser1Rapid Rehab has been using low level / cold laser treatment successfully since 2009, and we continue to use laser on a daily basis to help our patients heal.  Cold laser works by stimulating healing, decreasing pain, and assisting in the recovery of mobility sooner.

Infrared light passes into the body easily with some of the energy from these photons being absorbed by chromatocytes in the mitochondria of  the muscle tissue.  This energy converts adenosine diphosphate (ADP) into macromolecules called ATP. ATP drives cellular function and metabolism repairing and replicating cells resulting in faster healing times.

A common cause of pain is ischemia, restriction in blood supply to muscle tissue, produced by the body’s response to trauma.  Ischemia causes inflammation, edema and muscle guarding which contribute to and manifest as musculoskeletal pain syndromes.  The application of infrared laser increases cellular function and activity with stimulation, edema is reduced, circulation is increased, and pain is lessened or ablated, with permanent benefit.

Here are some of the astounding results we had during early use of cold laser in 2009:

Patient #1

Condition: Arthritis 1st Metacarpal phalangeal joint (base of thumb) resulting from electrocution

Treatment: 2 laser treatments and no other intervention

Result: Patient reports pain was completely ablated with active range of motion restored for two days.  He continues to have intermittent but minimal pain with active movement retained.

Patient #2

Condition: A woman in her 80s with DJD of the lumbar spine.

Treatment: Laser treatment in conjunction with mechanical therapy

Result: The laser completely ablated her radicular pain. She recovered her posture, gait and functional ability in 10 treatments. She lives independently and has returned to gardening.

Patient #3

Condition: 89 year old with osteoarthritis left knee and hip; Pre-surgical candidate for total knee and total hip

Treatment: therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, gait training, and laser.

Result: Patient was walking without assistive device normally, climbing stairs with minimal use of hands and without pain. Residual pain following therapy was abolished.  Surgery was not needed. She continues to live by herself in the family home.  Total of 34 treatment visits.

Patient #4

Condition: Chronic (several months) cervical radiculopathy (pain to left shoulder and scapula)

Treatment: 6 treatments of mechanical therapy and laser

Result: Pain completely abolished at rest and during movement. Cervical mobility and strength restored. Patient discharged fully functioning.


Patient #5

Condition: Severe degenerative arthritis in her 80s who was severely kyphotic, walking with walker and reported high levels of pain

Treatment: Therapeutic exercise and cold laser

Result: Walking erect without any assistive device and reporting intermittent low levels of pain. She tolerates a full hour of exercises and is doing some gardening now. She is discharged in 19 visits and has resumed her wellness program.

Patient #6

Condition: Severe chronic degenerative joint/disc disease with pain and pareasthesias to both toes and nearly complete loss of lumbar mobility initially, not able to lift light objects

Treatment: Laser was used at the end of most of his sessions following mechanical and manual therapy.

Result: Now reports 95% pain free and has fully recovered his lumbar mobility, has full straight leg raises without pain, and can lift and carry 50 pounds maximally. Pain was always minimal or zero after each therapy session.

Patient #7

Condition: Left heel cord strain

Treatment: Laser given after therapy (manual and exercise therapy)

Result: Moderate pain was abolished and heel cord stretch was negative for pain for the first time since her accident. She retained 100% pain removal in one treatment.


Our list of successful treatments goes on. Many of these patients might have lived with worsening chronic debility or may have needed surgical intervention. The laser provided necessary pain relief which provided motivation to stick with therapy until maximal benefit was achieved. Further, the laser may have indeed facilitated cell growth and repair sufficient enough to exceed the usual expectations.

Conditions which can benefit from cold laser treatment:

  • Pain Relief (muscles, joints, nerves)
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Swelling
  • Tendonitis
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfer’s Elbow
  • Whiplash
  • Migraine headaches
  • TMJ
  • Post-operative pain
  • Post-operative wounds
  • Neck pain and back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia / Myofascial Pain
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Trauma
  • Post-operative pain
  • Wound healing
  • Knee, foot, ankle pain
  • Plantar fasciitis