Laser Therapy

More and more therapists are using laser therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation related to many common conditions.

Sometimes you’ll hear it called Deep Tissue Laser Therapy and sometimes Cold Laser Therapy.

Both terms are just descriptors for one of the gentlest, yet most effective, treatments available.

If you are suffering from acute or chronic pain, here are answers to questions you may have about Deep Tissue Laser Therapy.

Hear real patients talk about their experiences with laser therapy!

What Patients are Saying

“I’ve been coming for PT for lower back/herniated disc/sciatic nerve pain on the left side. The first time I had laser therapy was incredible. I have had consistent leg pain and the first treatment I had, the pain was almost completely gone (it was definitely an emotional experience). I was able to walk and do my exercises with little to no pain. My leg felt lighter. I continue with laser therapy as well as all my other therapies and have made a lot of progress!!! Of course, with Dr. Robbie’s help. I opted not to have surgery and have pretty much returned to all daily activities and exercises. I definitely recommend trying the laser! It doesn’t hurt at all, and it’s actually relaxing. Thank you Haymarket PT and all staff!”

Quick Facts About Laser Therapy

Are there side effects?

No, Laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation without side effects using a process called photobiomodulation. This fancy word basically means that it uses light to stimulate and speed up the natural healing process of your body. It triggers a biological cascade of events that leads to an increase in cellular metabolism and a decrease in both pain and inflammation.

One fantastic advantage of laser therapy is that it reduces pain without the undesirable side effects that come with many medications. It is also non-invasive and may provide a great alternative to surgery.

Another piece of good news is that patients report long-lasting pain relief. This is not an artificial cover up that temporarily hides the pain, laser therapy promotes real healing within your body. While the number of treatments required may vary depending on the acuity of the condition, many patients experience lasting relief after only a couple treatments.

When should it be performed?

Laser therapy can be done at any time. It is particularly effective when it is administered as soon as possible following injury (assuming there is no active hemorrhaging). The faster the inflammation is reduced and the healing process can begin, the better. In these situations, laser therapy helps restore the body to normal function more quickly.

With chronic conditions, laser therapy is most often used to help combat persistent pain and inflammation. Your therapist can administer laser therapy to quickly reduce inflammation from flare ups in patients suffering from chronic pain. This therapy laser is especially well-suited for treating chronic conditions because it enables clinicians to treat a wider area of interest while still delivering therapeutically relevant dosages.

Can treatments be customized for each situation?

Therapy lasers have larger power ranges and offer versatile treatment options. The therapist can adjust the strength of the laser to the most appropriate level in each unique scenario.

The availability of multiple treatment heads offers additional flexibility for the therapist, letting them match the delivery method to the situation. For instance, when treating a bony area, an off-contact treatment method is advisable. However, when treating deep-tissue structures, such as a hamstring, a massage ball attachment is best. Different sized treatment heads can also be advantageous for administering treatments that require varying levels of precision.

Does the treatment hurt?

The question everyone asks about laser therapy is, “What does it feel like?” Depending on the laser, it can create little to no sensation or it can create a gentle, soothing warmth. Many report enjoying the experience, especially when a massage-ball treatment head is used to deliver what is often referred to as a “laser massage.”

How long does it take?

The average laser therapy treatment usually lasts 5-10 minutes depending on the size, depth, and acuteness of the condition being treated. High-power lasers are able to deliver a lot of energy in a small amount of time, so therapeutic dosages are achieved quickly. For people with packed schedules, patients and clinicians alike, fast and effective treatments are a must.

What next?

If you have more questions about Deep Tissue Laser Therapy or would like to talk to a professional about applying this treatment to your own condition, give us a call! Our doctors and staff would be happy to help you on the way to healing in any way we can.

Not Sure If Physical Therapy Is Right For You?

Stop Letting Pain Limit Your Life

Take advantage of our 30 minute Complimentary Consultation where you will get the following questions answered by a licensed Physical Therapist:

  • What is causing my pain?
  • Will physical therapy help?
  • What do I have to do to achieve pain free motion?
  • Do I need surgery?

Set up your discovery session:


Hamblin MR, Demidova TN. “Mechanisms of low level light therapy.” Proc. of SPIE Photonics. 2006; 6140: 614001-01-12. doi: 10.1117/12.646294

Kingsley JD, Demchak T, Mathis R. “Low-level laser therapy as a treatment for chronic pain.” Frontiers in Physiology. 2014; 5(306): 1-3. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2014.00306

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