Top Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center in Gainesville and Bristow Virginia
Haymarket Location
14535 John Marshall Hwy #203
Gainesville, VA 20155
Bristow Location
10402 Bristow Center Dr.
Bristow, VA 20136

Laser Therapy

Call to Schedule an Appointment: (703) 753-0261

Physical Therapy  |  Wellness Program  |  Dry Needling  |  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, but 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 5 things you should know about Deep Tissue Laser Therapy.

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, though when treating acute conditions with, 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 quicker.

With chronic conditions, laser therapy is used most often 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 can 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 are patients 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!”

Check out this video to hear real patients talk about their own experiences with laser therapy!

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.


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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Gainesville, VA

14535 John Marshall Hwy #203
Gainesville, VA 20155

Phone: (703)753-0261
Fax: (703)743-2967

Bristow, VA

10402 Bristow Center Dr.
Bristow, VA 20136

Phone: (571)719-3563
Fax: (703)743-2967
*Near Harris Teeter and Thai Peppers