At BodaHealth, we’re excited to add cold laser therapy to our healing toolbox to help patients who need effective treatments for wound care. Cold laser therapy is a way to use light to heal a wide variety of conditions. At BodaHealth, we use low level laser therapy, also called LLLT, or cold laser. It uses low intensity light that’s produced by high powered LEDs along with infrared lasers that gently produce positive changes at the cellular level. Low level laser therapy is also called cold laser because it’s absorbed by the cells deep in your tissues without heating or damaging your skin. The energy that your tissues absorb from the laser triggers physiological and biochemical reactions, such as increasing circulation to the targeted area, promoting cellular growth, and restoring the complicated balance that’s crucial to tissue healing. These are all changes that stimulate tissue repair and regeneration, decrease inflammation and reduce pain.
For most people, wound healing is something you may not think much about because in most cases your body seems to heal on its own. However, for some people, their wounds are slow to heal, and that can become a problem. There are a number of reasons and risk factors for non-healing wounds, including:
In order to heal and build new tissue, your body’s tissues need a continuous supply of oxygen and a variety of nutrients. When your circulation is hampered by heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, it can disrupt the healing process.
Infection is caused when bacteria enters your body. In most cases, your immune system is able to deal with the bacteria. However, if your immunity is compromised or if the bacteria is resistant to antibiotic treatment, it may interfere with your body’s ability to heal.
Diabetes is a condition of elevated sugar in your blood. It has a number of negative health impacts, including slowing down your circulation and suppressing your immune system. Non-healing sores are a common complication of diabetes, and they frequently occur in your toes, feet and lower legs. Another complication of diabetes is nerve damage, which often makes it difficult to feel a wound. This may mean that a wound may go unnoticed for a long time, delaying treatment.
Excess swelling may occur from heart disease, trauma and other conditions. The accumulated fluid around a wound restricts the amount of oxygen getting to the area, which can reduce your body’s ability to heal.
Pressure sores and repetitive trauma
When a wound is exposed to repeated trauma or continuous pressure, it can reduce blood circulation in the underlying tissues, making it difficult to heal. This kind of wound can be a problem for people who are hospitalized, on bed rest or who have a spinal cord injury.
An inadequate diet is often missed by health care providers as a cause of poor wound healing. Your body needs nutritional building blocks to heal and regenerate new tissue. Tissue healing can dramatically increase your daily requirement for protein and nutrients.
In order for your body to heal a wound, it depends on healthy immune cells to fight off infection and promote the cascade of chemical reactions involved in cellular recovery. Reduced immunity due to a health condition or taking certain medications can be a risk factor for slow-to-heal wounds.
Despite not getting much attention, wounds are actually one of the most common health conditions throughout the world. Untreated or non-healing wounds can lead to chronic pain, long-term inflammation, chronic infections, tissue death, and even amputation. Non-healing wounds also impact a patient’s overall physical and mental health—all of which point to the need for effective treatments.
Wound Healing with Cold Laser Therapy
At BodaHealth, our practitioners use cold laser therapy as adjunctive or stand-alone therapy for slow-healing wounds. A number of research studies have determined that cold laser can be a promising treatment for many patients. Scientists have found that wounds treated with cold laser therapy healed at a faster rate than those not receiving laser treatments. Unlike more powerful lasers, the energy emitted by a low level or cold laser doesn’t produce thermal effects or burn. Instead, cold laser works because the energy is absorbed by your cells deep in the tissues being treated. This stimulates a number of reactions including:
- The activation of phagocytes and macrophages, which are white blood cells that fight infection
- Activation of your body’s immune response
- Increased cellular metabolism, which involves complex chemical reactions to maintain healthy cells and tissue
- The production of new cells
- Triggered production of fibroblasts, which secrete collagen proteins necessary for wound healing
- An increase of new blood vessels in the treated area that promotes increased circulation and oxygenation
- Better electrical/chemical activity that transmits information between cells
While cold laser treatments are gentle, the benefits are clear—it has the ability to relieve pain, decrease inflammation, promote circulation, and stimulate healing. If you opt for cold laser therapy to treat your wound, the number of sessions necessary will depend on nature of the wound itself; whether it’s acute or chronic, the depth of the wound and the underlying cause. For best results, laser therapy sessions should be at least one to three times a week. Acute wounds, such as post-surgical incisions may take 5 to 10 sessions. Chronic wounds, infections, non-healing wounds and ulcers may require 10 to 20 treatment sessions. Another important consideration in the healing process is your overall health. Cold laser therapy may be combined with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional supplements or dietary therapy when needed for the best results.
Low level laser therapy, or cold laser therapy can be a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment in the healing of a wide variety of problematic wounds. If you would like to know more about cold laser therapy for wound healing, please don’t hesitate to contact BodaHealth.