Laser Therapy for Back Pain

Jun 6, 2021Blog Post, Laser Therapy


Laser therapy is giving people relief from relentless back pain. This is an important nonsurgical, medication-free treatment option for people seeking freedom from pain, discomfort, and loss of mobility. Unfortunately, surgery and pain medications are often the only treatment options introduced to people suffering from chronic back pain. That doesn’t mean that these options are appropriate for everyone. That’s why laser therapy for back pain is such an exciting alternative.

Laser therapy is a holistic, non-invasive treatment for back pain without the side effects and recovery time of more invasive options. Does cold laser therapy help your back pain? Take a look at how people are getting relief from back pain using laser therapy.

Talking About Back Pain: What Makes Your Back Hurt?

The back is comprised of bony vertebrae that are connected by discs and joints. This delicate structure is very susceptible to injuries and misalignments caused by everyday movements, repetitive pressure, accidents, falls, trauma, or degenerative conditions. Here’s a look at some common medical causes of back pain:

  • Compressed nerves.
  • Myofascial (connective tissue) impingements.
  • Inflammation of intervertebral joints.
  • Herniated or ruptured discs.
  • Arthritis.
  • Sciatica.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Nonspecific inflammation.

In some cases, back pain has no known underlying cause. However, back pain is linked with everything from stress to poor posture. One of the benefits of going with a “holistic” approach like laser therapy is that you’ll have an opportunity to explore the underlying causes of your pain instead of focusing solely on eliminating the pain at the surface level without addressing the factors that are contributing to your back issue. This can help to ensure that you don’t reinjure your back after getting much-needed relief through laser therapy.

What Is Laser Therapy for Back Pain?

Laser therapy utilizes specific wavelengths of light to stimulate tissue healing. During treatment, a clinician applies a handheld device directly over the injured area of your body for a predetermined amount of time that usually lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. While the instrument is applied, the non-thermal light photons that are emitted pass through your skin layers to reach your deep tissue.

When your cells absorb the light energy that is emitted, a chain reaction occurs within each cell to reverse tissue damage. The “healing surge” that is activated is caused by the increase in intracellular metabolism that’s triggered by laser wavelengths. Damaged cells are prompted to “jump into action” to repair tissue that has been languishing! Many patients also experience sudden increased blood flow to an area of the body that was slow to heal due to reduced circulation. For many people, laser therapy helps with:

  • Reducing pain.
  • Bringing down inflammation.
  • Stimulating nerve regeneration.
  • Accelerating healing in damaged tissue.
  • Relaxing your muscles.

While laser therapy is commonly used to treat back pain, it is actually a popular treatment for many different types of musculoskeletal pain. Many patients see successful results after using laser therapy to treat muscles strains and tears throughout the body caused by sports injuries. In addition, laser therapy has been shown to be effective for common conditions like tendonitis and bursitis. What’s more, people who are experiencing pain and slow healing following surgeries can actually utilize laser therapy to speed up the healing process.

What Type of Back Pain Can Laser Therapy Treat?

Laser therapy is considered to be an effective treatment for both acute and chronic back pain. While it is commonly used to treat pain in the low back, laser therapy can be used to address pain and soreness throughout the back, neck, and shoulders. In studies looking at the benefits of low-level laser therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain, researchers observed significant pain reduction immediately following laser treatments.

Beyond Laser Therapy for Back Pain: Creating a Powerful Plan for Walking Away From Pain

Research from a 2011 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies shows strong evidence that there’s a way to optimize the positive results of laser therapy for pain. Researchers involved in the study set out to compare the benefits of laser therapy versus spinal adjustment therapy among patients living with pain. These researchers determined that both treatments were extremely helpful for treating pain on their own. However, there was an additional finding that shows to be very promising for people suffering from pain. When laser therapy and spinal adjustment therapy were combined, the results were even better for patients. This research reveals that a combination of manual therapy and laser therapy is more effective than either of the two options when used on their own.

Is Laser Therapy for Back Pain Safe?

Laser therapy is widely regarding as a very safe and effective treatment. When compared to an option like surgery, laser therapy allows patients to enjoy healing benefits without any incisions, stitches, healing time, or recovery time. What’s more, worries about post-surgery infections and complications are eliminated. In fact, patients can simply return to life as normal with just a few small considerations after undergoing laser therapy. Laser therapy is fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for a wide range of conditions. Of course, it’s important to seek laser treatments from a qualified professional with the training and knowledge necessary to safely and effectively administer this treatment.

How Long Do the Results of Laser Therapy Last?

The results can vary by patient. However, it’s important to go into this treatment option with the right expectations. Laser therapy can often take time to produce full results. Many patients undergo several treatments stretched out over the course of several months when using laser therapy to treat injuries. Many patients do actually report immediate pain relief following the first treatment. However, it’s very realistic to expect to see full results about a month after receiving your first treatment. When you decide that laser therapy is an option for you, your care provider will work with you on drawing up a specialized care plan based on the nature and severity of your pain that will optimize your results.

Each laser therapy appointment is very quick! You can expect to only need to set aside between 20 and 30 minutes for your office visit when you show up for laser treatments. You can also resume your normal daily activities following treatment. However, you may be advised to avoid strenuous activity immediately following a treatment session. If you’re having a laser treatment done to address back pain, you won’t necessarily want to walk out of the office to go lift heavy boxes. You will be sent home with very specific instructions for how to care for the treated area after your appointment!

Is Laser Therapy for Back Pain a Good Option for Me?

It’s impossible to know if laser therapy is a good option for treating your back pain until you undergo an evaluation by a trained, certified provider of laser therapy. While this is a very safe and gentle procedure, it’s still important to look at your full health history before deciding if this is a beneficial option for you. If you are a good candidate for laser therapy, you might also want to consider a larger treatment plan that helps you to maximize the benefits you’re getting from this treatment. The perk of going with a nonsurgical, noninvasive option like laser therapy over surgery is that you will be able to combine different treatments and therapies. Many patients find that manual adjustments, massage therapy, and physical therapy help enhance the results of laser therapy. In addition, various diet and lifestyle changes can help to bolster the benefits of laser therapy by encouraging healing throughout your body. Lastly, learning how to maintain proper posture, avoid strains and boost flexibility to prevent injury can all be important if the goal is to get rid of back pain that is robbing you of your health, happiness, and ability to do the things you love in life!

The bottom line is that laser therapy can speed up healing at the cellular level. While exercises and adjustments can go a long way in helping to heal injuries, they don’t offer the cellular-level boost offered by laser therapy. Book an appointment to learn more about how this treatment is changing lives today!

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