HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Cindy Connelly remembers how she used to feel. Persistent pain made it hard to go about her day, but then she discovered cold laser therapy.
“The inflammation is pretty much reduced to maybe 10, 20 percent,” she says.
The Institute of Medicine estimates about 100 million Americans like Connelly live with chronic pain – more than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined. More are turning to this treatment for relief.
“It’s not uncommon to have someone get up off the table and say, ‘wow, the pain’s gone.’ It’s really amazing how fast the laser can work,” says Dr. Andy Melchert of Capital Chiropractic Center.
Dr. Melchert explains how it works: The low-level beam stimulates cells in the affected area to produce more energy and help with healing. It is a relatively new chiropractic treatment for issues like joint and muscle pain, lower back pain, neck pain, arthritis and more.
Doctor Melchert says the light frequency breaks up the inflammation.
“Inflammation is just a chain of chemical reactions, and if you can interrupt that, you can stop inflammation.”
There have been numerous studies over the years. None have found major side effects, but just about all identify some pros and cons.
Researchers have found a majority of patients respond to cold laser therapy at some level. It is also non-invasive and does not require medication, which is appealing to many people. However, cold laser therapy typically requires multiple sessions depending on the severity of the inflammation, and some patients report their relief was only temporary.
For Connelly, who admits she was skeptical at first, feeling is believing.
“It worked very well for me,” she says.
Cold laser therapy is covered by some insurance companies, so anyone who is interested in trying it should check details of their policy.