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Cold Laser Therapy In Ottawa – Low Level (LLLT)


At EWC, we provide the latest technology in order to increase the speed and degree of recovery for all our patients. Low Level Laser Therapy [...]

At EWC, we provide the latest technology in order to increase the speed and degree of recovery for all our patients. Low Level Laser Therapy is a safe, effective, and virtually side-effect free method to help treat patients with chronic injuries and many other health conditions. LLLT has been shown to work wonders in reducing pain, speeding injuries, reducing inflammation, and increasing the effectiveness of complimentary treatments.

What Is LLLT?

LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) is a light therapy using lasers or LEDs to improve tissue repair, reduce pain and inflammation wherever the beam is applied. Usually applied by a therapist, treatments take about 10-15 minutes and should be applied two or more times a week.

LLLT is used to: increase the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair; resolve inflammation and relieve pain (analgesia). The red and near infrared light commonly used in LLLT can be produced by laser or high intensity LEDs. The intensity of LLLT lasers and LED’s is not high like a surgical laser. There is no heating effect.

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How Does LLLT Work?

The effects of LLLT are cold not thermal, thus photochemical processes are affected. Hot lasers in the medical world are used for surgical precision while cold lasers are used for healing precision. During treatment of the tissue with the laser beam, an interaction between cells and photons takes place, thus a photochemical reaction. Photons from the laser affect the tissue at the cellular level. The cold laser enters the tissue, alters cell membrane permeability, and at the cellular level is absorbed in the mitochondria of the cell creating physiological changes

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Benefits Of LLLT

  • The laser accelerates cellular reproduction and growth
  • Pain Reduction (Chronic & Acute)
  • Faster wound healing: The laser stimulates fibroblast development in damaged tissue. The reduction in recovery time is an important consideration.
  • Increased metabolic activity: Helps the body increase output of specific enzymes, greater oxygen to blood cells and more effective immune response are induced by laser.
  • Reduced fibrous tissue formation: The laser reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns, or following surgery.
  • Anti-inflammatory action: The laser reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints to give improved joint mobility.
  • Increased vascular activity: The laser stimulates lymph and blood circulation, to allow the affected tissue to have the best possible circulation.
  • Stimulated nerve function: Slow recovery of nerve function in damaged tissue can result in “dead” limbs or numb areas. Laser will speed the process of nerve cell reconnection to bring the numb areas back to life.
  • Laser also increases the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle action.

Side Effects Of LLLT

Because LLLT is as safe as it is effective, there are no known long-term side effects of this form of light therapy. Other than averting your eyes from the laser’s red or infrared light, the FDA has found no other red flags or adverse side effects from using LLLT. Because the light emitted does not cause your skin to burn, there is no risk of pain except under certain conditions.

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WHAT ARE THE CONTRAINDICATIONS?

There are, however, people with health conditions or disorders that should speak to their doctor before using LLLT, as some contraindications or risks are involved. Low-level laser therapy should generally not be used over:

  • Malignant tumours: With the physician’s permission, LLLT is commonly used to treat cancer side effects or for pain relief during the final terminal stage of the illness.
  • Thyroid
  • Tattoos
  • Developing Fetus: While there is no evidence to suggest that LLLT during pregnancy is harmful, there is not enough research and evidence yet to suggest otherwise.
  • Eyes: One of the first safety precautions our parents ever taught us was to avoid looking directly at the sun in case of eye damage. Maintaining that same philosophy with LLLT is common sense. During your LLLT session, you will be given a pair of tinted safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Will it be painful?

Low level laser light therapy (Cold Laser) is a pain-free treatment. You may feel a slight warm sensation in the area the laser is applied, or a slight tingling due to nerves being stimulated, but this will disappear shortly after treatment is completed.

Am I required to follow any specific protocols prior to the treatment?

You do not need to do any prepping for this treatment. It is a quick, non-invasive, and drug-free form of treatment.

What is cold laser used for?

Cold laser can be used in many different ways. It can be used on areas of chronic pain to help reduce pain, while treating post-operation patients in order to help them recover quicker, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow. Cold laser may also be used for any sprains and strains, whiplash, concussion, muscle tears, arthritis, scar tissue, reducing scar formation, and muscle adhesions. Please ask one of our experienced staff members if cold laser therapy is right for you and your condition.

How does it help?

Cold laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation and increases blood flow, allowing the injured areas to heal. Cold laser also helps regulate the immune system and stimulates nerve tissues to function at their best. Cold laser has been shown to generate new, healthy cells within soft tissue to promote wound healing with less scarring, and potentially increasing healing time by up to 40%.

How does it work?

We wipe down the area to be treated with alcohol to remove excessive skin oil (as the light may reflect off this oil and not fully penetrate). We then apply two circular laser lights to the affected area for several minutes. Then, a handheld laser is used to follow-up for 30 seconds on each specific point in the tissue that requires it. The larger circular laser lights penetrate into the tissue at a shallower depth, but treat a wider surface area, while the handheld laser is more precise but penetrates deeper into the affected tissue.

How often do I require to do the laser treatments?

We typically recommend 2-3 treatments a week, and the total number of sessions required typically depends on the condition it is being used for along with certain health factors (every person’s health is different). For example, if a young healthy adult experiences a muscle tear, they would likely only require 2-3 laser treatments weekly for approximately a 4-week period (acute condition), whereas an elderly patient with arthritis may require complete treatment up to 12 weeks or more (chronic condition).

How quickly will I experience results?

You will feel some immediate relief post-treatment, although it is not uncommon to experience a bit of discomfort or increased pain (due to nerves being stimulated) for several hours after treatment. It could take anywhere from 3 to 8 consistent treatments following your therapist’s recommendations in order to begin experiencing full results.

Who can perform laser therapy on me?

At our facility, either a Registered Physiotherapist or Chiropractic Physician can perform cold laser therapy treatments.

Can I do the laser by itself as a treatment?

After the initial assessment, you can either continue with 15-30-minute cold laser sessions charged as regular physiotherapy or chiropractic appointment, or you may include it as an additional part of your treatment for a small additional fee.

Is cold laser therapy covered by my insurer?

If you have coverage for physiotherapy or chiropractic care under your policy, cold laser therapy can be covered by your extended health insurer. You will still be subject to the rules and limitations surrounding your policies, but it is a covered service by most insurers.