If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you've probably tried a variety of things to get your symptoms under control. Medication, exercise, dietary supplements, and therapy are all common treatment options. However, if you're still not able to cope with the pain and other symptoms—or you would prefer treatment without medication—cold laser therapy may be a viable option.
What is cold laser therapy?
Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy, involves the use of weak lasers to provide pain relief and speed up healing in injured cells. Treatment is frequently performed by a trained chiropractor or physical therapist. A laser beam is focused on any injured or painful areas, with a session lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. The beam is able to penetrate the skin without causing burns or damage.
Cells inside the body are able to absorb the light from the laser, giving them an extra burst of energy. This jump starts the healing process.
Cold lasers may also be used as an alternative to needles in acupuncture. The laser is focused on the same trigger points where needles are generally inserted and can provide much of the same benefits, including pain relief, stress reduction, and healing.
Does cold laser therapy offer relief for fibromyalgia patients?
There is some indication that cold laser therapy may be effective in treating fibromyalgia. In one study, patients received treatment three times a week for four weeks. Laser therapy did not reduce painful trigger points in the group receiving treatment versus the control group, but those in the treatment group did notice a decrease in many other fibromyalgia-related symptoms.
Another study offered similarly promising results. Participants went into the study with similar levels of pain, stiffness, and sensitive trigger points. However, cold laser therapy reduced those symptoms in the test group.
What are the side effects?
Cold laser therapy is relatively free from negative side effects. It can be performed on an outpatient basis from your chiropractor's office, such as Healing Hands Chiropractic and Massage, and repeated as often as needed. Sessions don't require any recovery time. However, if there are any suspicious skin lesions near the area being treated, your chiropractor will likely recommend a skin cancer screening with your regular doctor or a dermatologist before performing laser therapy.
If you're interested in trying cold laser therapy for your fibromyalgia, discuss the treatment with your chiropractor to see if it's right for you.Share