Low Level Laser Therapy or "cold laser therapy" reduces musculoskeletal pain and inflammation and promotes tissue repair. Low Level Laser allows laser light to penetrate the surface of the skin with no heating effect and directs light energy to the body’s cells. The cells then convert this energy into chemical energy to promote healing and pain relief. Low Level Laser therapy has been approved by the FDA for the treatment and management of acute and chronic pain. Many medical doctors are now realizing the benefits of laser in the care of their patients.
Over 1,000 published studies have examined Low Level Laser, and there is good evidence from clinical trials that laser is effective for patients with lateral elbow tendinopathy (tennis elbow, tendonitis), neck pain and whiplash disorders, osteoarthritic knee pain, myofascial pain syndrome and myofascial trigger points.
Note that steroids block Low Level Laser effects. There should be a 6-week wash-out period for steroid injections and a 1-week wash-out period for oral steroids before using Low Level Laser.
At this time, most insurance companies do not cover Low Level Laser. The insurance industry considers this therapy to be experimental, investigational and unproven. This position is not consistent with the best evidence of the day for the above listed conditions.