Healthcare professionals use handheld devices to provide cold laser therapy. These devices, which are about the size of a flashlight, emit non-thermal pulses of specific wavelengths of light that penetrate 2 to 5 centimeters below the surface of the skin. Light-sensitive cells absorb the light energy, and this stimulates changes within the “powerhouse” of the cells, the mitochondria. Stimulating light receptors within these cells increases the production of the cells energy source, ATP, within the mitochondria. Stimulation also increases intracellular metabolism so that cells make better use of energy, decreases pain and inflammation, improves the synthesis of protein and growth factors, boosts cell growth and proliferation, and enhances blood flow and oxygen concentration to speed healing in damaged cells.
Cold laser therapy stimulates all types of body cells near the surface of the skin, including cells in muscles, nerves, and connective tissue.