What is Better to Use for a Fresh Injury? Ice? Heat? Creams? Cold Laser? This study’s results just may surprise you…

I get asked this question all the time by patients. And when I treat athletes at the LADABC Fantasy Camp (with retired Dodger and Angel legends), I always get a strange look from players and trainers when they come over with a hamstring or ankle injury and I go right for my laser before the ice.

Same thing when a high school or college athlete comes in on crutches. I can see the subtle snicker or that they think I’m a little crazy when I pull out my laser, which looks like a bar code scanner or laser leveler, and start to use it on their ankle sprain.

However, when they walk out with less pain and better range of motion, they know I wasn’t crazy, but it still looks like “voodoo” to them.

Well, now there are some studies that show that there actually is a method to my madness, and that it is supported by these studies.

In general, we think of using ice first because it decreases inflammation, pain, and swelling, and not starting with heat until 48 hours have passed. But a recent study has found something that really surprised me.

In the March 2014 edition of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, they actually found that Cold Laser was superior to both ice and topical medications for acute (fresh) injury. Here is the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23812849

They measured the amount of  inflammatory molecules, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 (IL-1β and IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), immediately after injury, and then after treatment with either ice, topical medication, or cold laser.

Only cold laser decreased the levels of these inflammatory molecules. Ice and topical medication did not.

So what does this mean for you? Well, it doesn’t mean not to use ice or topical creams, as those do decrease pain. But if you are an athlete or want to heal much faster, adding in cold laser will actually have a greater impact than either ice or topical creams.

In my office, when I treat sports injuries or auto accidents, we always get them on a laser ASAP because it rapidly increases their healing rate. We have noticed that patients that get laser usually get better 30 to 50% faster than those who choose not to receive cold laser for their acute injuries.

This study in the May 2014 edition of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery found that cold laser also had a positive impact on neutrophils and macrophages in acute injuries. Here is that study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24173911

When you add in the other studies that show lasers stimulate the formation of new cells, increase ATP (energy production) in cells, increase glutathione (antioxidants), and improve circulation, cold lasers are being shown to be very important for athletes, weekend warriors, and auto accident victims who want to get better faster.

Additionally, Cold Laser has been shown to even Enhance Sports Performance and even Protect Against Injuries and Inflammation You can read about that by clicking the link.

If you would like to get my blog articles sent to your email for free, you can go to my blog at www.DrKirkGairBlog.com and put your email in the box under “Email Health Updates” on the right side under my picture.

I could not imagine treating injuries today without cold lasers, as that would be like riding a bike to get to work when I could teleport there instead…

You can follow me on twitter @drkirkgair, or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LaserChiropractic, or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo, or at www.LaserChiropractic.net

As always, please consult with your personal physician before trying any of the methods discussed in this article. This article is not intended to provide a diagnosis or offer a treatment plan or medical advice for any condition. 

Anxiety? Panic Attacks? Depression? Recent Studies Showed Cold Laser Helped Patients and Had No Side Effects

So many patients come into my office complaining of “Panic Attacks”, “Anxiety”, “Depression.” For Hashimoto’s patients, these are very common to experience, and they can be extremely frustrating to manage.

Obviously optimizing thyroid function and making sure you have adequate free T3 and T3 uptake should be addressed in all depression patients. Also with panic attacks you should seek the help of a qualified psychologist and also rule out neurological problems or cardiac causes.

However, there are several recent studies that have shown Cold Laser, also known as low level laser or photobiomodulation, to be beneficial for not only mood and anxiety but also overall brain function.

In the 2009 edition of the journal Behavioral and Brain functions, they found that just 1 treatment with a cold laser to both sides of the head reduced depression and anxiety for several weeks.

“We gave one 8-minute treatment with NIR-PBM (cold laser) to 10 patients with major depression, including 7 with a history of substance abuse (6 with a past history of opiate abuse and one with a past history of alcoholism), and 9 with an anxiety disorder, including 3 with PTSD. We found significant reductions in both mean HAM-D (depression measurements) and HAM-A (anxiety measurements) rating at 2 and 4 weeks following treatment. At 2-weeks post treatment 6 of 10 of patients had a remission (a score ≤ 10) on the HAM-D and 7 of 10 on the HAM-A. We observed no side effects.” (parenthesis added by me for clarification)

Here is the link to that article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796659/?report=reader

This is pretty exciting news, especially when you consider the other studies I have been writing about on my facebook page, www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo, that have shown that cold laser can increase serotonin levels in the brain, decrease inflammation, stimulate the formation of new brain cells, modulate the activity of glial cells, and even decrease thyroid antibody levels and normalize thyroid tissue on ultrasound.

So what does this mean for you? Well, the good news is that cold laser is something you can try that is inexpensive and has no side effects and may be able to help with these conditions. The bad news is that, although lasers have been around for over 40 years, they are still relatively in their infancy in Western Medicine.

I have been using them for over 11 years, but patients may find it challenging to find a well trained provider who knows how to use the laser properly.  A good resource to find one near you can be found at www.Erchonia.com. You can use their zip code search engine. Still, be sure to question the doctor to see if they are aware of this info and have completed training.