Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Cold Laser Therapy?
- What are the differences between hot lasers and cold lasers?
- Which Cold Lasers does Dr. Schnee use?
- Is Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program just a temporary fix to my problem?
- How does Dr. Schnee determine if I am a candidate for care?
- Does the FDA recognize cold laser therapy?
- How many treatments will I need?
- Is Cold Laser Therapy safe, and are there any side effects?
- Is Cold Laser Therapy painful?
- What if I live far away, how can I do the program?
- Besides knee pain, what other conditions do you treat using Cold Lasers?
What is Cold Laser Therapy? [Top]
Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue that is damaged and helps repair it by ‘jump starting’ and accelerating the healing process. It is often used on patients seeking a non invasive, painless alternative to help eliminate acute or chronic pain and swelling in the joint, muscle, tendon, cartilage or other soft tissue.
What are the differences between hot lasers and cold lasers? [Top]
In reality, there are two types of medical lasers: High power and low power. High power lasers are used to cut through tissue, burn or vaporize tissue. High power lasers are also known as hot lasers, surgical lasers, or Class IV lasers. These lasers emit more than 2,000 mw of power and are potentially dangerous. These lasers for example are used during arthroscopic knee surgery. We do not use hot lasers or Class IV lasers in our office because these lasers have the potential to burn you.
Hot lasers should not be confused with Low-power lasers or Cold Lasers. In addition, don’t be confused by the term low- power. Low-power does not mean that they are ineffective or not as powerful as hot lasers. On the contrary, it simply means that they operate at a power that does not have the potential to harm the tissue. Low-power lasers or Cold Lasers can be broken down further and are classified as Class I, II, IIIA, or IIIB lasers. Only IIIB lasers emit between 5mw- 2,000 mw of power and can stimulate tissue repair and healing without burning or harming the patient. Every IIIB laser has a different power and wavelength. It is important that the appropriate laser is used for your condition. Anything below a IIIB Classification is too low, and has not been proven to penetrate below the skin’s surface.
Which Cold Lasers does Dr. Schnee use in Dallas-Fort Worth? [Top]
Dr. Schnee uses multiple cold lasers. Since she’s been using cold lasers for knee pain since 2001 she now has over 5 different lasers that she can utilize. All the lasers she uses are world renowned, FDA cleared, Class IIIB, true cold lasers and NOT Light Emitting Diodes.
Is Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program in Dallas-Fort Worth just a temporary fix to my problem? [Top]
The good news is that after completing Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program most patients are so satisfied with their results that they do not feel the need to undergo knee replacement surgery, arthroscopic surgery, or have any more painful shots. Since 2001 most patients have reported to us that the results they achieved from the treatments have been sustainable.
However, just like any other medical treatments, there are a small percentage of patients that only notice temporary relief or no relief at all from the treatment. Moreover, we have a handful of patients that come in for periodic knee treatments in order to maintain the results they achieved from the program. Unlike surgery, shots and medications where the effects are irreversible, there are no side-effects from Cold Laser treatments.
How does Dr. Schnee determine if I am a candidate for care? [Top]
All potential patients have an initial consultation, and undergo a complete evaluation. Any necessary x-rays will be taken or reviewed in order to determine if you are a candidate for Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program. If you have a current MRI report then you will be asked to bring that with you so that it can be reviewed by Dr. Schnee.
If she determines that you are a candidate for care she will review your treatment plan including the number of recommended treatments, your prognosis, and the different payment options available. Your insurance will also be verified to find out if they will assist you. This will allow you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision. If you are not a candidate for care then Dr. Schnee will not accept your case and will refer you to the appropriate doctor.
Does the FDA recognize cold laser therapy? [Top]
YES, cold lasers are recognized by the FDA !! It is very difficult and takes years of research for the FDA to give clearance to a medical device, and in 2001 the ML830 was the first cold laser to get FDA clearance. All cold lasers are not FDA cleared, however all of the lasers used in Dr. Schnee’s office are world renowned, FDA cleared cold lasers.
How many treatments will I need? [Top]
The total number of knee treatments a patient needs to undergo depends on the severity of the problem. This is determined by Dr. Schnee in the initial evaluation. The less severe the condition the fewer number of treatments are required. The more severe the condition the greater the number of treatments are required.
The average number of total treatments can range anywhere from 10-30. However, most patients start to notice changes early on in the program, and start feeling pain relief quickly usually between the 6-12th treatment.
The best part of this treatment is that it is not something you have to continue doing for the rest of your life and for most patients once they complete treatments they have sustainable results.
After completing Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program most patients are delighted with their results and decide against having knee replacements, arthroscopic surgery, or having any more painful shots.
Is Cold Laser Therapy safe, and are there any side effects? [Top]
Cold Laser Therapy is considered to be non-invasive, painless, and very safe.
Cold Lasers have been used internationally for over three decades. The first Cold Laser was FDA Cleared in 2001 in the United States. In all this time there have been no long term side-effects from its use. Very few patients experience short term soreness after the first treatment (just as you would if you started a new exercise routine.) The soreness is mild and using an ice-pack on the knee for 20 minutes will usually relieve it. However, many patients don’t experience any soreness instead they begin to notice a sense of improvement and relief.
Is Cold Laser Therapy painful? [Top]
No. Low level lasers or cold lasers do not generate perceivable heat. Therefore, when the laser contacts the skin the patient experiences no warmth or burning as a result of the laser. Most people feel nothing at all while a few may feel a slight tingling during the treatment.
What if I live far away, how can I do the program in Dallas-Fort Worth? [Top]
Many of our patients have traveled long distances to undergo our successful knee program. If it is not possible to come in several times a week then we tailor a schedule that meets your individual treatment needs. A few of our patients live too far away to drive back and forth from home, so they stay with family nearby or at a hotel near the clinic during the duration of their treatments. We can also provide you with a list of several hotels near the clinic that offer patients shuttle service to and from the clinic.
Besides knee pain, what other conditions do you treat using Cold Lasers? [Top]
For years, physicians have been using cold laser therapy on patients who are seeking effective, alternative methods for pain relief. Since 1967 there have been over 2,500 clinical studies published worldwide. Many of these studies are double-blinded, placebo-controlled and have demonstrated cold laser therapy to be a proven method for pain relief. Cold laser therapy can stimulate all cell types including muscle, ligament, cartilage, nerves, etc. so a number of conditions can be treated.
Even though Dr. Schnee is most known for helping individuals suffering with knee pain she has also successfully treated and provided customized care to patients suffering with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. In fact, Cold Laser Therapy has been known to successfully treat everything from carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow to chronic low back and neck pain. The following is a list of some of the conditions that she has treated:
- Joint Pain in the hands, wrist, feet, ankles, hips, shoulders, neck and back
- Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Herniated, Bulging, Degenerated (Arthritic) Discs, Pinched Nerves, Stenosis**
- Sciatic Pain**
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s elbow
- Plantar Fascitis
- Many other musculoskeletal injuries and conditions
**At the DFW Spine & Joint Center we are one of the only clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that combines Spinal Decompression Therapy along with Cold Laser Therapy Treatment for individuals suffering from neck or low back pain due to a herniated, bulging, degenerated disc, pinched nerves, or stenosis. If you have neck or low back problems you can get more information by calling our office at 214-596-1051 or visit coldlasertherapy.com
Frequently Asked Questions are Answered by Dr. Alexandra Schnee, D.C., a Dallas Cold Laser Therapy Knee Pain Relief Doctor Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.