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Cold Laser vs. Heated Laser: Illuminating the Differences in Therapy

In the world of therapeutic lasers, two distinct modalities have garnered attention for their ability to promote healing and alleviate pain: Cold Laser and Heated Laser. At MOVE PHYSIO, we understand the significance of choosing the right treatment for your specific needs. Let's explore the differences between Cold Laser and Heated Laser therapies, highlighting their unique characteristics, applications, and effectiveness.

Cold Laser Therapy: Gentle Precision for Healing

Cold Laser Therapy, also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is characterized by its use of low-intensity laser light to stimulate cellular processes and promote healing. Contrary to what its name suggests, it doesn't produce cold or thermal energy. Instead, it operates in the non-thermal range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Key Aspects of Cold Laser Therapy:

- Non-Thermal: Cold Laser Therapy doesn't generate heat nor coolness, making it gentle and comfortable for patients.

- Cellular Stimulation: It focuses on stimulating cellular processes, which can enhance tissue repair and reduce inflammation.

- Surface Applications: It helps in pain relief for acute and chronic conditions which can occur within hours to days after application


  • Eyes: Avoid directing laser beams into the eyes, and ensure that all individuals present wear suitable protective eyewear.

  • Cancer: Refrain from applying treatment directly over a known primary carcinoma or secondary metastasis, except when the patient is undergoing chemotherapy. In such cases, LLLT can be utilized to mitigate side effects like mucositis. However, it may be considered for palliative relief in terminally ill cancer patients.

  • Pregnancy: Exercise caution when administering treatment near the developing fetus.

  • Epileptics: Be mindful that low-frequency pulsed visible light (<30Hz) may have the potential to induce seizures in individuals with photosensitive epilepsy.

Heated Laser Therapy: Harnessing the Power of Thermal Energy

Heated Laser Therapy, also known as High-Intensity Laser Therapy (HILT), employs laser light that produces significant thermal energy. This energy creates a warming effect in the treated area, which can have various therapeutic benefits.

Key Aspects of Heated Laser Therapy:

- Thermal Energy: Unlike Cold Laser Therapy, Heated Laser generates significant thermal energy, which can penetrate deeper into tissues.

- Pain Relief: It's particularly effective for pain relief and the management of deep-seated musculoskeletal conditions.

- Deep Tissue Applications: Heated Laser is well-suited for addressing deep tissue injuries, chronic pain, and conditions like arthritis.


  • Pregnancy

  • Tumor

  • Hemorrhage

  • Pacemaker

  • Thrombosis

Choosing the Right Therapy for You:

Selecting between Cold Laser and Heated Laser therapy hinges on your specific condition and treatment goals:

- Surface vs. Deep Healing: If you require surface-level healing or relief, Cold Laser Therapy may be preferable.

- Deeper Tissue Issues: For deep-seated musculoskeletal problems, chronic pain, and issues that benefit from thermal energy, Heated Laser Therapy could be more appropriate.

Consult with Experts: Always consult with healthcare professionals experienced in both modalities to determine the best fit for your unique needs.

Both Cold Laser and Heated Laser therapies have their distinct strengths and applications in the realm of therapeutic lasers. At MOVE PHYSIO, our team of healthcare professionals is well-versed in both modalities and can guide you in selecting the most suitable treatment for your specific needs.

Whether you require the gentle precision of Cold Laser Therapy or the penetrating warmth of Heated Laser Therapy, we're here to assist you. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and embark on a journey towards improved health and well-being. Your comfort and well-being are our top priorities, and we're dedicated to helping you achieve them.


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  4. Song HJ, Seo HJ, Lee Y, Kim SK. Effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine. 2018 Dec;97(51). Available from: (last accessed 24.6.2019)

  5. Babatunde OO, Jordan JL, Van der Windt DA, Hill JC, Foster NE, Protheroe J. Effective treatment options for musculoskeletal pain in primary care: A systematic overview of current evidence. PloS one. 2017 Jun 22;12(6):e0178621. Available from: (last accessed 24.6.2019)

  6. Clijsen R, Brunner A, Barbero M, Clarys P, Taeymans J. Effects of low-level laser therapy on pain in patients with musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Available from: (last accessed 25.6.2019)

  7. Babatunde OO, Jordan JL, Van der Windt DA, Hill JC, Foster NE, Protheroe J. Effective treatment options for musculoskeletal pain in primary care: A systematic overview of current evidence. PloS one. 2017 Jun 22;12(6):e0178621. Available from: (last accessed 24.6.2019)

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