Class IV Laser Therapy

At Summit Sports Chiropractic we work to bring the best, most cutting-edge techniques and technologies to our patients in order to provide the highest quality care possible. While Laser Therapy isn’t “new” (it was approved by the FDA in 2003) it is definitely a cutting edge technology that isn’t as well known as we would like… yet.

What is Laser Therapy?

Laser light at a wavelength of 670nm, 808nm or 904nm is delivered to the tissue via a probe. The light enters the cell's mitochondria and is absorbed by the chromophores, including the protein cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) which then increases its activity. As a result of this heightened activity, three molecules are affected: ATP, ROS, and NO. ATP increases the cell's ability to fight infection and accelerates the healing process. The modulation of ROS positively impacts cellular repair and healing. The release of NO increases circulation, decreases inflammation, and enhances the transport of oxygen and immune cells throughout the tissue.


Laser Therapy uses red and infrared light to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Once the infrared and red light hits the target structures it immediately increases cellular activity in that area by providing essentially free cellular energy (ATP) to accelerate the healing process, modulation of transcription factors to improve cellular repair and healing, and release of nitric oxide to increase vasoldilation and improve oxygenation of the area.

Why Class 4?

There are a variety of laser therapies out there, you may have heard of or even received “Cold Laser Therapy” in the past, but when it comes to healing the body and it’s deep tissues there’s a clear pack leader. The benefit of using Class 4 laser (vs. lower powered lasers such as Class 3 or “Cold Lasers”) is that it is the strongest cleared for treatment and can penetrate the deepest into the body allowing for greater access to muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and even bone. Our Class 4 Laser can run up to 30x more intense than the highest powered Cold Laser, meaning your body is getting the energy it needs to heal deep tissues faster.

Comprehensive Healing

This therapy modality increases tissue regeneration, helping you heal faster following an injury, but it can also accelerate soft tissue and bone repair, improve nerve regeneration and function, as well as increase collagen production and promote angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels). So while you will finish treatment and feel better the effects can last well beyond the immediate deep warming relief.

Where other therapy modalities will work to mask the symptoms with each session, this therapy works to heal the tissues so every session is increasing the healing on already recovering tissue.

Class 4 Laser is a pain-free, non-surgical, non-pharmacological approach to pain management that works well on it’s own but even better in conjunction with the other therapy and treatment modalities available at our office including manipulationIASTM, and Functional Rehabilitation.

Laser Therapy uses infrared and red light in our bodies the same way that plants use UV light to photosynthesize.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pretty much anything in the musculoskeletal system can benefit from laser. Especially anything ending in “-itis”, as -itis literally means inflammation and laser therapy is a stone cold inflammation killer. While this is a non-comprehensive list some conditions that have responded particularly well to laser therapy in our office have been: strains, sprains, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, nerve irritation, carpal tunnel, golfers elbow, tennis elbow,  muscle spasms, rotator cuff injuries, whiplash injuries, arthritis, general muscle soreness, post-surgical inflammation, and a variety of chronic pain issues.

Not really. While they both operate on similar concepts and lightwaves the class 4 laser is technically a “thermic” laser, meaning it generates heat which cold lasers do not.  The reason that it is thermic is because it is using significantly more power than cold lasers and providing significantly more energy to the affected tissues to improve and promote the healing process. For reference, cold lasers are capped out at 0.5W of energy where our class 4 laser tops out at 15W… up to 30 times more intense! If you’ve ever used heat or a hot tub for a sore back you know the benefit that heat can have and how good it can feel, that deep heat penetration is an additional benefit of using thermic lasers over lower powered “cold” lasers.

High Powered Laser Therapy is one of the safest therapy modalities out there. It is cleared and approved by the FDA for a variety of treatments and there is a very short list of contraindications for treatment. Laser Therapy is not recommended if:

  • You are taking medications that increase photosensitivity (including steroids, anti-biotics, and certain anti-depressants
  • You are undergoing radiation therapy for cancer or have a history of cancer in the area being treated
Outside of that feel free to share any concerns with your doctor but rest assured Laser Therapy is a highly safe and highly effective treatment

Treatment sessions can last anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on the region being treated. There are specific protocols designed to help with your specific condition and we will make sure to deliver the necessary light and energy into the body as recommended.

The benefits from the treatment can be variable as well but are cumulative, so while you may feel better immediately following the first session that will accumulate with additional sessions. Laser therapy works to heal, not mask or cover up, what is wrong with the body. Therefore, when you feel better it’s because you are better.

Class 4 deep tissue laser therapy is known for its immediate analgesic effects. The laser’s ability to effectively target deep tissues and nerves, and produce a penetrating warming effect are the reasons that many people feel relief quite quickly.

Keep in mind that the nature of your injury dictates how long before you are pain-free. Recent (acute) injuries generally take less time to heal, while long-standing (chronic) injuries tend to take longer. In most cases, significant improvements are seen within 4-6 visits over a 2-3 week period. 

This is a big question we get pretty often. While we would love the privilege of helping you get out of pain and give you the tools for long term health and success, there are some great doctors in town so we understand why you might not want to leave the chiropractor you’re already with. Our goal at Summit is to help as many people achieve their peak health and performance as possible and that means making incredible technology like this accessible to everyone.

Long answer short? We will perform a quick screen of whether this therapy is appropriate for you and then provide it to anyone who needs it.

No exam or referral necessary!!

Ready to feel the power of laser therapy work to help you get out of pain? Click here to schedule: