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Frequently Asked Questions About MLS Laser Therapy

"Noninvasive, safe, effective treatment for pain and inflammation? Sign me up!"

Technology is constantly changing and improving our lives in countless ways. This is very true in the field of medicine, which is always looking for new and innovative approaches to diagnosing and treating medical problems.

We are proud to offer our patients a wide range of non-invasive treatments to help them get back to the things they love. Our latest treatment option, MLS Laser Therapy, is a non-invasive, safe, and effective treatment modality that utilizes light to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing and soft tissue repair.

This isn’t just any old laser. Unlike the low-level lasers used by clinicians like physical therapists, our laser is very unique. The MLS laser is the only multi-wave locked system, dual wave, fully robotic laser therapy system on the market – this means deeper penetration with no heat produced, allowing faster healing with no known side effects.

Of course, we know patients may have questions about MLS laser therapy, what it entails, and who can benefit from it. Here you will find answers to some of the questions we receive on a frequent basis.

Q: What is MLS Laser Therapy?

The MLS laser is a non-invasive technique for treating injuries like strains, sprains, and even general inflammation. Treatment capitalizes on energy produced by concentrated levels of light (lasers) to promote pain relief and soft tissue healing. This means it’s also an effective way to speed up the healing process after surgery.

Q: What does MLS mean?

MLS stands for "Multiwave Locked System". This technology uses a patented combination of wavelengths that reinforce each other, allowing you to achieve the individual benefits of each wavelength in one convenient session. These wavelengths work in unison, much like a symphony, to deliver deeper penetration for maximized results.

Q: How does it work?

During MLS laser treatment sessions, light energy penetrates deeply into your soft tissue and reaches damaged cells. In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy (think of this like photosynthesis in plants). This energy stimulates natural healing processes by speeding up cellular reproduction and growth. The specific light wavelengths produced by the MLS laser initiate strong anti-inflammatory responses by the cells in these tissues, which is essential for reducing swelling and pain.

Q: What does laser therapy have over other forms of therapy?

Older, lesser laser therapies offered only one energy wavelength, which meant they could only reduce inflammation or ease pain, but not both. With its patented technology, MLS Laser Therapy is able to induce strong anti-inflammatory, anti-edema (swelling), and analgesic (pain-reducing) effects simultaneously and within a short period of time. On top of that, MLS laser does not require the use of drugs or surgery, has no known side effects, and is quick and convenient. Studies from many prestigious institutions (including Harvard University) have shown that laser therapy is equal to – or more effective than – other non-invasive techniques like physical therapy.

Q: Does it hurt? What does the treatment feel like?

There is little or no sensation during treatment. There is no pain associated with laser application. In fact, laser treatment is relaxing enough that some people even fall asleep.

Q: How long does the treatment take?

A typical session is 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the area we are treating. This makes it a very quick and convenient treatment option – you’ll be in and out in under 20 minutes!

Q: How many treatments does it take?

Treatment plans are determined on a case-by-case basis and depend on the nature of the condition or injury being treated. The typical treatment plan calls for a total of 6 or 12 sessions, depending on it the issue is acute or chronic in nature, which are administered 2 to 3 times a week. Conditions such as severe arthritis may require periodic sessions to maintain the positive effects on pain.

Q: How long before results are felt?

This is also something that will depend on the patient and the issue being treated. These sessions are cumulative, meaning that they build on each session. Some patients have reported feeling improvement immediately after the first treatment, with most feeling improvement after the third treatment. In the case of chronic conditions, you may need as many as six visits before you start to really feel the benefits of laser therapy. Put simply, everyone responds to this therapy a little bit differently.

Q: Do the results last?

Whereas some treatments are used to address symptoms, MLS Laser Therapy is about healing the damaged tissues that are causing you pain. When you start feeling better from this treatment, it’s because you are actually better. This means that unless you become injured again, the results are long-lasting.

Q: Can it be used at the same time as other treatments?

Absolutely. In fact, sometimes MLS therapy is even more effective when used in conjunction with other treatments, like physical therapy and massage therapy.

Q: Can laser therapy be used over medical implants, or over metal?

Yes. Laser therapy is a light treatment, not a heat one. This means no heating will affect any surgical or metal implants. If you have any such medical equipment, MLS therapy is still completely safe and will produce no adverse side effects. Additionally, this is a highly effective procedure that can be used to assist with postoperative wound healing.

Q: Is MLS Laser Therapy right for everyone?

While MLS laser therapy is supremely safe for the vast majority of patients, including people with metal implants, certain issues such as cancer or pregnancy may steer us toward recommending a different therapeutic method. We will conduct a careful evaluation to make sure MLS laser therapy makes sense for you.

Q: Is MLS Laser Therapy a regulated treatment?

A: MLS Laser Therapy was cleared for use by the FDA in 2009. The MLS laser was developed and tested following a strict course of biomedical and clinical research. The effectiveness of the combination of the emissions making up the MLS pulse was initially tested in vitro on cellular cultures, then in vivo on animals, and finally by means of controlled clinical trials run by major state-of-the-art health organizations for treating traumatic and degenerative painful diseases.

Q: How do I know if laser therapy is right for me?

A: Just like other treatment options, it is best to talk to your doctor to see if MLS Laser Therapy is right for you. Patients must bring a medical clearance form with them to their first visit so that we know exactly how to treat them.

Q: What are the benefits of MLS Laser Therapy?

A: Naturally, patients wonder about the benefits of this kind of treatment. Here are the top 10 benefits from MLS Laser Therapy:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory: MLS Laser Therapy has an anti-edema effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system which drains swollen areas. As a result, there is a reduction in swelling caused by bruising or inflammation.

  2. Analgesic: MLS Laser Therapy has a beneficial effect on nerve cells. It blocks pain transmitted by these cells to the brain which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to the decreased inflammation, there is less edema and less pain. Another pain blocking mechanism involves the production of high levels of pain-killing chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalin from the brain and adrenal gland.

  3. Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth: Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. The laser light increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take on nutrients faster and get rid of waste products. As a result of exposure to laser light, damaged cells are repaired faster.

  4. Improved Vascular Activity: Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue which speeds up the healing process, closes wounds quickly, and reduces scar tissue. Additional benefits include acceleration of angiogenesis, which causes temporary vasodilation and an increase in the diameter of blood vessels.

  5. Increases Metabolic Activity: MLS Laser Therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen, and food particle loads for blood cells.

  6. Trigger Points and Acupuncture Points: MLS Laser Therapy stimulates muscle trigger points and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing musculoskeletal pain relief.

  7. Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation: MLS® Laser Therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns or surgery.

  8. Improved Nerve Function: Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissue can result in numbness and impaired limbs. Laser light speeds the process of nerve cell reconnection and increases the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle healing.

  9. Immunoregulation: Laser light has a direct effect on immunity status by stimulating immunoglobulins and lymphocytes. Laser emissions are absorbed by chromophores (molecule enzymes) that react to laser light. Upon exposure to the laser, the enzyme flavomononucleotide is activated and starts the production of ATP (adenosinetriphosphate), which is the major carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical reactions in the cells.

  10. Faster Wound Healing: Laser light stimulates fibroblast development in damaged tissue. Fibroblasts are the building blocks of collagen, which is the essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. As a result, MLS® Laser Therapy is effective post surgically and in the treatment of open wounds and burns.

MLS Laser Therapy is a non-invasive technique for treating injuries like strains, sprains, and even general inflammation. This amazing treatment option is a non-invasive, safe, and effective treatment modality that utilizes light to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing and soft tissue repair. We invite you to call us at 703.433.2500 to schedule your first session, or click here to request an appointment online. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our monthly newsletter!



Arthritis & Sports is the premier orthopaedics practice in Northern Virginia. Our team of specialty-trained physicians offers the latest treatment options for the full spectrum of orthopaedic sub-specialties - all under one roof.


From nonsurgical treatments like orthobiologics and physical therapy, to massage therapy and  nutrition counseling, we are dedicated to providing you with exceptional care from injury through rehabilitation.

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