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MLS Laser Vs. Traditional Laser – What’s the Difference?

MLS laser therapy, MLS versus LLLT, low level laser therapy, MLS laser therapy versus low level laser therapy
MLS Laser Therapy is an FDA-approved treatment for accelerating healing and decreasing swelling for many orthopedic conditions

If you’ve been to physical therapy in the last 30 years, you’ve likely experienced laser therapy. Traditional low-level cold lasers, also known as ‘deep tissue lasers’, have been used by both physical therapists and orthopedic physicians for many years to treat a wide variety of orthopedic conditions. While these lasers have become much better over the last decade, there is one laser that stands above the rest – MLS Laser Therapy.

Low-level laser therapy provides a solution for a number of medical issues. Traditionally, these devices use one of two single wavelengths of concentrated light to enhance cellular energy in the affected area without generating heat (hence ‘cold laser’):

  • Wavelength #1 – Swelling and Inflammation One of these wavelengths uses continuous light that encourages the body to reabsorb excess fluids in the area while stimulating circulation. This does a great job of reducing the swelling in the area, helping to decrease long-term pain.

  • Wavelength #2 – Pain Reduction The other traditional low-level laser uses pulses of light that temporarily interrupt the way your body transmits pain signals, providing immediate relief from your discomfort.

Depending on the focused wavelength being used, these lasers are very effective at treating inflammation/swelling or decreasing pain – however, because these machines only use one wavelength at a time, they cannot do both simultaneously.

This is where MLS lasers differ from other types. MLS lasers use multiple beams of light that are synchronized to one another, allowing you to experience pain relief and reduced swelling at the same time. The key here is that the wavelengths are synchronized – even if a traditional unit used more than one wavelength at a time, the missing synchronization means it could never replicate what MLS Laser Therapy can do.

This characteristic is what makes MLS Laser Therapy unique. The synchronized wavelengths offer two pain-relieving effects that reinforce each other, providing both immediate and long-lasting relief from your painful conditions. This makes it an effective treatment for many of our patients, including:

  • Chronic or acute pain

  • Post-surgical recovery (also effective before surgical procedures and in conjunction with physical therapy)

  • Scar reduction and wound healing

  • Sprains, strains, bursitis, and tendonitis

  • Sports injuries (golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, repetitive motion injuries)

  • Radiculopathy

  • And so much more!


If your painful condition hasn’t responded to other treatments, MLS Laser Therapy may be the key to your recovery. This FDA-approved treatment option is safe, painless, non-invasive, and affordable. We invite you to call us at 703.433.2500 to schedule your first session, or simply 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 for even more information sent straight to your inbox!



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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