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Cold laser therapy relieves chronic pain

Physical therapist Darren Bayliss applies an 830 cold laser to treat Gloria Gee's chronic pain.

Physical therapist Darren Bayliss applies an 830 cold laser to treat Gloria Gee's chronic pain.

It was the third week after daily 15-minute sessions had begun when Gloria Gee entered physical therapist Darren Bayliss’ office with a bit of skip in her step. If prompted, she might have tried to click her heels.

“Guess what? Darren,” she exclaimed, “I can kneel; I went to church!”

With lots of prayers of thanksgiving, no doubt.

Six months before, Gee, in her 50s, was the victim of head-on collision with a driver who ran a red light. She suffered painful and debilitating injuries to her neck, shoulders, left wrist and lower leg.

As a result, she had to scale back her activities, including scuba diving, brisk walking, biking and gardening.

“It was pretty bad,” Gee said. “It was hard to move my neck and shoulders, and I had pain from the top of my knee to the top of my toes. This whole area. I had trouble walking, I couldn’t kneel, nothing helping, doctors, massage, exercise …”

Finally, she was advised to try Bayliss and his Maximum Impact Physical Therapy Services. He first eased the neck and shoulder pain with regular therapy then began treatment on the leg and wrist with the newly patented 830 cold laser, which he had just acquired.

Bayliss said the laser has received the rapt attention of professional athletes who want a quick fix to injuries. As the first PT in Tucson to use it, he predicts it will be a household name.

He applies an object that looks like a small microphone or flashlight on the injured area and – beep, beep, beep – the light goes 2 inches into tissue without cutting or heat, increases endorphin levels, reduces inflammation, opens blood vessels and increases tissue strength.

“The man who patented this found that the wavelength range between 810 and 890 (nanometers) is where tissue is healed most effectively,” Bayliss said. “There is no heat and pressure, and you don’t feel anything or see anything.”

It can go around plates, screws, metals and plastic. It can’t, however, be used to treat cancer, the eyes or a fetus.

“People think the laser and PRRT are hocus pocus,” he said referring to the Primal Reflex Release Technique. “I was skeptical at first.”

Bayliss – a physical therapist for 11 years, eight of them in Tucson – is a former champion bodybuilder and power lifter who himself had to have major lower back surgery after his career.

Insisting “you have to be first” in a fiercely competitive field, he also uses, in combination with the cold laser PRRT, a series of unconventional movements designed to release the reflex responses “that make us gasp, groan or grimace.”

Gee, a Tucson native, is a prominent interior decorator and quickly discovered her injuries had become a major hindrance in her business.

“It takes a lot of lifting, carrying toolboxes and heavy accessories … furniture,” she said. “I couldn’t lift anything.

“When I had the injuries, I couldn’t turn my head to left,” Gee said. Bayliss “worked on me normally there first with the laser on my knee and leg. He didn’t have the machine at first.

“Now, the area of pain is about three inches below my knee,” she said.

“It has been a miracle, that’s for sure.”



● Injured her head, shoulders, wrist and knee in head-on automobile collision in November.

● Initially underwent medical treatment with recommendations of medication, massage and exercise.

● With no successful results, consulted therapist Darren Bayliss, who started immediate therapy in late February on the neck and shoulders.

● When that pain subsided, Bayliss began treatment with the 830 cold laser on Gee’s knee and later her wrist.

● Sessions began in late February for two weeks, two or three times a week, then shifted to daily until significant pain reduction.

● Sessions continue once or twice a week

● Sessions consisted of Gee coming into the office and sitting or lying on a table while Bayliss activated the laser directly on the pain areas for 10 to 15 minutes.

● Patient’s report on procedure: No burning, pain or discomfort.

● After two months of various periods of therapy, pain and disability running from the knee to the toes has diminished to 1-3 inches of diminished pain.

● Bayliss is now using laser therapy on the wrist.




Noninvasive procedure that uses low-energy laser light to penetrate the skin and soft tissue.


• A device that uses a gallium aluminum arsenide diode that delivers a beam at 830 nanometers.

• The light penetrates tissue, and without heat reduces pain by increasing endorphin levels, reducing inflammation,opening blood vessels and increasing tissue strength.

• The therapeutic action essentially allows endorphins to cause a physiological change in pain. The action promotes serotonin, and metric oxide absorb inflammation, allows blood to bathe tissue and increase healing power and essentially binds tissue by increasing the amount of fibroblast and collagen, proteins that help scar tissue.

• Approved by FDA in 2004

• Approved by National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Olympic Committee


Maximum Impact Physical Therapy Services, 1925 W. Orange Grove Road, 219-5825, Darren Bayliss, physical therapist, sports scientist and personal trainer.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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