Here is more general background information about Cold Lasers:
Hot vs. Cold Lasers
Surgical lasers are the most common type of lasers in the medical field today. They are used to destroy, cut and cauterize tissue. These are referred to as “HOT” Lasers for reasons that should be obvious. Hot Lasers have a heat-producing effect and a power output of either equal to or greater than 1 Watt.
Constant wave lasers with a power output of 500 milliWatts or less or superpulsed lasers with an average power output of 500 milliWatts or less are referred to as “Low Level” or “Cold” Lasers because they do not have a thermal effect on tissue. The lasers that I use in my clinic to stimulate biological function have a power output ranging from 5 to 500 milliWatts, depending on the target tissue or involved area that needs treated (skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, etc).
Cold Laser Therapy Treatment Time
Treatment time is dependant on the severity of the injury. The usual treatment time is between 30 seconds to 5 minutes per area, point, joint, muscle or location treated, with a usual total LLLT office visit lasting approximately 9 to 15 minutes.
The Physiological Repair Effects of LLLT
The physiological repair effects of low level laser therapy are achieved by the light’s reenergizing (or repolarizing) of injured and malfunctioning cell membranes. LLLT also increases the intracellular energy output by more than 150 percent. The extra energy becomes a repair and restoration mechanism so that the damaged cell begins to thrive once again.
Advantageous actions of low level laser therapy take place in all organs and tissues of the human body, by creating more normalized cellular functioning once again.
These beneficial actions of LLLT include:
- A reduction of pain by the body’s production of endorphins (natural pain killers);
- The reduction of inflammation;
- The halting of a tissue’s influx of fluids;
- The disappearance of swelling, redness, and heat;
- The reduction and elimination of pain;
- An elevation of lymphatic drainage;
- An increase of blood circulation;
- An increased flow of healing enzymes into a traumatized area;
- The measureable showing of up to 75 percent increase in enzymes;
- The reduction of spasms in tight muscles (both smooth and striated) which had been creating chronic pain, joint stiffness, and decreased mobility;
- The speeding up of bone repair;
- Quickly increases Range of Motion;
- Increases the once-damaged tissues ability to handle additional stress; &
- The canceling wave effect of viruses, fungi, bacteria, and a variety of parasites so that they fail to survive as pathological organisms.
Since the biostimulative-regenerative, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic characteristics of low level laser therapy began during the past half-century, a massive number of laboratory and clinical studies have been conducted. More than 1,700 published pieces have appeared in the medical literature, demonstrating to the effectiveness of LLLT.
Is Cold Laser Therapy Safe?
There are over 1,700 published studies and not one of them mentions any negative side effects of LLLT. Cold lasers are safe, non-toxic and non-invasive. There has not been a single recorded side effect!
Obviously, with stronger lasers (called “high powered lasers” or Class 4 lasers), there may be an increased risk of eye and / or skin injuries.
BTW, all of the slick advertising about Class 4 devices penetrating deeper is for the most part, just a bunch of hype designed to get you to spend well over $20,000 for a Class 4 laser device. In November 2011 at a seminar at Logan Chiropractic College, I heard a seminar speaker [who sells only Class 4 lasers] telling a group of doctors never to buy a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 cold laser device. He claimed that they’d have to treat each patient for an hour or more to get any clinical results whatsoever. Once again, this is total B.S.! Caveat Emptor!
So just this week, we scoured over our last 250 LLLT patient cases: We use only Class 1 & Class 3/3B cold laser devices in our clinic. Our deepest apologies to Mr. Class 4 laser sales guy. We typically treat patients for from 9 to 15 minutes per visit (3 LLLT devices at from 3 to 5 minutes per device). Definitely not “HOURS”, as our pathological liar friend, the Class 4 salesman claims. For our typical LLLT case, we’ll recommend a series of from 6 to 8 total visits.
The results from our clinic’s most recent 250 cold laser therapy cases are as follows:
- 241 patients got either very good, excellent or “phenomenal” results
- 7 patients got limited results
- 2 patients got no results whatsoever
So let us ask YOU a question:
“If you could spend from $5,600 to $11,200 to get ALL of the different Class 1 & Class 3/3B cold laser devices that you’d need to get similar outstanding clinical results in your clinic, why would you even entertain the thought of shelling out from $20,000 to $80,000 for a Class 4 laser?”
We sure as heck wouldn’t!!!
BTW, While we consider ourselves to be “cold laser therapy” experts, we do not pretend to be Class 4 “high powered laser therapy” know-it-alls. I’ve talked to some clinicians who have paid anywhere from $35,000 to $80,000 for a Class 4 laser that they are happy with. Class 4 laser therapy is relatively new, whereas Cold Laser Therapy dates back to 1967 and now boasts over 4 decades of sound research. At this moment in time (in the year 2012), we simply can’t say the same thing about the new kids on the block called Class 4 “high power lasers”.
Also, no doctor has ever been sued for hurting a patient by using a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 cold laser therapy device on them. The only 2 instances that we’ve heard about where a doctor was sued involved Class 4’s. A Class 4 in the hands of a skilled “high power laser therapy” veteran practitioner probably poses very little risk, whereas a Class 4 device in the hands of an unskilled or untrained practitioner might not be a great combination.
If we had needed to save up $35,000 to get into laser therapy, we NEVER would have done so!