Laser Therapy Part II: Consumers want to know…

by Dr. Karen Cann on December 9, 2012

Laser Therapy

How does it work?

Simply put LLLT affects the cells of the body specifically the mitochondria of the cell that affects ATP and energy production. This regenerates and heals the tissues of the body at a very fast rate. This acceleration of healing applies to skin/wound healing, disc/nerve healing, muscular/ligamentous healing and an overall decrease of inflammation/swelling and pain.

What conditions can be treated?

LLLT has been successfully used to better treat many conditions such as acute and chronic pain, sciatica, pre/post-operative pain, inflammation/swelling and wound healing over the scar post-operatively. This means faster return of joint range of motion. Other conditions treated: TMJ, neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle/ligament strains and sprains, inflammation reduction, and enhanced/accelerated tissue wound healing including ulcers.

Are there any side effects?

Not one of published studies mentions any negative side effects of semi-conductor diode lasers at the 5-10 mill watt range like the Erchonia Lasers. Low Level Lasers are safe, non-toxic and non-invasive.  There are some necessary common sense precautions that need to be considered, such as avoiding pointing the laser beam directly into the eye and maintaining it there, which could prove to be damaging to the eye.

What makes one laser different from another?   

A laser can differ in its wavelength, power source or whether it is a continuous or pulsed wave form. The first lasers were used to cut, cauterize or ablate tissue and were classified as “hot’ lasers.” Cold”, “Low Energy” or “Low Level” lasers are used to enhance metabolic activity at the cellular level through non-thermal reactions.

What is wavelength?    Do the different wavelengths matter?

Light is measured in wavelengths and is expressed in units of nanometers (nm). Different wavelengths have different energy levels and can have various effects on tissue. For example, the Erchonia Laser is 635 or 405 nanometers, which is found within the “red” spectrum of visible light (400-800 nm) and has anabolic tissue effects, whereas, radiation that has a wavelength shorter than 320 nm (ultraviolet (UV), gamma rays, x-rays) has ionizing effects on cells and can be harmful even in small doses.

What is the difference between Lasers and LED’s (light emitting diodes)?         

Lasers are monochromatic (single color wavelength), collimated (non-divergent) and coherent (wavelengths in- phase) in contrast, LED’s are neither coherent nor collimated and generate a broader band of wavelengths (multiple). In addition, a significant difference between the two is the power output.  Also, LED’s usually have a 50% duty cycle, meaning that they are “on” 50% of the time and “off” 50% of the time regardless of what frequency (pulses per second) setting is used.

Why does Dr. Cann treat with Erchonia’s Lasers? She has done the research!

There are many light emitting products on the market today, claiming to be lasers that do not meet scientifically defined attributes for being a true laser. For example, products that use infra-red light or  Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) as they are more commonly known, do in fact produce light, however the light is not intense, producing very little energy and is non-coherent, similar to light produced by common household light bulbs. Non-coherent or non-culminated light is the result of photons moving in random directions at random times, generating random frequencies and heat production. The most common use of LED’s is in electronic equipment, such as TV’s, cell phones and DVD/VCRs.

Obviously, these devices are NOT lasers. This misconception is in large part a by-product of marketing. Some sales professional use the word “laser” in order to describe a process such as in “laser pointers” which refers more to mankind’s collective imagination than scientific comprehension.

How long are the treatments?

Treatments can vary in time from seconds to minutes depending on the tissue type (skin, muscle, ligament, fascia, nerve, and disc) and also on the condition being treated. Research studies show that there may be a dose dependent response, so it may be more effective to treat at lower doses at multiple intervals then to treat a single time with a high dose.

What kind of care plans can be expected for laser therapy?

A treatment plan may vary, depending on the condition. For instance, an acute soft tissue injury or open wound may require multiple short treatments initially then the interval between treatments will lengthen as the condition improves.                   

Call today for an appointment. Your health depends on it!

Discover the health within you. ™

Dr. Karen A. Cann  850-916-9304

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