Treatment of Chronic Pain with Laser Therapy
Characteristics of Class IV Therapy Lasers - what is the difference between a Class III laser and a Class IV?
Class IV lasers offer better therapeutic outcome, based on six
characteristics of this new technology:
1. Larger dosages of therapeutic energy: Class IV lasers can deliver up to 1,500 times for energy than Class III and, consequently, reduce treatment times.
2. Deeper penetration into the body: Leading Class III lasers only penetrate 0.5-2.0cm2. Class IV can penetrate up to 10cm2.
3. Larger treatment surface area: Class III covers a treatment area of 0.3-5.0cm2, depending on the model and manufacturer. Class IV covers up to 77cm2. This is important when treating large regions, such as lumbar spine, quadriceps, or hips.
4. Greater power density: Power density indicates the degree of concentration of the power output. This property has been shown to play a major role in therapeutic outcomes.
5. Continuous power supply: In Class III lasers, the power is pulsed or modulated approximately 50% of the time. In other words, light is permitted to pass through the probe for only 50% of the total operating time. In most cases, Class IV lasers deliver a consistent amount of energy over a given time. Their power can be adjusted for acute and chronic conditions.
6. Superior fiber optic cables: Fiber optic cables transmit laser energy from the laser to the treatment probe (wand) at the end of the cable. Several studies reveal that as much as 50% of the light energy generated by a Class III laser may be lost by the time it reaches the end of the probe.
At Optimal Health Clinic, we use a Class IV Laser, the most powerful laser on the market licensed for use only by professionals. This laser has many known biological effects, such as:
Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth. Photons of light from lasers penetrates deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular production 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, the cells of tendons, ligaments, nerves, and muscles are repaired faster.
- Faster Wound Healing. Laser light stimulates fibroblast development (fibroblast are the building blocks of collagen, which is predominant in wound healing) in damaged tissue. Collagen is the essential protein required to replace old tissue or to repair tissue injuries. As a result, L T is effective on open wounds and burns.
- Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation. LT reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns or surgery.
- Anti-Inflammation. Laser light therapy has an antiemetic effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system (drains swollen areas). As a result, there is a reduction in swelling caused by bruising or inflammation
- Anti-Pain (Analgesic). Laser therapy has a high beneficial effect on nerve cells which block pain transmitted by these cells to the brain and which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to less 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 encephalins from the brain and adrenal gland.
- Improved Vascular Activity. Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue and that speeds up the healing process, closes wounds quickly and reduces scar tissue. Additional benefits include acceleration of angiogenesis, which causes temporary vasodilation, an increase in the diameter of blood vessels.
- Increased Metabolic Activity. Laser therapy creates higher output of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells.
- Improved Nerve Function. Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissue can result in numbness and impaired limbs. Laser light will speed up the process of nerve cell reconnection and increase the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle action.
- Immunoregulation. Laser light has a direct effect on immunity status by stimulation of the immunoglobulins and lymphocytes. LT is absorbed by chromosomes (molecular enzymes) that react to laser light. The enzyme flavin mononucleotide is activated and starts the production of ATP (adenosine-triphosphate), which is the major carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical reactions in the cells.
- Trigger Point and Acupuncture Points. Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing musculoskeletal pain relief.
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