The authors of Laser Therapy- Clinical Practice and Scientific Background, Dr. Jan Tun’er and Lars Hode, have performed an analysis of a number of frequently cited studies on the effects of low-power-laser therapy.
In many of these studies, analysis uncovered one or more reasons for the negative findings reported, the most common being the use of extremely low doses.
The trend in laser therapy for the past 10 years has been to increase power density and dose, since this has been shown to improve therapeutic outcomes considerably.
There is no point in increasing the dose if the wavelength has a low penetration factor; the penetration of the particular wavelength must be taken into account.
For the moment, we must rely on our own clinical experience. That experience, however, is so encouraging that it cannot be ignored, even with lack of scientific support. It would appear that “high powered” therapeutic lasers will be able to further expand the scope of laser therapy.
I can see two alternatives for myself: to speak up and start a conflict within the laser community, maybe discrediting the therapy itself in the eyes of the general public or to keep quiet and let US practitioners pay a lot of money for very low-powered lasers, leaving us with dissatisfied customers and discredit from those who are supposed to use laser therapy in medicine.
While the FDA has approved the marketing of the device, many payers have declined to provide recognize LLLT as effective treatment.Results of treatment have not been consistent so that it is difficult to state that such treatment would be necessary. Last, given the reported number of visits required to be nine to 12 visits, the cost of such treatment would be approximately $1000 to $1500. These costs appear to be somewhat unreasonable for a treatment that has not been demonstrated in the medical literature to be effective.
Source: Position Paper on Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) 12 pages
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Copy of the Position Paper on Low Level Laser Therapy
Aetna considers cold laser therapy experimental and investigational because there is inadequate evidence of the effectiveness of low-energy (cold) lasers in wound healing, pain relief, or for other indications such as musculoskeletal dysfunction, arthritis, and neurological dysfunctions.
Source: Aetna: Clinical Policy Bulletins, Number 0363, Subject: Cold Laser Therapy
Class IV Therapy Lasers: The Next Generation of Laser Therapy
The laws of laser physics have demonstrated that the higher the wavelength, the deeper thepenetration. Penetration is paramount in order to stimulate deep musculoskeletal, vascular, lymphatic, and neurological structures.
If Class III lasers are therapeutically ineffective, it is because of insufficient energy or dosage, combined with poor penetration.
Class IV lasers offers better therapeutic outcome, based on six characteristics of this new technology:Larger dosages of therapeutic energyClass IV lasers can deliver up to 1,500 times more energy than Class III and consequently reduce treatment time.