Personally written by Milan Lassiter, DC, 1303 W. Main St, Richmond, VA, Tel #: (804) 254-5765
I’ve written this detail of LASER therapy to expand upon what I’ve written on our webpage. If you are not interested in the technicalities of LASER and why it works, this is long and it will bore you to death! You can click here to get back to the Class IV LASER therapy page on our website, which describes LASER in a much more simple fashion.
LASER technology has been widely used in Europe since the 1970’s and after clearance by the FDA in 2002, is now being used more and more in the USA. LASER therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light to create therapeutic benefits. These different wavelengths promote the healing of skin, bone, cartilage, muscle, fascia, nerve and tendons. There are 2 basic categories of LASER: (1) Surgical LASER that cuts tissues and (2) Therapeutic LASER that heals tissues.
The trend in the research points to higher-powered LASER’s with deeper penetration, which is why our office has invested in the highest powered, deepest penetrating LASER that is on the market.
One of the unique characteristics of Class IV LASER therapy is that it promotes and accelerates the healing process (not just treating symptoms), thereby restoring and repairing the normal function of injured areas…FAST! Many offices actually use Class III LASER, which often are around 15 mW (milli Watts). Our Class IV LASER is literally one thousand times stronger, using 15,000 mW (milli Watts).
There are a few things that make true LASER light different than ordinary light.
• True LASER uses monochromatic (one) wavelength of “color,” whereas ordinary light comprises all the different colors in the spectrum. Think of one specific paint-chip color on a paint wheel, rather than all the different hues, shades and color tones available of all the different colors. With LASER therapy, only very specific wavelength “colors” have therapeutic properties. In actuality, the therapeutic wavelengths used with LASER therapy are not really “colors” because they’re invisible to the human eye, but I’m just trying to convey a complex concept by making it more understandable.
• True LASER has coherent (in-phase) waves, whereas ordinary light is incoherent. Coherency with light would be analogous to hundreds of professional singers all singing the same note, perfectly in-tune, with perfect pitch…sounding beautiful! Incoherent light, such as light from a light bulb, would be like a bunch of tone-deaf amateurs, all singing out-of-tune and sounding dissonant. This means they’re all out-of-phase, which, of course, sounds awful! For light to be therapeutic and healing, it has to be in-phase, which is like “beautiful,” perfectly “in-tune” light.
• True LASER is directional, whereas ordinary light is non-directional. Think of the difference between the two as shining both a LASER pointer and a light bulb in a dark room. The LASER pointer will shoot a very pin-point, straight beam of light (usually red). The light bulb will disperse and scatter light all over the place and light up the entire room. In order for LASER therapy to have healing effects, it has to be directional light with very pin-point and straight penetration. This way it reaches the target tissues without being absorbed prior to getting there. Non-directional light scatters all over the place, thus getting absorbed quickly.
I referred to “true LASER” because many so-called LASER units that are used in offices actually use LED lights. LED is NOT coherent or directional light (remember the bullet points above), even though being coherent and directional are 2 of the 3 major reasons why LASER therapy has any healing properties in the first place. LED units are significantly less expensive to produce, leading to the reason so many offices that advertise LASER therapy are in-fact using LED treatments. True LASER is extremely expensive, which is why so many offices opt for the cheaper technology. Our office (Laser Sport & Spine Rehab) has invested in the latest, most cutting-edge, true LASER equipment that is currently available.
LASER therapy has a significant effect on damaged tissues, while normal tissues are not affected. Without getting too technical, the chromophores (light receptors) on compromised tissues respond to a LASER treatment, whereas chromophores on healthy tissues do not. Since only chromophore receptors on injured tissues absorb LASER energy, only the chemical reactions in those tissues get affected. This is the same way many medications work, by affecting receptors on cells, thus influencing what the body is doing. An example would be a blood pressure medication attaching to a receptor on a blood vessel, so the vessel can relax and open, thereby lowering blood pressure. The big difference between Class IV LASER therapy and medication is that LASER therapy does not have any dangerous side effects. LASER therapy simply stimulates the natural healing process in the body to happen a lot faster and a lot more often. It’s all natural and organic.
2 factors that are absolutely essential for LASER treatments to be therapeutically healing are: (1) the energy must penetrate deep enough to reach the target tissue and (2) there has to be enough energy to stimulate the therapeutic healing effect.
With LASER therapy, the ability to penetrate to the damaged area is crucial. This depends upon:
WAVELENGTH The wavelength of light determines its effects on tissues, meaning it’s delivered to specific tissues in specific ways to stimulate specific healing purposes. Research shows that specific wavelengths of light will speed up many stages of healing, particularly the use of the wavelengths from 600-1,000 nm. Our K-LASER uses 4 of the most efficient wavelengths: 660 nm, 800 nm, 905 nm, and 970 nm, which are the optimal wavelengths for healing. Most LASER’s on the market use 1 or 2 wavelengths. Our K-LASER is the first LASER on the market that uses 4 wavelengths.
OUTPUT POWER Many LASER’s that are used in offices are around 4-15 mW (milli Watts), whereas the LASER that we use is 15,000 mW. That’s over 1,000 times stronger! That’s an even bigger difference than lighting a room with a 4 Watt night-light versus a 100 Watt bulb. I think you get the idea…the 100 Watt bulb is a lot brighter and a lot more powerful than a 4 Watt night-light. With LASER therapy, this high power is necessary, otherwise most of the energy is absorbed before reaching the damaged tissues. Our K-LASER is amongst the highest-powered therapeutic Class IV LASER’s available on the market.
ABILITY TO PULSE Many LASER’s can only deliver continuous light, which means the LASER is always “on.” Our LASER can pulse and even super-pulse the light. This is like a strobe-light effect, only our K-LASER is so sophisticated, it can pulse anywhere between 1 to 20,000 times per second! Only the most sophisticated and expensive LASER’s can pulse with that intensity. Pulsing works by delivering the light energy to deeper tissues by sort-of “punching” its way down farther until it reaches the damaged tissues.
I hope this educational background helps for those of you who are technically inquisitive. As I always say in the office though, the proof is in the pudding. In other words, come in, try it, and you be the judge…Class IV LASER therapy really is that cool!
Class IV LASER therapy offers powerful therapeutic benefits, all of which occur simultaneously, including:
- Dramatic pain relief
- Dramatic acceleration of healing to repair injured areas faster
- Increased circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrition to an area
- Increased cellular reactions (*see paragraph above regarding chromophores)
- Decreased scar formation and stiffness
- Non-addictive with no side-effects
Call us today at (804) 254-5765 to see if Class IV LASER therapy can get you back to what you love to do, FASTER!