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Old 01-29-2010, 08:59 PM   #1
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Default Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Hey expert laser guys and gals,
I am a medical student in need of some direction in terms of low level laser therapy for soft tissue (muscle/ligaments/fascia/etc).. As you might know there are a gizillion “cold laser” companies that charge in upwards of $20,000 for their equipment. If my undergrad physics still serves me correct, really the importance of a therapeutic laser is the wavelength and power (most studies have been done using lasers <300m, infrared). In theory would one of the 808nm laser pointers (High Power Laser Pointers | 808nm IR Laser Pointers | SKYlasers) or (InfraRed Laser Pointer --- IR Laser Pen ----- Viper Series Lasers :: Handheld Lasers :: Dragon Lasers) have similar therapeutic affects on soft tissue as some of the spot treatment studies? If I keep my treatments within the WALT’s dosage limits (http://www.walt.nu/images/stories/fi...-780-860nm.pdf) it still would be safe, right? I understand many studies use equipment with many lasers diodes but in generalities is my thinking correct? Thanks for your time.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

I have no real idea of the therapeutics uses of lasers, however, if you want cheap IR lasers, go O-like.com, they have a handheld 200mW 808nm laser under 50$ IIRC.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

I saw that since WALT seems reputable, then if you stay inside their 780-860nm and <500mW, keep the size of the laser dot and the amount of energy absorbed by the patient within their bounds for the specific application, then you're good.

Then again, I don't know anything about the medical uses of lasers and that chart was last updated 5 years ago, so I take no responsibility if your patient gets transported to a different dimension because of my advice.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

There is some loose info floating around here. You'll have to search, its been a while. IR is invisible, so safety goggles are a must. I dont know if it would work well. If it did, I'm sure they would already be using cheap set ups.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

I am unsure what possible health benefits these lasers can provide, but safety seems a very real problem here.

If you're talking about near-ir lasers (808 or 1064 nm or so), keep in mind that while hardly visible lasers of enough power (100s of mWs as i figure from this) pose a very serious eye hazard.

The combination of being hardly visible, yet properly collimated by the eye onto the retina is a recepi for disaster without protection.

Other tissues are less likely to suffer damage from such lasers - party because the power is very limited to start with.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

I've heard some stories that some of those medical laser treatments are nothing more than a placebo, so look up any proved effect of what you're looking for just to be sure.
A lot of wavelengths and powers can be easily made without spending huge amounts on medical lasers that do pretty much nothing more than a pointer with the right wavelength. A member may even be able to make a fancy looking device witht he right specs for a fraction of the price. Even I could.
So light is light, if a simple pointer has the same properties as an expenive unit, use it to your advantage.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
There is some loose info floating around here. You'll have to search, its been a while. IR is invisible, so safety goggles are a must. I dont know if it would work well. If it did, I'm sure they would already be using cheap set ups.
Why not use LEDs? The issue is wavelength and power, not coherence.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Laser treatment cost waaay more money LOL.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Quote:
Originally Posted by reif0037 View Post
Hey expert laser guys and gals,
I am a medical student in need of some direction in terms of low level laser therapy for soft tissue (muscle/ligaments/fascia/etc).. As you might know there are a gizillion “cold laser” companies that charge in upwards of $20,000 for their equipment. If my undergrad physics still serves me correct, really the importance of a therapeutic laser is the wavelength and power (most studies have been done using lasers <300m, infrared). In theory would one of the 808nm laser pointers (High Power Laser Pointers | 808nm IR Laser Pointers | SKYlasers) or (InfraRed Laser Pointer --- IR Laser Pen ----- Viper Series Lasers :: Handheld Lasers :: Dragon Lasers) have similar therapeutic affects on soft tissue as some of the spot treatment studies? If I keep my treatments within the WALT’s dosage limits (http://www.walt.nu/images/stories/fi...-780-860nm.pdf) it still would be safe, right? I understand many studies use equipment with many lasers diodes but in generalities is my thinking correct? Thanks for your time.
You are correct, as long as the laser is focused out and not into a fine point it would be safe for that kind of use. The debate about the energy from a laser for medical and theraputic uses is no longer relavant because it has been proven affective many times over however, the latest debate about modulation or different frequencies being useful still stands and if you're still researching it you will see that is the biggest selling points with the high dollar ones.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

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Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Why not use LEDs? The issue is wavelength and power, not coherence.
I suppose you have point there.. leds in the near-IR can be very efficient and operated at much higher power to cost ratio than lasers.

Perhaps the selling point of these therapies is that they use lasers, which sounds very high tech, advanced and precise. If you want to just get a whopping big load of near-IR light at a good price, power LED's would be the way to go.

But to be honest, i dont see any benefit in such near-ir treatment for most ailments. Any effect would be thermal with these wavelengths - not something very sophisticated since it essentially no more functional than a warm compress. On the other hand, if there is market demand for such treatments you could supply that with rather simple means.

One major advantage of such psychological effects is that they will work as long as the patient believes in it - no matter if your IR source is a LED, laser, or not even present at all.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Most of the studies I've seen seem to support it, but none know why it works. (probably psychosomatic, but I don't know) I'll look into it further...
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Psychosomatic explanations should be viable.

But since this forum is about laser safety, all answers will still stand, regardless if there is any scientific merit to the beneficial effects of such therapies.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Non Surgical Laser treatment is a grey area out of control.

Start by looking for the NASA studies using LEDs, deep red at 660 nm, 750 nm red, and 880 nm red in COMBINATION, Those numbers are from memory and the 750 one may be way off. But the NASA 3 wavelength system had proven results for deep penetration treatment.

One vendor of a modified NASA device: Quantum Devices Inc

One other thing, laser devices are usually defocused. Why? because the spot size, if focused, is too small for deep penetration and may burn surface tissue. Coherent light does make it deeper into tissue then incoherent light.. If you spot size is too small, you can't get deep because a small piece of adsorptive tissue may get in your way.

Also look at optical tomography , the technology is similar in penetration depth.

I no longer have access to wonderful Scifinder Scholar to find you the Nasa study. Sorry!! I'm pretty sure its Marshall Space Center that did it.

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Old 02-15-2010, 12:05 AM   #14
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSRFAQ View Post
Coherent light does make it deeper into tissue then incoherent light..
Am I missing something very obvious here, or... why?
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

I found a copy of it through my university database. The wavelengths are 680, 730, and 880nm. Is anyone going to sue me if I post a copy here?
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: Low Level Laser Therapy inquiry

Not likely, but you can just put the pubmed link to the abstract here to be on the safe side
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