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11 Articles in Volume 6, Issue #5
Clinical Pearls for Treating Headache Patients
Determining Which Low Level Laser to Use
Guidelines for Opioid Management of Pain
Interventional Therapies in the Continuum of Care
Lessons Learned from a Headache TMD Study
Potential Hazards of Vertebroplasty
Splenius Capitis Muscle Syndrome
The Moral Community of the Clinical Pain Medicine Encounter
Urine Drug Testing and Monitoring in Pain Management
Vitamin D Deficiencies in Pain Patients
Why Electromedicine?

Determining Which Low Level Laser to Use

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What do you suppose Albert Einstein would say if he knew one of his more important scientific discoveries was not being used today to help control the pain and suffering of the estimated 50 million Americans affected every day from some type of pain? Einstein’s discovery was called LASER —meaning Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission by Radiation. Maybe it was the word “radiation,” and the fear that word carries that has kept his remarkable medical discovery in the closet. Research has shown that pain of all kinds, including fingers, hands, elbows, shoulder, neck, back, hips, knees, ankles, and even organ pain can all be helped by low level lasers.

Today, research has shown that a healthy body communicates from cell to cell by generating its own infrared light called biophotons.1 These biophotons carry information that affects the health of cells and the cells’ ability to make good DNA which, in turn, makes good, healthy new cells.2 Human kind simply cannot live without light, a fact highlighted by the evident lack of biophoton activity in a sick cell.3 Low level laser therapy interrupts the pain process by delivering electrons back to the injured cells and subsequently allows repair of the cell’s biological processes.4 A big plus of low level laser therapy is that it causes one’s own cells to produce a substance called endorphins that controls pain regardless of the location.5 In fact, the Norwegian Health Technology Report states that low level laser therapy is twice as effective as NSAIDS for controlling osteoarthritis type pain.6

Low level lasers are not new. They have been used for over forty years in industry and nearly as long in pain management —at least in some foreign countries. Until recently, results have been inconsistent—even at the same wavelength and with what appeared to be the same low level laser diodes. This inconsistency has led many professionals to wonder if low level lasers really work. What hasn’t worked, and is now changing, is the misconception that a single laser, or a single wavelength, can treat everything associated with pain and healing.4

Low level laser therapy has also been held back by the belief that if you don’t get results—use more power. Today, clinical results demonstrate that more is not necessarily better!

“One laser cannot efficiently be used for all disorders. For example, laser beams need to be large enough to cover larger areas for burns, large bruises, bed sores, etc. Bones, nerves, joints, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments require more joules of energy and the energy needs to be more concentrated at the pain site.”

Pain, especially joint pain, is usually associated with tight muscles. It is better to relax and release tight muscles with a multi-diode, low power, constant output, and resonating laser. Bones, ligaments, cartilage, joints, and nerves, on the other hand, respond better to higher power low level lasers. You can not maximize results by using just one wave length laser.7 Therefore, best results are achieved by first resonating bellies of muscles, organs and glands, followed by stimulating joints, nerves, ligaments cartilage and tendons.4

What is the difference between resonating and stimulating lasers, and how does someone determine which type to use?

To understand when to use resonating lasers and when to use stimulating lasers, we must first understand some basic laser physics terminology.

Last updated on: January 28, 2012