Category Archives: Rants

Class IV laser dose concern. An update from Prof. Jan Bjordal. World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT)

The title of last months PMLS editorial was Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT) Dosage Recommendations. Written by the Scientific Secretary Prof. Jan Bjordal. He describes how far we have come and the importance of the WALT dosage recommendations. No abstract is available for editorials so I have prepared one for you below.

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Class IV laser treatments take longer than 3B lasers

A paper titled ”The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Class IV (10 W) Laser Treatment for Epicondylitis” [ref] showed that 10 Watt Class IV laser (mixed 8W 970nm, 2W 810) was successful in reducing pain and improving function in an RCT with 15 patients, and that there was good statistical significance at 6 months following a course of 6 treatments.

The claim by class IV laser manufacturers is that class IV lasers are better (faster, deeper and more effective) than Class 3b and LED systems. Conversely the 3B laser and LED manufacturers argue that less power density is more effective because delivering energy too quickly can overdose tissues and class IV lasers might burn the skin.

Throughout this paper there are marketing messages claiming the advantages  of shorter treatment times than low power LLLT systems and of course the title shouts “10 Watt Class IV laser” just in case the reader is in any doubt that more power is what you need.

Regular readers of this column know my … Continue reading

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Protected: Class IV laser misinformation

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Protected: Class IV laser vs Class 3B laser vs LEDs

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None so blind as the BMJ who will not see

A few weeks ago (September 2013) the BMJ updated their patient information for neck pain and I quote “There isn’t much specific research that shows drugs help neck pain, but your doctor may recommend one or more of the following” and then they list painkillers (acetaminophen), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Well, guess what, there was NO mention of LLLT.

Of course I wrote to the BMJ, pointing out there are at least 17 RCTs for LLLT on neck pain and a systematic review in the Lancet and added “What kind of a review did your team do that missed LLLT and yet suggests drug therapies that lack evidence?” and the reply was “The patient leaflets are written from reviews of the evidence on treatments compiled by our scientific and clinical teams for the Best Practice and Clinical Evidence products. The treatments to be included are decided upon with advice from clinical experts in the field. I will forward your message to the teams involved in deciding … Continue reading

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The Bottom Line – lazy or ignorant professors?

Irradiation parameters and dose are critical aspects of LLLT and if you are a doctor or therapist you probably trust the research you read. Prepare to be disappointed.

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LLLT companies may be no better than Big Pharma

It is a popular sport in the LLLT industry to sneer at Big Pharma for their side effects and marketing practices, but the LLLT industry is far from criticism itself. Whilst LLLT side effects are hard to find, marketing overstatement and misdirection are common place.

In this months literature watch is a paper titled “The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Class IV (10 W) Laser Treatment for Epicondylitis”. This small study showed that 10 Watt Class IV laser (mixed 8W 970nm, 2W 810) was successful in reducing pain and improving function in an RCT with 15 patients, and that there was good statistical significance at 6 months following a course of 6 treatments.

The claim by class IV laser manufacturers is that class IV lasers are better (faster, deeper and more effective) than Class 3b and LED systems. Conversely the 3B laser and LED manufacturers argue that less power density is more effective because delivering energy too quickly can overdose tissues and class IV lasers might burn the skin.

Throughout this paper there … Continue reading

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