Are three radiances better than one in low level laser therapy?

Date Posted:3 September 2014 

New research looks at how a laser device combining of a super-pulsed laser and light emitting diode (LED) phototherapy helps treat knee pain.

Many people ask how the Handy Cure Laser differs from other Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) devices. A key difference is in the way it simultaneously delivers laser and LED light. The Handy Cure device combines three different radiance wavelengths – a 905nm super-pulsed laser diode, 875nm infrared LED and 640nm visible red LED. It also has a magnet to amplify the biochemical effects.

But why is this special?

There is a growing body of Phototherapy research that has shown both red and infrared wavelengths as well as the use of laser and LEDs have been effective for treating a variety of clinical conditions.

According to Professor Friedmann “the [Handy Cure’s] combination of a magnetic field with a pulsed infrared laser with a very low average intensity, together with red and infrared light-emitting diodes, may improve wound healing by accelerating the replacement of damaged cells.”1

Now, a new American clinical study has specifically investigated the effects of this 3-radiance technology similar to that used by the Handy Cure laser device. The results were very encouraging.

In March 2014, Leal et al2 conducted a double-blind study into the effects of phototherapy on nonspecific knee pain using a device that combined three different light sources (model name withheld).

The researchers wondered if the use of “multiple light sources and wavelengths could represent a therapeutic advantage by simultaneously delivering different depths of penetration into the area of inflammation to promote healing in the damage cells”.

Knee pain can have multiple causes with multiple symptoms occurring at the same time, so the researchers believed it was a good way to test the effects of three different wavelength penetrations delivered simultaneously.

At the conclusion of treatments and at 1-month follow-up, the results demonstrated that patients receiving the LLLT treatment reported a 50 per cent improvement (15 per cent higher than the placebo group), their pain significantly decreased and quality of life significantly increased.

The researchers discovered that “the combination of super-pulsed laser and visible red and infrared LED therapy can significantly improve pain ratings and enhance physical functioning of those who experience knee pain.”

In conclusion, the research team stated, “Our findings lead us to conclude that combination of superpulsed laser (905 nm) and light-emitting diodes with red (640 nm) and infrared (875 nm) wavelengths is effective to decrease pain and improve physical component in patients with non-specific knee pain.”

“These results demonstrate that treatment outcomes for knee pain can be improved when phototherapy is added as an adjunctive modality.”

About the study: It was a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial. Eighty-six patients rated 30 or greater on the pain visual analogue scale (VAS) were recruited and included in study. Patients of LLLT group received 12 treatments with active phototherapy (with 905 nm super-pulsed laser and 875 and 640 nm LEDs) and conventional therapy (Physiotherapy), and patient in the placebo group received the same treatment using a placebo phototherapy device. Dosage was determined by recommendations by the World Association of Laser Therapy (WALT).

References:

1 Friedmann H, Lipovsky A, Nitzan Y, Lubart R (2009) Combined magnetic and pulsed laser field produce synergistic acceleration of cellular electron transfer.

2 Leal, E. C., Johnson, D. S., Saltmache, A., and Demchak, T. (2014). Adjunctive use of combination of super-pulsed laser and light-emitting diodes phototherapy on nonspecific knee pain: double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled trial. Lasers Med. Sci. 2014 May 21 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24844921