The Cold Laser News
new newsletter, Cold Laser News, was created to provide in-depth articles
on low level light laser medical technology. The articles
industry experts, as well as provide industry news and information.
Our first issue has two helpful articles and both basically cover the
of cold lasers to help speed the healing of sports-related injuries.
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Vol 1, Number 1
Professor of Physical
Therapy at Nova Southeastern University Discusses Beneficial Effect
of Low Level Light Lasers
Samuel Cheng, an Assistant Professor
of the Physical Therapy Program at Nova Southeastern University, spoke recently
at a clinical symposium for The Athletic Trainers’ Association of
Florida, on the parameters, impact and use of low level light lasers to
treat pain and injury. Low level laser light treatments are a new, painless,
sterile, non-invasive treatment used to treat a variety of pain conditions,
injuries, wounds, fracture, and neurological conditions.
Cheng, who used low level light lasers in Taiwan, said the Law of Grotthus-Draper
confirms that the body must absorb the energy from the laser before it can have
an “effect.” He said the light’s depth of penetration depended
on the laser’s wavelength which is measured in nanometers and the power
of light which is delivered to the skin.
Using a power-point presentation,
Cheng explained that low level light or “cold” lasers can
trigger many cellular changes including the production of enzymes and
protein substances vital for innumerable bio-chemical actions. He added, “The
laser light also stimulates the cell’s mitochondria, the biochemical
engine that produces enzymes essential for cell function.
Cheng described the pain
reduction benefits of low level light lasers as “using light to
reduce the excitability of nervous tissue, reactivate enzymes, and increase
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) release and energize inactivated enzymes.” He
described the laser as “sending energy to jumpstart a system.”
He noted that the laser’s
parameters include wavelength – measured in nanometers, power--measured
in milliwatts, energy density – measured in joules, and frequency.
Cheng said some machines deliver a steady stream light while others
deliver pulsed light. He added that studies indicate skin absorbs light
best in a range of 600-1000 nanometers.
Cheng, who brought two lasers
with him to the lecture, said the two most common low power lasers were
Helium Neon – a visible gas in the 400-700 nm light range and
Gallium Arsenide, which usually had a wavelength between 600-1200 nm.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
cleared the first low level light laser (ML830) in 2002 for pain relief
for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, a pinched nerve problem in the wrist that
affects about 8 million Americans annually.
Cheng explained that lasers
were classified into four groups: Class 1 includes lasers used for CD
players, Class II describes a laser which could be used as a laser pointer,
Class IIIa and Class IIIb are therapeutic lasers and Class IV encompasses
Cheng cautioned members of
his audience to know which class of lasers they used. “If you
use a Class IV laser, you can burn the skin,” he said.
In offering clinical evidence
for using lasers, Cheng said one should place the head of the laser
directly on the skin at the pain point or “right where it hurts.”
He also said the clinician
should hold the laser over each pain point for approximately 10-30 seconds.
Regarding contraindications, Cheng said clinicians should avoid using
the laser over the eye and over the fetus of a pregnant woman.
He concluded his talk by
demonstrating two lasers, the ML830 and the Erchonia 635. Both are Class
IIIA lasers, yet ML830 offers direct light and Erchonia offers pulsed
Cheng’s final remarks
to the athletic trainers stressed the positive: low level light lasers
are very helpful to combat pain and inflammation.
M. Samuel Cheng, PT,
MS, Sc.D, Assistant Professor of the Physical Therapy Program at Nova
Southeastern University, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954)