The laser was invented in 1960 and the biostimulative properties of laser light were first discovered in 1967. Therapy lasers have been used in Europe much longer than in the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) first cleared therapy lasers in 2002, and Class IV lasers in 2003.
Laser therapy devices being used in the US today range in power output from 5 milliwatts to 12,000 milliwatts. Class 3a lasers are 5 milliwatts, Class 3b range from 5 to 500 milliwatts, and a Class 4 laser is any greater than 500 milliwatts (or half a Watt). The K-Series Class 4 therapy laser has power adjustable from 0.1 to 8 Watts in the K-800 model, and 0.1 to 12 Watts in the K-1200. The adjustable power allows for a wide range of treatment protocols. Class 4 laser therapy delivers a therapeutic dosage to a large volume of tissue in a shorter period of time.
The number of sessions will depend on the exact diagnosis, age and overall health status of the patient, and other factors. In general, acute conditions can be treated more frequently and require fewer visits, typically 4-6. Chronic conditions may require more visits, and do not need K-Laser treatment as frequently. The effects of K-Laser treatments are cumulative. Patients may experience significant pain relief very quickly – it is important to follow through with care in order to benefit from the biostimulative properties of therapeutic laser light.
K-Laser treatments are extremely safe when applied by a K-Laser certified, properly trained professional. K-Laser treatments should never be given directly over the eye or the thyroid gland – along with other absolute and relative contraindications as spelled out in the K-Laser Safety Manual. K-Laser treatment is safe to deliver directly over metal implants, over broken skin, and on acute injuries.
The primary mechanism of laser therapy is photobiomodulation. Thermal effects are one component of high power laser therapy; however the stimulation of cells and tissue repair is based on scientific research that has demonstrated positive physiological effects of infrared wavelengths on cellular organelles and electron chain molecules.
Coherence of laser has a greater penetration ability and higher therapeutic value than non-coherent light, although wavelengths specific to photobiomodulation will provide a therapeutic application regardless of the source. The K-Series laser provides high-powered laser in specific wavelengths that dramatically decrease treatment times and improve deep tissue penetration. Faster treatment time is a great benefit to the busy practitioner.
Yes, multiple researchers throughout the world are finding therapeutic application of different infrared wavelengths as well as other visible light wavelengths such as red, green, and blue frequencies and their effects on tissues. Advances in laser application and delivery include variations in modulation or frequency and intensity as well as different treatment wavelengths. These variations in laser delivery produce different effects on tissues resulting in shorter treatment times and better treatment outcomes. There are limitations in low-level laser therapy because of dramatic absorption of infrared in the subcutaneous tissues. It is difficult for lasers under 200 milliwatts to penetrate beyond a few centimeters. The K-Laser Class IV therapy laser is the front-runner in high-power laser therapy systems and will continue to improve as new applications develop.