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Low level laser therapy

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by emoclew, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. emoclew

    emoclew Member

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    Hey there,
    I am toying with the idea of purchasing a LLLT. I have read lots of literature voicing the virtues of this therapy (of course, mainly from the manufacturers) and was wondering if anybody has used it personally. Any comments or suggestions would be wonderful.

  2. nicpod1

    nicpod1 Active Member


    I have used LLLT a lot on VP's, post-op nail surgery wounds and soft tissue swelling all with good effect.

    However, I have and do always work with physiotherapists who have the machine in their practices, so have never had to purchase one myself!

    Reflectively, I think they are excellent for VP's when cryo and acid are not an option, eg in Raynauds and they are also a great way to treat kids with VP's.

    I think in order to justify the expense, you would have to use it a lot though!

    If you market the fact that you have laser therapy available to GP's etc though, you're sure to get enough patients to make it worthwhile!

    Hope this helps!
  3. emoclew

    emoclew Member


    Thanks for your reply nicpod. Yeah - I sure would have to use it a lot. It's interesting your view on VP's as I didn't think they would work on them (I recall a LTU study a few years ago). But who knows. Physios do seem to have the gadgets though.

  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    an underpowered RTC showed it was not more effective in treating VP's than control group.
  5. Lllt

    I have an Omega LLLT laser machine which I have had for 2 years now and would not part with.

    I agree it does not work on verrrucaes (which was why I purchased it to treat VPs painlessly as I was sold it via a Podiatrist who spoke at our branch meeting who claimed that she eliminated VPs with it) and I am yet to eliminate a VP using only LLLT! I have tried many treatment methods with laser following various papers etc. But, I do still use it on VPs before cryotherapy treatment with liquid nitrogen as it reduces the inflamation caused by the N2 ie the patients don't complain of as much post op discomfort. I am annoyed that this Podiatrist can claim it eliminates verrucaes but can forgive her as I have found laser so useful in my practice.

    I also use laser on areas of pain along with orthotic therapy, manipulation, nail surgery etc and find that laser is therefore income generating. Patients always respond better to more than one treatment and often after 2 to 4 sessions they are pain free. Patients are always impressed with anything which can reduce their chronic pain. I have also generated lots of new patients whose friends had referred them.

    So I would suggest that the £5k that I paid for my machine and 2 probes was well worth it and also suggest that mine had more than paid for itself in around 6 months.

  6. emoclew

    emoclew Member

    Thank Jacqui,

    I was going cold on the laser idea, but you have warmed me to it. It was unfortunate that it was sold to you under false pretences. LLLT does sound like a great adjunct to other treatments and I will deifinately take your advice on board.

  7. No problem! I now struggle to part with it when it needs it's annual service. I find I have to go away on holiday to fit servicing in and even then I would have loved to have taken it away on my ski holiday to treat my day after muscle soreness.
    Seasons greetings
  8. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    A randomised, placebo controlled trial of low level laser therapy for activated Achilles tendinitis with microdialysis measurement of peritendinous prostaglandin E2 concentrations
    British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006;40:76-80;
  9. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    The latest Dynamic Chiropractic has this:
    Basic Principles of Low-Level Laser Therapy and Clinical Applications for Pain Relief
    Full article
  10. Debbie Delves

    Debbie Delves Member

    Hi Jacqui,

    I have to agree completely with your comments. I didn't buy mine for verrucae, but have managed to eliminate a few with it alone. I would still prefer cryo or salicylic acid as first line treatment or in combination to it.

    Thanks for the hint of using it before cryo.

    It's great for the soft tissue injuries and we are halving our PNA healing rates.

    Omega provided us with a loan machine when ours was being serviced - worth checking that out.

    And I'll also agree it took no more than 6 months to pay for itself.

    Best wishes

  11. R.E.G

    R.E.G Active Member

    Debbie and Jacqui,

    Just interested in the 'more than paid for itself in six months'.

    How do you charge for it's use, is it over and above your normal hourly rate? My rough calcs says it needs to generate £38.50 per day assuming a five day week.

  12. The best results i've had by far are with inflammatory conditions most notably RA and Acute Plantar fascitis in cases where it has not responded to orthotics alone and the patient is contra -indicated for a steroid injection.

    Only tried it a few times on VP's without any remarkable success. Gave up after that. I suppose in the private sector offering a painless "theres some research to suggest it works" type treatment could be lucrative.

    But for RA? Its hell on wheels.


  13. Debbie Delves

    Debbie Delves Member

    Hi Bob,

    We charge a higher fee for what we term "specialised treatments", usually treatments that not all my associates are willing or able to provide.

    With soft tissue injuries you are looking at a course of treatments between 3-6 weeks. VPs longer, although how long you persist depends on the response and the patient's willingness to try something more effective, if more painful.

    With stubborn VPs it gets rid of all of that deep hard scar tissue you can often feel deep down, making the subsequent cryo or sal acid more effective, more quickly. Mosaics it might do away with on its own sometimes. Still not my first choice of treatment in a lot of cases as I said before.

    Robert, my receptionis has RA and we use it very gently on her back with excellent results. However I agree, I would be very cagey about using it on a patient. It would be very easy to create that "hell on wheels" effect.

    best wishes

  14. Anne McLean

    Anne McLean Active Member

    Hi All,

    I have used a low level Omega laser since approximately 1999 and wouldn't be without it. I was warned not to buy it if I wanted to use it for treating verrucae. This I would agree with, although this could have something to do with the fact that initial advice was to treat VPs at a low frequency, whereas it is now to treat them at a high frequency.

    We treat a large number of verrucae in this practice and since we started to use high frequency, we have had better results, although I still wouldn't say that they are stunning. It is useful as a treatment for VPs when patients are unable to keep the foot dry, to return within the week for acid treatments or, when treating children or nervous patients.

    I agree with Jacqui, Debbie and Robert that laser is a boon for any type of pain. We use it as an adjunct to cryotherapy and nail surgery to reduce pain. It has also proved to be very beneficial in cases of gout, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, neuroma, sprained ankles, etc. I stress that it is not a magic bullet and it does not work in all cases, but we have seen speedy resolution of such problems with this treatment, often within a matter of hours.

    It is supposed to be helpful in cases of psoriasis and eczema, but we’ve not been as successful as we’d hoped here.

    Another area that we have found it useful in is speeding up the healing of both acute and chronic soft tissue injury such as ulcers and septic lesions. It is also useful in the post surgical scenario.

    It is an expensive investment. Initially I used it as an adjunct to my routine treatment, but didn’t charge any extra for such treatment. This has brought me many new patients over the years and the machine continues to give good service. However, my ‘business head’ took over a few years ago and started to query whether I would have been able to justify such expense in the short–term if I had been unfortunate enough to have purchased a ‘Friday afternoon’ machine. At that stage I introduced a separate charge for laser treatment. Going by Bob’s calculation we have to see less than two patients a day to justify its existence.

    What I do now is to use it without charging during routine treatment on the first occasion, then charge for all subsequent laser appointments. I usually advise up to four treatments for pain, longer for VPs. If it’s not working by the second, it’s unlikely to do so. . As Debbie says “how long you persist depends on the response and the patient's willingness to try something more effective, if more painful.” If it is working, then patients are often happy to continue with it for as long as it takes.

    I could not say that I paid off my machine as quickly as Jacqui and Debbie, but I have found it to be an excellent adjunct for so many conditions that nothing else seems to help.

    I haven’t used it much on burns, but I’d highly recommend it for the treatment of cold sores – I hasten to add that I have reserved this treatment for my close family members.

    I know that by now none of this is of much help to the person who posed the original question, but it may help others facing a similar decision.


  15. :D

    I think you misunderstand. Sorry my dialect slips occasionally. I meant hell on wheels as in very very effective. :p


  16. Kate Patty

    Kate Patty Member

    It's fantastic to see all these postings on Low Level Laser therapy. I have been using it for 6 years. The unit was almighty expensive, has 4 probes. I have not had as much success with it as I would have liked and it has not been used as much as I would have liked. However I believe strongly in the theory as a natural therapy which can increase healing, reduce inflammation and swelling, and reduce pain and infection. GP's are not interested in this kind therapy, they don't understand how it works and are not really interested anyhow.
    I would love to have any research papers which others may know of. I would like to write a lit. paper on it. Can anyone help with further info about researched effectiveness?
  17. charlie01

    charlie01 Active Member

    LLLT does improve inflammation therefore reduces / eases pain. However there are many other treatments available at much lower costs to the patients, such as NASIDs, cortisone tablets or injection. In Australia, patients can walk into a bulk billing GP clinic and ask for a prescription. Brufen, Neproxen or other NASIDs are cheap to buy. Also patients can often get cortisone injection at a Bulk Billing Radiology Clinic. So I don't think it's viable financially to offer LLLT. Surely if you offer free treatment then you will get more patients.

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