Aspen Class IV vs Thor Class 3B LX Laser
Links: Class 3B vs. Class IV Lasers | Laser Classifications | Pulsed Wave Therapy Lasers
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Why is there a debate between Class III (3) and Class IV (4) therapy lasers?
Many of the laser manufacturers and laser sales people have created unnecessary conflicts in the marketplace between their products and companies with other laser products and companies by making claims that “only their laser works” and “the other lasers do not work”, with the primary intent of generating laser sales.
This discrediting between the laser companies competing against each other is resulting in an overall negative growth that is preventing the technology from being adopted into mainstream medicine. They are also creating controversy and skepticism among medical professionals and the insurance community that therapy lasers are “BS” Bogus Science.
The result is a large number of opposing claims that include: Class 3 versus Class 4, Cold Laser versus Hot Laser, Low Power Laser versus High Power Laser, 810nm versus 980nm, Pain Relief Laser versus Healing Laser, Low Dosage Laser versus High Dosage Laser, Continuous Wave versus Pulsing versus Intense Super Pulsing versus Super Pulsing, Average Power versus Peak Power, and the opposing list of claims continue.
The reality is that there is not a “single magical” wavelength, power level, operating mode, dosage amount or preset protocol for all applications and for all patients.
No laser company has a patent or a monopoly on laser energy.
There are many variables that need to be accounted for to achieve positive and consistent clinical success with a therapy laser. These include patient skin and hair color and type, body type and size, size and locations of the injury, how acute or chronic the injury; and how the patient responds or does not respond to the initial treatment or additional treatments.
This means that any one of the opposing claims may work to achieve results. For example, a Class 3 laser at 810nm and 500mW that generates a lower dosage treatment may be effective for treating carpal tunnel that does not require depth of penetration. A Class 4 laser at 980nm and 20 watts may be effective at treating lumbar back pain which requires deep penetration and larger dose.
Summary: Each laser manufacturer makes claims regarding their laser based on the preset specifications from their OEM (original equipment manufacturer). For example, a laser that is only 500mW will claim that you do not need anything higher than 500mW, or they could not sell their laser. To strengthen this claim, they add additional statements that higher power is not safe or that higher powers are only for non – therapy applications.
Another laser that is only 810nm will claim that you do not need any other wavelengths, or they could not sell their laser. To strengthen this claim, they add additional statements that other wavelengths are for pain relief only and that their wavelength is the only wavelength that promotes healing.
All of these claims have elements of truth, but also mistruth, ignoring all the variables that need to be accounted for to achieve positive and consistent clinical success with a therapy laser.
With the correct laser specifications, combined with proper laser technique and adjusting each treatment based on how the patient is responding or not responding, will provide the desired outcomes of laser therapy.