When evaluating outcomes, treatments are most effective when an accurate dose is appropriately delivered. For instance, you wouldn’t use a spoon to deliver a medication that should be delivered through a needle. This principle holds true for many types of therapies – just as there are different ways to deliver medicine, there are also different ways to deliver light.
For a medication like aspirin, dosing is largely based on weight and severity of condition. Treatment is generally administered orally over a given period of time, (e.g., 2 pills every 4 hours). This type of dosing and delivery is straightforward and well-understood. But how is a light-based therapy, like deep tissue laser therapy, dosed and administered?
Delivering a Dose of Energy
Laser therapy dosing is also straightforward – it involves delivering a calculated amount of energy to a specified area (measured in J/cm2). Dosages are determined situationally based on numerous factors, including acuity, patient absorption characteristics, and relative depth of the affected structure within the body. The treatment length is dependent on the power of the laser, while the number of treatments is typically left up to the clinician’s discretion and recommended protocols. Once the dose amount and treatment schedule are determined for the given situation, the most crucial element for success involves using an appropriate delivery method to ensure an adequate dose is delivered.
Many therapy lasers, especially higher-powered models, are equipped with a handpiece that is designed to be moved using a scanning technique to administer treatments. Handpiece design and treatment method can greatly impact delivery accuracy, so it is important to use an application-specific delivery system. Ideally, a delivery system should be reliable, versatile, and durable enough to deliver dependable results for every condition, every patient, every time.
To achieve positive clinical outcomes, it is necessary to deliver consistent amounts of energy. When administering laser therapy, this is best achieved by using an on-contact treatment method. By making direct contact with the skin’s surface, this method of treatment helps to reduce light energy lost to scatter and reflection off of the skin’s surface. Certain on-contact treatment attachments, such as the patented LightForce massage ball, encourage superior energy transmission by displacing superficial fluids and compressing tissue at the treatment site, allowing more photons to reach the target tissue.
While on-contact treatment methods are highly reliable, they are not advisable in all instances. Sometimes it is necessary to treat off contact for comfort purposes (e.g., treatment over broken skin or bony prominences). In such instances, the best results are achieved by using a treatment attachment specifically designed for off-contact treatment.
There are also situations where clinicians need to treat smaller areas, such as fingers or toes. In these cases, a smaller spot size is preferable. The Empower Delivery System™, LightForce’s comprehensive delivery solution, offers maximum versatility with 5 treatment heads that provide a range of beam size options in both contact and non-contact modes.
In addition to facilitating reliable results and offering clinical versatility, a delivery system should also be durable. If the delivery system fails, treatments cannot be delivered until it is repaired, which wastes precious patient and practice time. A delivery system therefore needs to be robust enough to stand up to the rigors of everyday use.
For therapy lasers, a main component in determining durability lies in the security of the fiber optic cable. This fiber optic cable is what transmits the light from the main unit to the handpiece, so it is critical that it be protected. The Empower Delivery System employs an extra-long stainless steel sheath, covered in a durable rubber coating to ensure every inch of the fiber optic cable remains protected during use. This type of construction allows the user to manipulate the handpiece with ease during treatment without harming the fragile fiber.
If you’re looking for a therapy laser with a delivery system you can rely on, consider looking at LightForce – each and every LightForce laser comes equipped with the Empower Delivery System. The EDS features 5 treatment attachments (including the patented massage ball), the most durable fiber cable available, and is backed by a dedicated customer service team, to help you deliver consistent results for every patient, every time.