FAQS Regarding Low Intensity Laser Therapy


1. What is a laser?

The word laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser produces photons of light with specific characteristics. These include:

  • Monochromaticity: In laser light, all electromagnetic waves have the same wavelength and therefore, the same colour.
  • Coherence: All the photons in laser light oscillate in the same phase.
  • Directionality: Due to the coherence factor light is also highly directional.
  • Intensity: The primary advantage of lasers is the high intensity one can produce in a small area, which allows for deeper penetration. The intensity of laser used for Low Intensity Laser Therapy should remain below 500 mW to avoid thermal damage and allow optimal biostimulation of tissue.
2. What are Superluminous Diodes (SLDs)?

SLDs are high-power Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and are generally in found in array of diodes. SLDs are less powerful than laser diodes and can be safely applied in larger numbers over a wide area.

3. What is Low Intensity Laser Therapy?

Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) is the use of monochromatic light emission from a low intensity laser diode (250 mW or less) or an array of high intensity superluminous diodes (providing total optical power in the 10-2000 mW range) to treat musculoskeletal injuries, chronic and degenerative conditions and to heal wounds. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell morphology and function. This process also enhances the body’s natural healing propensities.Low Intensity Laser Therapy does not heat or cut tissue. Unlike many pharmacological treatments that mask pain or only address the symptoms of the disease, Laser Therapy treats the underlying condition or pathology to promote healing.

4. How long does a treatment take?

Treatments are typically 15 minutes to over 1 hour depending on the condition and area being treated.

5. How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments will vary with regard to the individual problem as every patient and condition responds to Laser Therapy uniquely. In a recent clinical report on over 1,000 patients treated with the BioFlex Professional Laser Therapy System, patients averaged slightly less than 10 treatments to resolve their condition. In some patients, 1 treatment is sufficient; however, on average, 3-25 treatments are required. In some cases, additional maintenance treatments may be recommended.

6. How much does one charge for treatment?

Fee for treatment is set by individual clinics and is $50 on average, with the range being anywhere from $35 – $75 per treatment. At Meditech Laser Rehabilitation Centres, we charge $45 for a half hour treatment.

7. Is this treatment covered by public or private insurance plans?

Insurance coverage for Laser Therapy varies depending on the professional designation and/or qualifications of the therapist and the insurance plan.

8. Is Laser Therapy safe?

Yes. Hundreds of research studies have shown Laser Therapy to be safe and effective. Laser Therapy is non-invasive, non-toxic and non-thermal. Unlike other forms of radiation i.e. x-ray, etc., Laser Therapy is beneficial rather than harmful to tissue.

9. Are there any contraindications?

Yes. Laser Therapy should be avoided in the following instances:

  • Over the womb for women in their first trimester of pregnancy
  • Over a cancerous tumour
10. What is BioFlex Laser System?

The BioFlex Laser System is a highly sophisticated therapeutic device that combines the benefits of Low Intensity Lasers with Superluminous Diodes for the effective treatment of many medical conditions. Developed and engineered by Meditech International Inc., BioFlex represents the most significant technological advancement in Laser Therapy.

10. What is BioFlex Laser System?

The BioFlex Laser System is a highly sophisticated therapeutic device that combines the benefits of Low Intensity Lasers with Superluminous Diodes for the effective treatment of many medical conditions. Developed and engineered by Meditech International Inc., BioFlex represents the most significant technological advancement in Laser Therapy.

11. How does BioFlex Laser Therapy compare with other conventional treatments?

For many years, rehabilitation therapies – including ultrasound, interferential current, TENS, etc. – have been used extensively throughout the world to treat pain and stimulate the healing process. Unlike the BioFlex, however, the healing effects of these treatments have been disappointing as they only modulate symptoms. In contrast, BioFlex is able to influence the pathology directly at the cellular level, resulting in therapeutic benefits that are more profound and generally curative. At best, alternative therapies act as counter-irritants, creating a transient increase in circulation and the release of endorphins, providing only temporary symptomatic relief.

12. What makes BioFlex Laser Therapy unique?

BioFlex Laser Systems utilize a three step therapeutic approach, which includes a Red SLD array, Infrared SLD array and a Laser Probe.This approach has been used clinically in the Meditech Laser Rehabilitation Centres for over 20 years and results in the elimination of pain, reduction in the utilization of pharmaceuticals, and the restoration of normal mobility and quality of life.

13. Have the clinical applications of Laser Therapy been studied using the BioFlexLaser Therapy Systems?

Meditech International Inc. is highly active in studying the clinical applications of Laser Therapy, particularly for conditions where current medical approaches are ineffective.Several controlled studies have been conducted since 1996 using the BioFlex Professional System. Two of these involved experimental models of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The results of both studies showed that BioFlex produced significant, positive effects on these disorders. Meditech International Inc. has embarked on an extensive program of beta testing of the BioFlex user protocols. In January, 1997, two BioFlex Professional Systems were placed in beta sites, one at the University of Toronto in a teaching hospital and one at the University of Ulster. Several additional research units were utilized in private clinics. Results from these centres have indicated that the benefits derived were both positive and often dramatic.

14. Who uses BioFlex Laser Therapy?

BioFlex Laser Therapy is being used by an increasing number of physicians, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, veterinarians, naturopaths and dentists across Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. Meditech Laser Rehabilitation Centres currently performs over 800 laser treatments a week, and that number is steadily increasing.The Toronto Raptors, The Toronto Maple Leafs as well as the Toronto Blue Jays, the Miami Heat, the Canadian National Ballet Company along with many other high performance organizations utilize the technology as the basic treatment platform for their athletic injuries.In addition, many athletes from the world of golf, hockey and tennis benefit from the effects of the therapy.

15. What regulatory approvals does BioFlex have?

BioFlex has been cleared by the FDA and Health Canada. The CE mark of approval has also been obtained and the manufacturing standards of UL and ISO have been met.

16. How does the BioFlex Professional System differ from other devices on the market?
  1. Size of Treatment Arrays: BioFlex treatment arrays are flexible and cover a large area (12.5 sq inches) so there is direct contact between the treatment head and tissue. This minimizes reflection of light off tissue ensuring precise light penetration and dosage.
  2. Hands-free Treatment Arrays: This allows for unattended treatments and the treatment of multiple patients at one time.
  3. Provision of over 30 Standard Protocols: BioFlex is the only system that contains a library of over thirty different pathology specific protocols built into the system. These protocols were developed at Meditech Laser Rehabilitation Centres over the last 20 years and have continuously evolved and expanded based on data obtained from the large volume of patients treated each year.
  4. Customizable Protocols: The BioFlex Laser Systems have the capacity to deliver an infinite range of protocols through the adjustment of parameters including frequency, duty cycle, waveform, energy density and duration.
  5. Technology: The BioFlex Laser Systems have the ability to verify power output with its internal feedback loop, which continuously measures the quantity of light being emitted and a feedback loop that measures the current within the device to ensure proper dosage.
  6. Anatomical Tutor: The BioFlex Professional is the only system that comes with an anatomical and pathological tutor to enhance the therapist’s knowledge and help them explain the pathology and treatment to the patient. Understanding the problem and treatment will encourage patient compliance.
  7. Electronic Patient Records: The Professional System also includes patient management software that includes patient information, history, diagnosis, therapeutic dosage, etc. Patient treatment protocols can be downloaded into the Main Controller Unit, which allows for portable use of the BioFlex Professional System.
  8. Customer Services: Clinical support is available 7 days/week. Technical support is available 6 days/week. Research support is available 5 days/week. Our toll free number at 1-888-557-4004.
  9. Training: Meditech provides a three day basic Certification Training Seminar on the use of Low Intensity Laser Therapy. This ensures that every therapist using the BioFlex system is familiar with its functions and all aspects of safe and effective clinical application.
17. Why do other devices advertise shorter treatment times?

The treatment time required will depend on the condition being treated. The treatment time should NOT be controlled by economics but rather by what is required to achieve optimal clinical effects. Our clinical research shows that for the majority of conditions, 15 minutes to 1 hour of treatment is the optimal duration. In the treatment of skeletal pathologies where considerable soft tissue involvement occurs, up to an hour or more of time may be required for effective therapy. This is certainly the case with regard to the treatment of low back problems, advanced degenerative osteoarthritis of the hips, etc. Alternatively, in some cases such as localized dermal lesions, five minutes of treatment may be sufficient. In brief, prolonged treatment times may be required in order to initiate the physiological processes essential for positive outcomes. While patients may experience temporary relief of pain with short treatment times (i.e. 15 minutes or less), in order to initiate changes at the cellular level and promote healing longer treatment times are needed.

18. What is the difference between High Intensity versus Low Intensity Laser Therapy?
High intensity lasers, or thermal lasers, produce a lot of heat and are used to cut or cauterize tissue. Low intensity lasers, also known as cold lasers, initiate and stimulate many beneficial physiological processes within the cell. It is non-destructive with regard to the tissue.

* information from http://www.bioflexlaser.com