Cold laser therapy for pain: Will it catch on in the U.S.?

冷的laser疗法为痛苦: 它是否风行在美国?

Barbara Kram, Editor | August 18, 2010
Cold laser from RJ-Laser,
distributed by Dow Medical
Ten years ago, doctors told Herbert Werker's mother Hildegard that she needed a new hip. Instead she got a new laser system from her son for treating pain. She has avoided surgery ever since.

"For my mother or someone who needs surgery--other than cancer surgery--for pain, it's easier to use laser therapy," said Werker, president of Dow Medical, LLC in San Diego. The company is the U.S. distributor of cold laser technology from RJ-Laser in Germany, which uses the new BLESS (Bio Light Emitting Super System). "If you are able to switch a button you can also help yourself," Werker said of the ease of use of the technology.

More than 40,000 devices like it have sold in Europe in the last 28 years--half of these from RJ-Laser. RJ's cold lasers (as they're known in the U.S.) were FDA approved in December 2009. The device promotes healing by stimulating tissue. "Laser light can harmonize the healing system of the body so you do not need surgery," Werker said of his mom and other patients. Such cold lasers, are used by doctors in general practice, orthopedics, dermatology, and other specialties; chiropractors; and veterinarians. RJ-Laser's devices are also used in complementary medicine and cosmetic applications such as promoting hair growth and anti-aging with very good results, according to Werker.


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The laser emits in the infrared spectrum monochrome light energy with wavelengths of 600 to 900 nanometers. This low-power, relatively low-tech approach to pain management has not really caught on in the U.S. although in Europe it's used for wound healing, back pain, arthritis, skin problems, headaches and other disorders. Treatment takes five to 15 minutes; older patients take longer. After two or three days of treatment, patients discontinue use of the device to allow the body to heal. Pain management might require 10 to 15 treatments all told.

About 50 companies make cold laser systems. "Some others use other wavelengths and energies but they are always treating with too much energy," Werker said. "They are only focused on one treatment such as knee pain. We do hundreds of diseases with the experience and feedback of 28 years from all the satisfied RJ-Laser customers....We are looking for motivated doctors to start making money--patients will drive a long distance to get treatment to avoid surgery."

Professional units run around $20,000 depending on the indications; small home-use systems are about $1,400. Probes costs about $3,300 and stand-alone probes up to $8,000.

RJ-Laser offers medical lasers for diagnosis, biostimulation and biomodulation, for the widest range of applications, for punctual treatments and acupuncture (with single probe or laser light needle) and large surfaces (multi-cluster probe or scanner).

Dow Medical also provides American medical colleges with information on diagnosis and pain management with cold lasers.