Why vary the wavelength?
For 150 years, practitioners used visible light to benefit their patients. Some wavelengths have known bio-chemical effects, such as for jaundice. Today, red and IR dominate photobiomodulation therapy for musculoskeletal pain.
However, researchers and practitioners considered each wavelength in isolation. Wavelengths in the red and IR are selected for their ability to penetrate the skin to stimulate deeper tissues. The currently most discussed mechanism is the improvement of mitochondrial function. Observing the mitochondrial mechanism isn’t easy or quick.
Many musculoskeletal aches, pain, and impaired motions require multiple visits to determine success of failure of the therapy. The problem remains that if the patient fails to respond, then only more of the same wavelength is available.
Does the patient care which wavelength prompted their relief or their restored function?
PhotoMed’s team wondered, does the body need one, two, or a sequence of different wavelengths to resume homeostasis?
You can’t know until you try.
Silicon Valley’s quest for speed inspired PhotoMed’s therapy. Why not vary the wavelength during therapy?
It’s the batting average that counts.
Is red or IR wavelength necessary for treatment-resistant pain relief?
PhotoMed’s team sponsored a small study (n=29) to test this question. The study enrolled people with dark skin (95%). These real-world people were invited sequentially with no cherry-picking. (Hey, the team wanted to know if the therapy could relieve real-world pain.)
What disorder did they have? Poorly controlled diabetes and its complications of pain and neuropathy.
The test therapy was choreographed by computer to ensure that everyone received the same wavelengths distributed in time over 5 visits. Feedback was NOT used to adjust the therapy. No red or IR was applied.
The study asked questions electronically. The technician had to record the volunteer’s answer to each question before advancing to the next step.
The statistician was surprised by the complete data set with no missing data. The statistician pointed out that about 1/3 these real-world people took opioid medications for their pain. Some were taking a dozen or more different medications each day. He asked if the team had any idea how the study might turn out? He was surprised by the answer, no, this is science as practiced by other industries.
PhotoMed’s team was surprised by the statistical outcomes. More that 50% of participants reported a 50% or greater reduction in their pain.
The team had its answer. Red is not necessary to achieve relief for at least some people with poorly controlled diabetes, pain, and neuropathy.
Would the batting average have been higher if red was included?
Here are the outcomes:
Which wavelengths would you like to try?
The Vari-Chrome® Pro provides operators with the visible spectrum with no missing wavelengths (430-470nm).