equine therapy

For some pro buyers, the ability to use a therapy laser in a hands-free setup reduces the cost per therapy session and allow them to treat more patients or do other modalities while they are using the laser. For home users, it allows them to treat themselves without forcing a family member to operate the laser for them. In either case, it can make laser therapy much more convenient.

For those with a busy practice, the option to perform other work during the laser therapy session allows for better work flow, higher dosages with less time required by the doctor and a more profitable practice. It can also help customers feel like getting a lot for their money even though the doctor is not treating them the whole time because the are getting more therapy time. Hands-free systems can significantly improve the return-on-investment since the practitioner can treat more patients in the same time and pay back their laser purchase faster.

For home owners, it allows for a more comfortable therapy session and it can be the only reasonable option for single person with a problem that is hard to reach like mid and lower back pain. It can also be worth the investment to have a hands-free system for those with chronic conditions that might require years of therapy.

Some people are tricked by the "time savings" promise of hands-free therapy. Systems like the $40,000 CE™ robotic laser take 2-3 minutes to set up and then they deliver a maximum of 3.3 j/sec for 10 minutes for a total of 1980 joules (3.3x60x10).

An EVO Laser D30 with the hands-free kit will deliver up to 25 joules per second so it can achieve the same dosage in less than 2 minute and cost less than $15,000. If you really care about saving time and money, robotic systems are not the answer.


Why Some Systems Don't Offer Hands-Free Therapy

Before we start to review all the options for hands free systems, let's review when unattended therapy is NOT appropriate.

  1. Hands-free systems are not used for veterinary or equine therapy. There are unattended LED systems that are built into a wrap for these applications but the dosages a small fraction of the dosage you can get with a laser.
  2. Any system that focuses the energy down into a point probe is not application for hands free operation. This is because the treatment time for trigger points and acupoints is less than 1 minute per point (typically 20 to 30 seconds) so it would be pointless to try and walk away from a fast moving laser puncture session.
  3. Hands-free therapy is also not applicable for some class-4 systems including the Pilot and LiteForce™ systems. This is mainly because the treatment area is too small compared to the power output of the system. These must be kept moving in many cases to avoid tissue heating. Leaving a patient alone with one of these lasers is just too risky. Also, these systems can delivery power so quickly that they can deliver the same dosage that you would target in a typical unattended therapy session in just a couple minutes or they can deliver much higher dosages in the same amount of time.

Comparing Direct Versus Hands-Free Therapy

With most attended therapy protocols, the laser is constantly moved over the treatment area because the treatment area is larger than the laser emitter area. In general, there is not much difference between applying 10 joules per point manually over 10 one inch treatment points or 100 to all 10 treatment points at the same time but there are 2 differences.

  1. In attended therapy, the emitter can be pushed into the skin to displace some blood allowing for a slightly higher energy efficiency in pushing the energy directly to deep damaged cells.
  2. There can be some loss in air due to absorption of energy into the dirt floating around the room.

Both of these reductions are relatively small so we increase the treatment time by small percentage to offset the losses.

Unattended Therapy is best for treating conditions with larger treatment areas or that require high dosages. Hand free therapy is commonly used for treating the following condition with a broad coverage medium power laser:

  • Back and Neck Pain including Herniated Disk
  • Knee, ankle and shoulder pain
  • Hip Sprains and Injuries
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Foot pain including Calcaneal Spurs and Achilles Tendonitis
  • Wrist injuries including radial-carpal sprains
  • Neuropathy
  • Broad Arthritis

The following is a list of some of the lasers on the market that are appropriate for unattended operation.

Recommended Unattended Cold Laser Systems

System Class Highlights Price
Mr4 Pro + Cart 1m Super safe and easy to use superpulsing system. $5995 Laser + $979 Cart
MR4 Elite+ Cart 1m Dual Emitter System for higher dosages. Superpulsing $7995 Laser + $1129 Dual Cart
Avant LZ30z 3b Higher power unattended system include pulsing and continuous wave (CW) with dual wavelengths $6850 laser + $250 Stand
EVOlaser 4 The EVOlaser hands-free class-4 option is a fraction of the cost of the K-laser. Starting at $8950 +$1400 for cart and hands-free
Eltech K-laser Cube4+ 4 This system has the most advanced optics of any system so it can safely treat a - inch diameter area and safely deliver over 10 joules per second. $27,500 laser + $2850 Extend Plus


hands free MR4 system
The first option for unattended operation is the TerraQuant/MR4 series of lasers like the TerraQuant Pro, LS50, Elite and even the TQ Solo. Like their big brother, The MR4 lasers, these class 1m systems use super-pulsing technology so that they are totally safe and they cannot cause eye damage or any tissue heating. The Magna cart series allows for the placement of multiple emitters and it can be easily moved from room to room. The flexible arms are very easy to get into a variety of configuration for treating conditions like a rotator cuff injury. With this system, you can treat both the front and back of a shoulder at the same time. The protocols for the TerraQuant laser typically require 3 setups at about 5 minute per setup so that allows a practitioner to easy check on other patients during each step. Multiradiance also sells an inexpensive arm that can be bolted to an existing table for a very low cost hand free system. All Terraquant lasers are slightly divergent so you can move the laser away from the treatment area to enlarge the treatment area. TerraQuant systems also use advanced pulsing technology for better results.

avant hands free therapy

On of the best class 3b hands-free options is the Avant LZ30 series of lasers. Avant lasers can be snapped into the holder on a rigid boom-style stand (which only cost $250) for unattended operation.  This laser used a slight divergent optical design so you simply back the laser off the treatment area until it covers the desired area, turn on the laser and then leave.

This system will operate on the battery or plugged in. With this system, there is no chance of tissue heating (but patients should always wear safety goggles during an unattended therapy session). The Avant has both red and IR wavelengths. In the IR wavelength, it delivers 84 joules per minute in continuous wave mode. The result is about 840 joules in a 10 minute unattended therapy session.

If you occasionally need a "class-4 laser dosage" for a very difficult case, just let the system run longer. It can deliver 840 joules in 10 minutes and at a faction of the cost of most class 4 system.

For home owners, you can run the system while you play on a device or watch TV and get dosages in the 1500 joules range.

EVO laser Hands Free

For those who want the best of all worlds, one of the best systems on the market is the EVO series of class-4 lasers with the hand-free cart option. This laser system can quickly be switched between hand held and hands- free therapy, making it one of the most flexible lasers on the market. The EVOlaser does both continuous wave and pulsing in up to 4 different wavelengths with 810nm being the primary. For most structural problems, the EVO D30 is the perfect choice. The hands-free cart is adjustable height so it is easy to have a patient lay down on the treatment table and then drop the laser down on the treatment area with minimal changes to the flex arm. It also works well with other parts of the body.

With internal protocols, this system can be setup in as little as 30 seconds with just a few clicks. This system has a treatment area of 4 inches when the spacer is in contact with the skin and this system delivers up to 30 joules per second (9000 joules in 5 minutes) so it allows users to control every variable to increase efficacy in a laser therapy device include dosage, pulsing and wavelength.

equine therapy

One other unattended super-system is the PowerMedic GigaLaser. With 36 watts in a giant array attached to a massive roll-around power supply, it can deliver an incredible 2160 joules per minute so dosages in the 20,000 joules take just 10 minutes unattended. The treatment area is so large that you typically treat an entire back in just one setup. This system is so large that you are never have to worry about missing a problem area with the laser. It gives an even distribution of energy over a 140 plus square inch area.

Erchonia™ lasers are usable for unattended therapy but they are some of the lowest power lasers on the market. Their systems are 20 or 50 mW so there is no risk of heating. A typical 20 minute unattended session give the patient less than 24 joules in 10 minutes over the entire treatment area. If you are treating a large area, the density can be much less than 1 joule per centimeter at surface and about .1 joules per centermeter at depth so this is extremely low compared to any other system on the market but they claim to make up for the lack of power with pulsing.

Another unattended option (that we do not sell but is worth mentioning) is Cutting Edge™ lasers. These systems use a robot controlled small laser beam to scan the treatment area. These systems have a big wow factor for patinets but in general, it is a very complex and expesive solution to what can be done alot better for a lot less money with a stationary system. These machines are often available at huge discounts because they are so complex and maintain them is ultra-expensive so many buyers give up on them. These systems deliver 3.3 watts so you get 1980 joules in 10 minutes. The cost is over $35,000.

These are the major players in the unattended laser therapy field. If safety is a major factor, the TerraQuant system is a great choice, If flexibility and the option to treat a wide variety of conditions, then the Avant is a great option because it can deliver both attended and unattended therapy in 2 different wavelengths, with both pulsing and continuous output and it can do both broad coverage and pinpoint therapies with an adapter. If you are not financially limited and you are looking for the ultimate system, the EVO laser will do automated CW and pulsed wave in up to 4 wavelengths in an unattended system that will really blow your patients away with higher dosages, superior pain control and faster noticeable results.

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