1. What is laser therapy?
Photobiomodulation is the scientific term for the biologic effects of laser light on cells. “Laser” light is different from LED and visible light because it is coherent, monochromatic, collimated and polarized. These properties influence the healing effects of laser light, and allow for deeper penetration. Penetrating photons from the K-laser influence cell chemistry in a variety of beneficial ways by activating or inhibiting pigmented molecules called chromophores. When cytochrome c-oxidase and NADH are activated by laser light they increase the synthesis of ATP, accelerating cellular function. Additionally, stimulation of production of other endogenous chemicals and hormones decreases pain, and inflammation, and improves drainage and vascularization. A pleasant warmth is also produced at the treatment site. Treatment time, power and laser pulse frequency are based on your pet’s individual condition and body size.
After injury or surgery, patients receiving laser therapy have less pain. Their recovery is faster and the quality of healing is better. Laser therapy is one of the few modalities that may not only improve the comfort of patients with osteoarthritis, but may also modify the disease process.
The following beneficial effects of K laser [Class IV laser] therapy on cells and tissues have been demonstrated in clinical trials and studies of laser therapy technology:
- Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth
- Faster wound healing
- Reduced fibrous tissue formation
- Anti-pain [Analgesic]
- Improved vascular activity
- Increased metabolic activity
- Improved nerve function
- Trigger and acupuncture points
2. When is therapeutic laser beneficial?
- Pain Management: Pet owners often want a progressive, non-invasive therapy in addition to instead drug regimens for the treatment of chronic pain.
- Wound Healing: Laser therapy can significantly reduce healing time, while at the same time improving the quality of tissue (stronger, more normal tissues, less tension and scar formation). Traumatic skin injuries and surgical incisions benefit greatly from laser intervention.
- Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal injuries and orthopedic surgeries often require additional rehabilitation solutions. Laser therapy provides non-invasive remedies for quicker recovery.
Small animal applications
- Osteoarthritis [Degenerative Joint Disease]
- Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries (sprains and strains)
- Ulcerations and open wounds
- Post-surgical pain and wound healing
- Other soft tissue trauma
- Back pain
- Neuromuscular disease
3. What should I expect?
There is generally no patient sedation or restraint required and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting to the animal. Pets do not need to have their hair clipped.
Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, most patients require several treatments (3-8) before full effects are seen. For most conditions, we recommend a multi-visit treatment plan. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 2 to 8 minutes; multiple sites may be treated in one session. Many patients exhibit greater comfort and mobility within 12 to 24 hours after a laser treatment.
For chronic pain, treatments are usually given twice a week for the initial 3wk period, then tapered to once every 4-6wks.