Cold laser therapy is used to treat multiple ailments and injuries and is also beneficial to pets recovering from surgery. The treatment is particularly useful for pets that have a chronic condition or injury, such as arthritis, skin conditions, inflammatory disorders, etc. Treatable ailments include:
- Joint disorders/arthritis/musculoskeletal disorders
- Ligament or tendon injuries
- Muscle sprains or strains/back pain
- Post-surgical wounds/traumatic skin wounds /abrasions
- Spinal injury/pain
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Bladder Infections/cystitis
- Chronic skin issues/lick granulomas
- Gingivitis/dental disease
- Ear infections/hematoma
How Cold Laser Therapy Works
The laser is applied directly to the surface of the skin or it can be held just above the skin surface if it is contraindicated. Another benefit to cold laser therapy is that it is not necessary to shave the fur in the region of treatment. The laser can be set for shallow or deep tissue penetration for different time periods of treatment depending upon the condition that is being treated. Most pets experience a gentle warming sensation while the laser increases blood flow to the area, speeding healing and decreasing chronic inflammation.
Cold laser therapy usually needs to include multiple administrations within the first week of treatment, followed by weekly or monthly treatments. It is most beneficial when used in conjunction with other treatment methods and is considered a conjunctive or additional treatment. Different conditions have different protocols.
The beam of the laser consists of wavelengths of light that penetrate into the tissue. The light is absorbed by cells that are not properly functioning due to injury or disease. The light helps to initiate cellular growth and repair by increasing production of ATP, the energy source for cells. This increases overall cellular function, allowing for more rapid absorption of nutrients, elimination of wastes and reproduction of new cells. The growth and repair of healthy cells and efficiency of cellular function aids to:
- Alleviate chronic or acute pain
- Reduce inflammation of soft tissue
- Reduce edema (fluid trapped in body tissue)
- Activate immune cells
- Reduce bacteria in region of treatment
- Increase blood flow to region of treatment
- Speed healing and recovery
The effects of alleviating pain and reducing inflammation allow the dog to regain limited mobility and activity earlier in the recovery process. In other words, they heal faster. The laser also directly affects joint fluid and cartilage. This can benefit dogs suffering from arthritis by increasing the range of motion in joints. Increased range of motion allows a dog with arthritis to engage in more moderate and comfortable exercise.