Laser therapy, or “photobiomodulation”, is the application of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to improve healing time, reduce pain, increase circulation and decrease swelling. Laser therapy has been widely utilized in Europe by medical professionals for more than 30 years. After receiving FDA approval in 2002, laser therapy is used extensively in the United States as well.
The resource for pet owners on K-Laser Class 4 Laser Therapy.
How Laser Therapy Works
During the treatment, the laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level to stimulate the cells' metabolism. As a result, nutrients are better transported across the cell membrane. In addition, more ATP, a compound that transports energy within the cells, is produced. These changes create an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
Class IV laser therapy treatments are cumulative in nature. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your pet’s condition. Your veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan specific to your pet’s condition.
Effectiveness of Laser Therapy:
The effectiveness of laser therapy has been demonstrated scientifically through thousands of published, rigorously controlled studies. These studies show that laser therapy can help with:
- Joint Pain
- Diseases of the tendons
- Edema and congestion
- Ligament sprains
- Muscle strains
- Puncture wounds
- Post-traumatic injury
- Post-surgical pain
- Neck and back pain
- Hip dysplasia
- Chronic wounds
- Post-orthapedic surgical recovery
What to Expect
Laser therapy treatments are painless. Thus, your pet does not need to be sedated or restrained. In fact, the therapy is usually pleasant and comforting to your pet. Most pets do not need to have their hair clipped prior to treatment.
For most conditions, we recommend a multi-visit treatment plan. A majority of pets exhibit greater comfort and mobility within 12 to 24 hours after a laser treatment. Treatments vary in length, but most treatment sites require 2 to 8 minutes
Reintroduction to Activity
Laser therapy can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and increase range of motion. Thus, your pet will often exhibit renewed energy and freedom of movement. Consult your veterinarian before your pet returns to full activity. Your veterinarian may suggest gradual introduction of activity in order to insure that your pet does not aggravate the condition.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does it hurt? What does a treatment feel like?
There is little or no sensation during treatment. Occasionally your pet will feel mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.
Are there any side effects or associated risks?
Healthcare providers all over the world have used laser therapy for more than twenty years. During that time, very few side effects have ever been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, because the healing response is more active after treatment.
How long does each treatment take?
The typical treatment time is 3 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated.
How often should a patient be treated?
Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once every week or two as improvement is seen.
How many treatments does it take?
The total number of treatments depends on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions 1-2 treatments may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 5 to 8 (or more) treatments. Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.
How long before the results are felt?
Your pet may feel improvement in their condition (usually pain reduction) after the first treatment. Sometimes they will not feel improvement for a number of treatments. This does not mean that nothing is happening. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 or 4 sessions.
Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?
Yes! Laser therapy can be used with other forms of therapy to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Ask your veterinarian.