Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to create therapeutic effects for various conditions. Laser therapy is not new. It has been used in Europe by physical therapists, nurses and doctors since the 1970’s. The FDA approved use of laser therapy in 2002. At Seminole Trail Animal Hospital, we use a Class IV, cold-laser called K-Laser.
Laser therapy works by interacting with tissues at the cellular level causing increased metabolic activity within the cell and improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. The production of cellular energy is increased and leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. An optimal healing environment is created reducing inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
In more than 30 years of laser therapy utilization, very few side effects have been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment. There is little or no sensation during treatment. The patient may feel mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.
The typical treatment time is 3 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. Sudden injuries or 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. The number of treatments needed depends. 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.
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.