Laser Therapy

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:12pm

Laser Therapy in Practice

History of Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a treatment modality that has been around since the 1960's, but is also a recent trend within veterinary medicine.  The recent surge in the number of veterinary clinics that offer laser therapy is likely due to the amount of data that is now available to show that it is highly effective---in other words, it works!  

Another reason for the the increase is the improvement of laser therapy units, often meaning that units deliver more energy to the tissues.  These "stronger" lasers allow us to more effectively treat your animal more effectively, in less time.  

It is ironic to learn that laser therapy was actually developed because of a study in mice.  Endre Mester noticed that mice that receiving laser treatments were able to grow hair back at a faster rate than those that did not receive laser treatments.  This begin the advent of laser therapy, which is now used to treat a wide range of medical conditions.

What is Laser Therapy?

We can use a lot of fancy terms, but what it boils down to is that lasers are light energy.  The therapy units target the body tissues and deliver this energy to the level of the cells, particularly the "mitochondria."  Mitochondria are basically like the engine of the cell.  They produces ATP, which is energy.  The light energy improves circulation, which means more oxygen to the tissue that is being targeted.  Not only does more oxygen get delivered, but the cells are also more effective at using this increased oxygen.  The increase in circulation also means greater ability to remove "bad stuff" from the area.  "Bad Stuff" includes things like toxins and oxidative free radicals.  These substances cause increased tissue damage, so removing them helps to stop this cycle.  Laser therapy essentially helps the body to heal itself, by promoting the natural processes that we were designed with.  

What Animals can be Treated?

Using our Class IV laser therapy unit, the doctors of Orrville Veterinary Clinic can deliver light energy to deep tissues.  This allows us to perform laser therapy on many types of animals, ranging from small dogs all the way up to large horses.  Oftentimes, our older pets can benefit the most from therapy.  A conservative estimate is that 20% of animals over age 7 years have some form of arthritis.

What Conditions can be Treated Using Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy is often added into traditional therapies to treat many conditions.  In animals these include:

Osteoarthritis

Back Pain

Nerve Pain

Soft Tissue Inflammation

Post-surgical wounds

Generalized wounds

Skin Infections

Ear Infections

Soft Tissue Injuries

Tendonitis

Dental Disease

For more information about Laser therapy click on the following links to our articles:

Laser Therapy in Horses