What Is Laser Therapy?

Therapeutic lasers were discovered in the 1960s and have been used increasingly since then for the treatment of wounds, inflammation, swelling and pain. Treatment with these lasers is also called Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Cold Laser Therapy or Photobiomodulation. These lasers do not cause excessive heat as compared with others, and the light density is at a lower level than the surgical lasers that people are familiar with. These lasers are commonly used to treat chronic pain, particularly neurological and myofascial, tendonitis, degenerative joint disease, skin wounds, ulcers and burns.

The exact mechanism of action is still not totally understood, but research shows that the photons, or units of energy in light, are absorbed by the cells. This causes the cells to make more ATP, or energy.  This energy is used to increase cellular production of proteins and other chemicals that stimulate cell healing and growth, reduce swelling and inflammation and block pain.  It can also cause increase blood flow to an area, which helps oxygenate, nourish and cleanse injured tissue.  For laser therapy to work, specific wavelengths, frequencies, power and application times must be used.

The laser is a perfect complement to acupuncture.  It can be used in situations where using a needle may be unsatisfactory for a particular animal such as over-small, bony joints, extremely sensitive and painful regions, and around the face.

For more in depth information on laser therapy, check out the Resource links.