What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy, or “photobiomodulation”, is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects, including:
- Promote tissue repair
- Improved wound healing
- Faster recovery from nerve damage
- Reduction of pain & inflammation
- Reduction of scar tissue in muscle injuries
- Increased range of motion
- Improved circulation (draws water, oxygen & nutrients to the affected tissue)
Laser therapy has been widely utilized in Europe by physical therapists, nurses and doctors as far back as the 1970s. Since being cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2002, laser therapy is used extensively in the U.S. as well.
Cellular Effects of Laser Therapy
During laser therapy, infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level and metabolic activity increases within the cell, improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the increased production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health.
What to Expect for Pets in Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Ontario, Claremont, Fontana, and the entire Inland Empire
For most patients, there is no patient sedation or restraint required and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting to them. Most pets do not need to have their hair clipped.
Class IV Laser Therapy treatments are cumulative in nature. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your pet’s condition. Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, most patients require several treatments (3 to 8) for greatest benefit.
For most conditions, we recommend a multi-visit treatment plan. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 2 to 8 minutes. A majority of patients exhibit greater comfort and mobility within 12 to 24 hours after a laser treatment. A sample treatment schedule is as follows:
- Every other day for one week (3 total)
- Twice the second week (2 total)
- Once the third week (1 total)
- Boosters as needed
Our veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan specific to your pet’s condition.
Numerous studies show that laser therapy can help with any disease process which is characterized by inflammation.
If your pet shows signs of orthopedic or back pain, has difficulty getting up and down, limps on one or more limbs periodically, he or she may be a candidate for laser surgery. In addition, laser therapy can help with any of the problems listed below.
- Arthritis & Joint Pain
- Tendon Injuries
- Ligament Sprains
- Puncture Wounds
- Post-Surgical Pain
- Hip Dysplasia
- Chronic Wound Healing
- Post-Orthopedic Surgical Recovery
- Neck and Back Pain
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Ear Infections
- Gum inflammation and gingivitis
- Acral Lick Granulomas
- Feather Picking
- Bladder Infections/Inflammation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Has effectiveness been demonstrated scientifically?
A. Yes. There are thousands of published studies demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of laser therapy. Among these, there are more than one hundred rigorously controlled, scientific studies that document the effectiveness of laser therapy for many clinical conditions.
Q. Does it hurt? What does a treatment feel like?
A. There is little or no sensation during treatment. Occasionally the patient feels mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.
Q. Are there any side effects or associated risks?
A. During more than twenty years of use by healthcare providers all over the world, very few side effects have ever 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.
Q. How long does each treatment take?
A. The typical treatment time is 3 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated.
Q. How often should a patient be treated?
A. 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.
Q. How many treatments does it take?
A. This 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.
Q. How long before the results are felt?
A. 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.
Q. Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?
A. Yes! Laser therapy is often used with other forms of therapy, including physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage, soft tissue mobilization, electrotherapy and following surgery. Other healing modalities are complementary and can be used with laser to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
If you are interested in finding out if laser therapy can help your pet, please call us at (909) 980-3575 for a consultation.