What is LASER Therapy and How Does it Work?
LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), or Photobiomodulation (PBMT), uses non-ionizing forms of light in the red and near infrared ranges. This specific form of laser light has the ability to penetrate deep within the tissues to achieve a therapeutic response. The light is absorbed into the tissues at a cellular level to create photochemical changes. These changes increase circulation, cellular replication and growth factors which ultimately accelerates the recovery of damaged tissues. In terms of your pet’s perception, or even your own if you were to use it on yourself, it will appear as though nothing is happening. All the activity is taking place at the cellular level. The patient may feel some mild heat, depending on the type of laser unit used.
LASER therapy projects the light produced by a hand-held device into the cells of the body. The light is absorbed by the skin and underlying tissues. Mitochondria in the cells of the tissue convert this light into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) (a cellular energy source) which increases enzyme production, increases cell replication, increases growth factor formation and essentially provides the building blocks for the cell to heal damaged tissue.
LASER therapy is beneficial for a variety of conditions and has a cumulative effect. Your rehabilitation veterinarian may recommend LASER/PBMT after orthopedic surgery to promote bone and soft tissue healing. LASER/PBMT can also help manage the pain and inflammation associated with chronic osteoarthritis, soft tissue injury and some neurologic conditions. Wound management is also a great way to see the positive effects of LASER/PBMT on tissues. Some conditions may benefit from only a handful of treatments, while others may benefit from maintenance care.
During a LASER/PBMT treatment, safety precautions are necessary to protect the eyes of the patient, client and personnel operating the laser equipment. The treatment times can vary depending on location and condition being treated.
How it Works:
Light energy is absorbed by the tissues and acts at the cellular level to:
- Improve cell metabolism and generate energy via photobiomodulation
- Light penetrates the skin without causing damage
- Stimulates cartilage and collagen
- Decreases pain sensation
- Decreases muscle spasms
- Promotes new blood supply
- Reduces inflammation
Benefits of laser therapy Include:
- Reduces the formation of scar tissue
- Decreases pain
- Improves neural recovery
- Enhances immune responses
- Decreases inflammation
Assists in wound healing by:
- Accelerating the formation of epithelial cells at the edges of the wound.
- Accelerating granulation of tissue in the center of the wound
- Antibacterial effects
Used in treatment of:
- Post-op swelling and inflammation
- Chronic inflammation (osteoarthritis)
- Wound and incisional healing
- Pain relief
- Muscle spasm/trigger points
- Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries
- Bone healing