Benefits of Laser Treatment
Laser Therapy, or “photobiomodulation” is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. Laser Therapy has been utilized by physical therapists, nurses and doctors as far back as the 1970’s, however technical advances in laser miniaturization and durability have allowed laser therapy to be used for a wider range of patients including pets. Most recently, specialist centres and TV programs such as “The Supervet” have been employing these special Class IV lasers, increasing the awareness of their positive contribution to veterinary Care.
WHAT TO EXPECT
There is no patient sedation or restraint required and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting to them. 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.
Class IV Laser Therapy treatments are cumulative in nature. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your pet’s condition. 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
Your veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan specific to your pet’s condition.
Laser Therapeutic Effects
During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
CELLULAR EFFECTS OF LASER THERAPY
During Laser Therapy the 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.
Numerous Studies show that laser therapy can help with:
- Joint Pain
- Oedema and Congestion
- Post-Surgical Pain
- Neck and Back Pain
- Ligament Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Puncture Wounds
- Post-Traumatic Injury
- Hip Dysplasia
- Chronic Wounds
- Post-Orthopedic Surgical
COSTS OF TREATMENT
The laser is kept at our Hospital at Sutterton and we do not yet do laser therapy at the branches. The cost of treatments, which would be undertaken with a nurse, are as follows. As treatments are generally a course rather than done singly, this is how they are priced.
Surgery Site Treatment: Course of 3 sessions which would be one done on recovery from the surgery, one at the 3 days check and 1 treatment at the suture removal £28 / 3 Session course at one site
Superficial Skin issues / Wound Treatments: Course of 4 sessions on wounds or surgical sites that have had a reaction or failed to heal in the usual way. £50 / 4 Session course at one site
Musculoskeletal injuries or pain: Course of 6 sessions, usually at the rate of 2 a week initially for 3 weeks, then usually one every 2-3 weeks chronically as needed. £95 / 6 Session course at one site
The BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS of CLASS IV LASER THERAPY
- Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth.
Photons of light from lasers penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. The laser light increases the energy available to the cell so that the cell can take on nutrients faster and get rid of waste products. As a result of exposure to laser light, the cells of tendons, ligaments and muscles are repaired faster.
- Faster wound healing.
Laser light stimulates fibroblast development (fibroblasts are the building block of collagen, which is predominant in wound healing) in damaged tissue. Collagen is the essential protein required to replace old tissues or to repair tissue injuries. As a results, laser therapy is effective on open wounds.
- Reduced fibrous tissue formation.
Laser therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissues damage from cuts, scratches, burns and surgery. Scar tissues is the primary source of chronic pain.
Laser light has an anti-edemic effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system (drains swollen areas). As a result, there is a reduction in swelling caused by bruising or inflammation.
- Anti-pain (analgesic).
Laser therapy has a high beneficial effect on nerve cells which block pain transmitted by these cells to the brain and which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to less inflammation, there is less oedema and less pain. Another pain blocking mechanism involves the production of high levels of pain killing chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins from the brain and adrenal gland.
- Improved vascular activity.
Laser light will significantly increase the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue that speeds up the healing process, closes wounds quickly and reduces scar tissue. Additional benefits include acceleration of angiogenesis, which causes temporary vasodilation, an increase in the diameter of blood vessels. More blood flow equals faster healing and less pain.
- Increased metabolic activity.
Laser therapy creates higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells. The damaged cells can repair and regenerate faster.
- Improved nerve function.
Slow recovery of nerve functions in damaged tissues can result in numbness and impaired limbs. Laser light will speeds up the process of nerve cell reconnection and increase the amplitude of action potentials to optimise muscle action. Reducing nerve pain.
Photons are absorbed by chromophores (molecule enzymes) that react to laser light. The enzyme is activated and starts the production of ATP, which is the major carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical healing reactions in the cells. Long lasting pain relief occurs.
- Trigger points and acupuncture points.
Laser therapy stimulates muscle trigger points (knots) and acupuncture points on a non-invasive basis providing musculoskeletal pain relief.