What is Cold Laser Therapy?
Lasers emit light as energy. A “cold” laser emits light in wavelengths that do not cause the tissues to heat up as the energy is absorbed by the body’s cells. Much of the safety and effectiveness of cold laser therapy lies in its ability to trigger the body to heal itself. Penetrating into targeted tissues, laser light stimulates target cells to produce ATP, which fuels cell repair and regeneration. The laser simply put “jumpstarts” the healing process. The laser operates within a specific wavelength range that is non-thermal, so there is no risk of tissue damage or other complications. The MLS laser synchronizes two wavelengths of light, 808nm and 905nm. The 808nm wavelength provides anti-inflammatory and anti-edema effects via a continuous wave delivery. The 905nm wavelength provides analgesic effects, with some of the same effects of the 808 wavelength and is delivered using pulsed mode laser energy.
Cold laser therapy decreases pain both by blocking nerve signals and increasing endorphins and encephalins which are the body’s natural pain killers. It also decreases inflammation, accelerates tissue repair and cell growth, improves blood flow and reduces fibrous or scar tissue formation. Laser therapy can relax tight muscles or trigger points, improve nerve function and affects the immune system by stimulating immunoglobines and lymphocytes.
We have a class IV Cutting Edge MLS cold laser and have been using it for 3 ½ years with amazing success. However, all cold lasers are not created equal! We did extensive research before purchasing this laser and as a result we are able to successfully treat many conditions that inferior lasers simply cannot help. The results speak for themselves.
When can Cold Laser Therapy be used?
We routinely use it post op on all surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, wound repairs and dental cleanings. It is also very helpful for infections such as ear infections, wounds, abscesses and anal gland issues. We have also used it intraoperatively during abdominal surgeries to accelerate intestinal or bladder healing. We can use it on acute soft tissue injuries or on chronic conditions.
*Where the laser really shines is treating arthritis and back or neck pain in both dogs and cats.
We are often able to decrease medications such as NSAIDs and pain medications. Patients often feel the effects as we are doing the treatment so it can even help pets who really don’t want to be at the vet or are very sensitive if touched in painful areas. If we think it will benefit your pet, cold laser therapy is included for no charge in all acupuncture appointments. We have found that our acupuncture treatments last longer when we do cold laser therapy too. It is an inexpensive and safe therapy to help your pet have a better quality of life.
What to expect during a treatment
Cold laser appointments are 10-30 minutes long. The actual treatment time with the laser is from 2-10 minutes at the most. The rest of the time is spent getting a good history and examining your pet so we don’t miss any areas that need treatment. An acute injury may only require one or two treatments. For chronic issues, especially arthritis, we recommend twice weekly appointments for 2 or 3 weeks or until we see significant improvement. During this time we will be fine tuning the treatment protocol so it is important you give us as much feed back as possible. Once we see positive results we will lengthen the interval between treatments while still maintaining what we have gained. We often see results after 2 or 3 treatments even for chronic or complicated conditions.