When you hear the word “laser,” you normally think of the amazingly concentrated beam of light that can transmit messages over great distances or even cut through steel plate. But physicians, physical therapists, and other medical professionals in clinics across the country are using something called therapy laser on patients every day to relieve pain and promote healing.
Cascade Hospital for Animals has made this remarkable technology available to its four-legged patients as a way to accelerate tissue repair, alleviate pain, and reduce swelling and inflammation from arthritis, tendonitis, and sprains.
Therapy laser, also known as low-level laser therapy, uses light in the infrared spectrum to send soothing warmth deep into tissues without creating the sensation of heat on the skin like other techniques like heat lamps or heating pads.
“Our patients just love the therapy laser,” LVT and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant Emily Harkness says. “Depending on what we want to accomplish, there can be significant improvements in the way they move and feel after their treatment sessions.”
Hospital technicians apply a wand to the treatment site, while the patient rests on a cushy pad, without the need for sedation or clipping hair from the area. Time varies depending on treatment sites. Owners can be present during the treatment if they wear the same safety glass as the technician and patient.
LiteCure Co., a Newark, Del. manufacturer and seller of cold laser equipment for animal and human patients, explains that the near infrared light stimulates cellular metabolism to accelerate the healing process. The company has an in-depth explanation of the process at the cellular level in this video: Companion Laser Therapy.
“We’ve invested in a second therapy laser device after we saw the benefits of the treatment,” our Rehabilitation Director Dr. Gregory Paplawsky says. “It’s such a gentle treatment, especially for some of our older patients that can use some pain relief or aren’t healing as fast as they did when they were pups or kittens. It is a great way to decrease inflammation without adding additional medications too.”