Tag Archives: arnica

Cold Laser or Ultrasound?

I have written many articles on this blog about the wonders of cold laser, or low level laser, therapy. Recently, an equine client of mine pulled a muscle on an upper level cross country outing, and therapeutic ultrasound was added to the arsenal of healing technology used on him. His treatment also included cold laser therapy, body balancing, rest, ice, and arnica. He has made a complete recovery (in about 10 days) and is fit and ready to compete again.

Therapeutic ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves that provides heat that vibrates soft tissues deep within the traumatized area. The energy from these sound waves can penetrate as far as five centimeters, though the intensity of the waves (and thus effectiveness) decreases the further it penetrates. One chief benefit is that these waves cause microscopic air bubbles that seem to stimulate the parts of the cell membranes important in healing inflammation, thus helping alleviate both sore muscles and joint pain.

Ultrasound was first used in the 1940’s and is the longest standing form of electrotherapy to still be in regular use. It is still used extensively in physical therapy (physiotherapy, sports therapy, chiropractic and osteopathic) clinics to treat patients with soft tissue injuries.

It is most commonly used to treat superficial localised conditions such as muscle strains, tendon injuries,and bursitis. The treatment is applied via a treatment head using a gel to aid smooth movement and adherence to the skin. Ultrasound tends to be most effective on tissues with a higher collagen density (such as ligaments and tendons), than muscles and cartilage.

Cold laser therapy was first developed in 1967, but has only recently been used extensively in injury and pain management clinics. It is used to treat a range of conditions, for example tendon injuries, neuropathic pain ,and joint pain such as osteoarthritis.

Laser and LED beams stimulate the cells that repair tissues, reduce inflammation and pain. These effects are photochemical, not thermal.

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Why I Love the Product Traumeel

I was introduced to Traumeel by Lyn Simard, a horse trainer in Oregon. She had a massive, deep purple bruise on her leg. She rubbed on some Traumeel, and the next day when I saw her, the bruise was gone. That was 20 years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since. It is mostly comprised of Arnica, but contains other healing herbs as well.

I had an experience recently that reinforced my loyalty to this product. I was at the May Woodside Horse Trials with several clients. One is a chunky (about 900 lbs) pony and his then 10 year old, very light weight, rider. Let’s just say she weighs around 70 lbs. She was warming up on Thursday, the day before her dressage test, when her pony slipped and fell on top of her. In his struggle to get back up, he rolled over her three or four times, with his saddle on. He could not seem to get up off of her. Luckily, there was a firefighter right there at the arena, and he ran in, and helped the pony to his feet. I feared the worst for the rider and for the pony too. It appeared that miraculously they were both just bruised. The only blood  flowing came  from a torn cuticle! We slathered the little girls’ bruises with Traumeel. I went over the pony and found what I feared might be a torn muscle in his shoulder. It turned out to just be swelling from where the saddle had dug in as he rolled around.  We put Traumeel there too. The next day, they both were good to go. While it was not the best show for either one of them, they managed to finish on a number.

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