There is a whole new area of pain relief being offered in the form of cold laser therapy. The uses for this non-invasive therapy are rapidly growing: the laser can be successfully used for treatment of musculoskeletal pain, neck pain, back pain, extremity pain, post surgical pain. Literally in one minute you can have pain relief, reduced inflammation and muscle spasms while accelerating recovery.
The cold laser, or low level laser, utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue. Non-thermal photons of light that are emitted from the laser pass through the skin layers (the dermis, epidermis, and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin). This light has the ability to penetrate 2 to 5 centimeters below the skin.
There are no unsafe side effects to the cold laser. It can be used on humans and animals easily.
Do you know where the most common sites of damage to a horses’ back are? The answer is:
The withers and the lumbar areas. In other words, right in front of the saddle and right in back of the saddle.
Here is the typical scenario: your horse has acute back pain, so you give him some time off. The horse recovers from the pain. During the time off, if it is more than a week or so, the muscles of the back start to atrophy. You put the saddle back on to put the horse back to work. The fit, which was probably questionable to start with, is now worse. And the cycle of pain is again triggered.
Having regular body work done on your horse can help prevent the sad story above. Stress points and trigger points can often appear (and be taken care of) under my finger tips before obvious pain shows up in riding. Back muscles can be stiff and tight long before the horse starts to complain with refusals, bucking, or choppy movement. Massage and chiropractic treatments are as important to your horses’ well-being as good nutrition, training, and shoeing.