Tag Archives: nerve

Cold Laser for All Animals and People

Cold laser therapy offers a wide range of options for tissue therapy, wound healing, pain management, and improved circulation. Cold laser therapy is a game changer for many pets suffering from painful injuries. This technology allows us to successfully treat many injuries including tissue damage, inflammation, wounds, and even scars with minimal invasion.

The technology has been used in Europe since 1970 to promote healing, but has only been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. since 2002. It is only recently, though, that U.S. veterinarians have begun using it to treat many different conditions that affect pets today, such as fractures, ligament and tendon injuries, post-surgical incisions, arthritis, nerve injuries, sprains, muscle strains, abrasions, lesions, and more.

Cold laser therapy is non-invasive and makes use of light in order to stimulate activity or regeneration in cells in addition to increasing blood circulation. Unlike hot laser treatments that target tissue deep beneath the skin’s surface, cold laser therapy treats injuries or damage on or near the surface – without the risk of cutting or burning from the lasers. Most conditions require between three and eight treatments, though I have seen great improvement after the first laser session. Most animals enjoy their seession: many fall asleep or thoroughly relax. th

 

Benefits of Low Level Laser Therapy

Clinical and experimental studies have provided evidence that lasers can increase nerve function, reduce the formation of wounds, increase the metabolic activity of neurons, and enhance myelin production (Bagis et al., 2002). The non-invasive nature of laser photo therapy enables treatment without surgical intervention. Low level laser therapy began to be used in the regeneration and functional recuperation process of peripheral nerves in the 1970s. 

Many doctors dismiss cold laser therapy as quackery, which is one of the reasons I have used it so much on myself, family, and friends before I used it on animals that can’t give me verbal feedback. One friend said it did little for her carpal tunnel pain, and went ahead and had surgery. Everyone else reported moderate to complete relief.  On myself, it sometimes takes 7-10 sessions for pain to be gone from an injury that has caused chronic pain.

Low Level laser therapy has been used for at least 30 years for pain reduction and tissue repair. There is strong evidence it works and new research is constantly being conducted to refine it. 

It works by blocking pain fibers and slowing the transmission of pain messages. This pain blockade allows for a reduction in inflammation and for tissue regeneration. 

In one way, LLLT acts like a local anesthetic and reduces pain signals going to the brain. After several treatments the nerves in the affected area become less irritable and pain lessens, allowing muscles to relax and healing to take place.

While some conditions are curable, some need ongoing maintenance and people need to return for a treatment every three months. While not everyone responds to the cold laser,  it is used to treat a variety of conditions including neck and back pain, acute and chronic pain, migraine, wounds, arthritic pain, fibromyalgia and lymphedema.

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Is Laser Therapy Right for Me or My Animal?

Cold Laser Therapy, which is also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is used to improve tissue repair, reduce inflammation and pain.

The treatment has been proven to help relieve pain in areas like the neck and also in rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Cold laser has many other uses, including helping wounds heal and treating muscle, tendon, bone or nerve damage.

Because the light beam triggers the repair of damaged cells in its path, without the need for the therapist to identify the exact problem, it can lead to a reduction or resolution of hundreds of different illnesses or conditions.

In horses, laser therapy has proven useful and effective in treating hoof abscesses, bone chips, navicular problems, and laminitis.

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Should You, Or Your Animal, Get Laser Therapy?

Low-Level Laser (also known as Cold Laser) Therapy uses light to enhance the body’s natural healing processes. The light source is placed on the skin, allowing the light energy (photons) to penetrate tissue where it interacts to increase circulation and help restore normal cellular function. LLLT does not break the skin, as do surgical lasers.

The FDA approved LLLT (also known as cold laser) as an effective method for pain relief. One FDA study showed that LLLT caused tissues (muscle, skin, nerve) to heal 66 percent faster!

For inflammation, laser therapy causes the smaller arteries and lymph vessels of the body to increase in size, which is called vasodilation. Vasodilation allows inflammation, swelling, and edema to be cleared away from injury sites more effectively. Vasodilation in lymph nodes promotes lymphatic drainage, which also aids in the healing process.

The laser  is also used to help heal wounds and to treat many types of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders such as  sprains/strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia.

I have a client who had terrible pain in her heels and walked around on her tiptoes. I did 5-10 cold laser sessions on her feet and she has been pain free (and hiking several times a week) for about 18 months. In her case, it took several sessions for the pain to begin to diminish. The benefits of cold laser therapy appear to be cumulative – in some cases, relief can begin immediately, but it may take several treatments for the results to become evident. The total number of treatments needed depends on the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, and each patient’s individual response. In general, 4-12 treatments are usually necessary to begin the healing process of tissue.

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Since the Dawn of Time

The body is a complex network of muscle, soft tissue, and nerves that communicate with each other. Creating positive change in the external surface of the body has long been used to positively influence the internal organs. A disruption, injury, or imbalance in the soft tissue can lead to imbalance in other parts of the body.

Every body experiences injury to the muscles, bones, and fascia (connective tissue) during a lifetime. In severe cases, medication may be necessary to treat extreme pain, but in many cases, the body can be stimulated to heal itself. Body work can improve circulation and lymph flow, allowing the tissues to recover from injury. Massage helps immune cells fight inflammation and infection. Decreasing stress through massage can improve health in many ways.

There is no one system of massage or body work that I automatically use on every animal. Healing has to occur on many levels, including diet and nutrition, cold laser therapy, acupressure, myofascial release, and different types of massage. It is my challenge and inspiration to explore each individual and it’s needs.

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Why Laser Therapy?

Cold laser technology is becoming generally accepted, and health practitioners are using it on a daily basis. Cold lasers are now being used to heal a wide range of nerve, muscle,and joint conditions for animals and humans. Painful arthritis in a joint, or tendonitis can be treated in a non-invasive way with low level laser therapy.

More than 56 million human patients suffer from acute and chronic pain in the U.S. In the not too distant past, this situation was managed with toxic drugs. Cold laser is the only technology proven to eliminate pain, reduce inflammation and accelerate tissue healing through three independent cellular pathways.

Cold laser use has been proven extremely safe and effective (> 90% efficacy) in blinded, randomized, controlled clinical studies.

Animals tolerate cold laser therapy very well. There is no need for sedation. It is fairly quick, and owners can be present. It is also very useful for post-surgery healing, reducing the inflammation in an incision before the patient even wakes up.

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