Tag Archives: pain relief

Cold Laser for Equines

Cold Laser Therapy is extremely safe and has been approved by the FDA. It has been around for over 30 years with no reports of injury. Studies (over 4000 studies to date) have shown conclusively that cold laser or low level light therapy restores balance, energy, and oxygen to sicks cells without damaging or effecting healthy cells. This restoration in the body results in acceleration in healing and cell regeneration.

When Can a Cold Laser be Used?

In contrast to other therapies, cold laser therapy can be started at any time during the healing process. It is important to remember that the earlier cold laser therapy is a part of the rehabilitation and healing process, the better and more rapidly the benefits will occur.

What are the Benefits?

Cold laser therapy has been shown to offer a non-intrusive option to acupuncture and surgery, by supporting the natural healing process of the body. Therapeutic application to the body have shown results in a variety of ways:

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Ligament sprains
  • Muscle strain
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Reduce swelling
  • Control inflammation
  • Myofascial pain
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Tendon/ligament injury
  • Bone healing
  • Sports injuries
  • Back pain
  • Lameness
  • Joint problems
  • Speed healing
  • Burns
  • Arthritis pain and inflammation

Hint: There are three stages of healing: inflammation, tissue repair and remodeling

Cold laser therapy has been shown to outperform ultrasound treatments and electrical stimulation therapy in enhancing the healing process. Overall studies have proven that cold laser therapy is the best treatment for reducing injury damage while increasing the strength of the tissue repaired during the course of treatment. If acceleration the healing process is the ultimate goal of the rehabilitation process, cold laser therapy will return the horse to full function quicker and with less discomfort.

Family Pet

Cold laser therapy can benefit the family dog as well. Some studies have been done on cats, and show beneficial results. Application of cold laser therapy on dogs have shown results in:

  • Superficial ear cuts
  • Arthritis
  • Hip and knee pain
  • Hard to heal wounds

Professionals and Equipment Used: Cold Laser Therapy is making its way into physical therapy and rehabilitation center programs. Although the actual treatment is simple, it is helpful to have a working knowledge of anatomy, muscle structures and acupuncture points.  Once you locate an experienced professional who works well with your horse or family pet, you’ll find that cold laser therapy is a valuable tool when dealing with a wide variety of injuries.

DMSO and Its Healing Properties

DMSO : fights inflammation, pain, acts as an agent for other topicals, softens scar tissue, and much more.

Despite decades of research and thousands of studies attesting to its health-promoting properties, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) remains virtually unknown to the medical establishment and the public. For more than 40 years, Dr. Stanley Jacob has been battling the establishment over DMSO.  Dr. Jacob reveals new data showing the potential of DMSO in treating brain trauma injuries that afflict more than 50,000 Americans each year. I met Dr. Jacob years ago when our children attended the same middle school in Portland, Or. I’ve been using DMSO ever since, mostly for bruises and aches and pains, but there are many other applications.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic compound that holds promise in managing a wide range of debilitating health conditions. DMSO is an approved pharmacological agent in more than 125 countries, and its safety and therapeutic effects are backed by nearly 50 years of research and more than 10,000 scientific articles on its biological implications.

Unfortunately, the vast health-promoting potential of DMSO has gone unfulfilled in America, suppressed by a combination of bureaucratic ineptitude and pharmaceutical industry lobbying. In the United States today, DMSO is approved to treat only one medical condition: interstitial cystitis, or chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. Recent findings on DMSO’s ability to help manage the effects of head injury have renewed interest in the many potential therapeutic applications of this versatile compound.

According to Dr. Jacob, “DMSO is a potent free-radical scavenger and diuretic that reduces swelling and improves blood supply to the brain. This improves blood oxygenation to brain tissue. Injured brain cells often aren’t dead. When these cells get increased blood supply and more oxygen, and when the free radicals are scavenged, dying cells can recover, and brain swelling is reduced very rapidly.”

Dr. Jacob notes that in studies conducted from 1978 to 1982, “we observed that when the human brain was treated with intravenously administered DMSO after a head injury, the swelling could be reduced within five minutes. No other treatment comes close to acting that quickly. In patients given other commonly used therapeutic agents such as intravenous barbiturates, the brain continued to swell. We’ve known about DMSO’s efficacy for this type of injury for a long time.”

Astonishingly, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any new pharmacological agent of significance for the treatment of traumatic brain injury in more than three decades. With so much attention focused on the plight of severely injured soldiers returning home from war, Dr. Jacob is leading the charge to gain FDA approval of DMSO to treat this type of injury. He believes that DMSO would be more effective than some current therapies such as removing parts of the brain to reduce swelling.

“In my opinion, DMSO has the potential to be the pharmacologic treatment of choice for traumatic brain injuries from combat,” says Dr. Jacob. “There’s nothing that comes close to it in efficacy.”

DMSO has a long list of primary pharmacological actions, including fighting inflammation, relieving pain, improving blood supply, scavenging free radicals, softening scar tissue, and effects that may benefit autoimmune conditions.

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Is Your Horse in Pain?

Pain is part of the life of all great athletes. Rudolf Nureyev (the great ballet dancer) describes it here:

“Two hours after a performance, when the body cools down, that’s when the torture begins. It hurts every time. You go to bed with pain. When you wake up, you must measure your steps because if you walk too fast, you may rupture something. Hot baths, massage revive you.

You always know what will happen next. Pain becomes familiar. You do some steps the day after a performance and your body is reacquainted with pain. It is always there. You are never 100 per cent. So you have to learn to dance with missing parts.”

Do you think your horse might be feeling the same way? The goals of sports massage are to achieve pain free movement, avoid injury, and extend the athletic life. I find it interesting that Nureyev says the pain starts two hours after the performance. When I am at horse shows, I always try to check my equine clients about 90 minutes after the end of their show time. It is when spasms start to form and often I can prevent them from taking hold with sports massage and stress point therapy.

Why Rest is Not Always Best

Rest is important and necessary after an injury. After that it is counterproductive: it allows muscle spasms to become permanent. The longer a spasm is allowed to persist, the longer this occurs: fluid is drawn to the area that is in spasm, which is the body’s way of protecting and healing an injury. That fluid is sticky and after a period of time, the muscle fibers become “glued” together. The only way to un-stick the muscle fibers is with manual manipulation and then exercise. With cross fiber friction, a massage technique, the muscle fibers that are stuck together can be released. I always have animals walk after their bodywork to maintain the loose, easy motion that was achieved during the session. An increase in range of motion, and a decrease in pain should be seen immediately.

What is Cold Laser Therapy?

What is Cold Laser Therapy?
The word LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers DO NOT emit X-rays nor do they produce the damage of x-rays. The cold laser is also called soft laser to differentiate from hard lasers that are used in surgical procedures. The cold laser is a light or photon energy with the unique property of being able to penetrate two inches or more below the skin surface causing an increase in cellular metabolism without tissue damage. The cold laser produces healing benefits to treated tissue, without causing or producing heat. Cold laser therapy does not damage cells, but aides in the stimulation of cellular function aiding in healing. Cold laser therapy is safe and has been approved by the FDA.

What are the benefits?
Therapeutic applications which have shown promising results based on studies include:

Acupuncture Points
Back Pain
Enhances Lymphatic Drainage
Releases Tight Muscles
Soft tissue injuries, including sprains and strains, tendonitis and hematomas
Chronic Pain
Nerve Regeneration
Neuropathy Musculoskeletal Pain
Myofascial Pain
Sports Injuries
Wound Healing (Speeds Healing)
Pain relief as a result of increased endorphin release
Suppression of nociceptor action (pain suppression)
Strengthening the immune system response
Application For Horses

Veterinarians and Equine Practitioners have and continue to utilize low level laser therapy for:

Pain Relief
To Reduce Swelling
Control Inflammation
And Speed Healing

And to treat conditions such as:

Acute Tissue Damage
Arthritis Pain and Inflammation
Back Pain/Lameness
Bone Healing
Joint Problems (Fetlock, Knee (carpus), Elbow, Hock, Stifle)
Nerve Damage
Tendon/Ligament Injury
Family Pets

Cold Laser therapy can benefit the family dog as well. Some studies have been done on cats, and show beneficial results.
Application For Dogs
Veterinarians and Canine Practitioners have and continue to utilize low level laser therapy for:

Superficial ear cuts
Hip And Knee Pain
Hard To Heal Wounds

In my practice, I look at the whole animal. Every part of the body inter-connects with each other. One cannot treat just one part, the whole animal is treated. When doing a treatment, after the initial evaluation, the whole body is worked, making note of any area that is in need of extra attention. The cold laser is added to the treatment program to enhance the benefits of the body work, going deeper than merely my hands can obtain. The cold laser aids in taking a long treatment program and cutting the recovery time in half, benefiting the owner and the horse.

There are several cases on the race track where the cold laser has assisted in horses returning to their training schedule in a matter of weeks instead of months as before treatments were administered. I have read some studies recently of how the cold laser is being used as a form of warming the muscles before a race and used afterwards to aide in recovery after a hard work-out.
Every case is as different as the individual animal being worked on. Each animal responds differently to therapies or a combination of therapies. Every client is treated as a separate case, treating the horse or dog as a whole, based on the findings of the evaluation and any information the responds differently to therapies or a combination of therapies.

Cold Laser Heals Fractures

I have been reading some very boring and clinical studies, but the exciting news is that cold lasers accelerate bone healing in both animals and humans. The consensus is that fractures treated with cold laser heal 2x the rate of those left to heal without laser therapy. Pain and swelling also improved.

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