Our hospital uses a Class IV laser to provide therapy for many of our patients. Laser therapy is not new; the benefits of laser light on tissue were first recognized about 40 years ago. Advances in manufacturing and technology now make it possible for us to bring this treatment modality to our patients.
What can laser therapy treat?
The laser can be used to treat many types of injuries. Some of the conditions the laser can treat are: wounds, infections, muscle sprains or strains, arthritis, urinary tract infections, lick granulomas, feline acne, surgical incisions, periodontal disease, and inflammation. Laser therapy can be used as a complementary adjunct to other treatment plans. Laser therapy can provide a drug-free, non-invasive way to alleviate discomfort and speed up resolution of many conditions.
How does it work?
The laser system sends packets of light energy called photons into tissue. These photons are then absorbed into the energy center of individual cells (the mitochondira) and start a chemical change that inspires production of energy in the cell. This energy, in the form of ATP, is necessary for repair and rejuvenation. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation, while increasing circulation at the injury site.
Laser therapy does not just accelerate healing; it actually improves repair, regeneration and remodeling of tissue. This helps to decrease post-op complications and reduce muscle atrophy. The laser stimulates collagen production, which helps improve tendon and ligament strength and elasticity. The joint capsule, synovial lining/fluid, and cartilage all benefit from laser therapy. The patient’s range of motion, function, flexibility and mobility are therefore all enhanced.
What does a laser treatment involve?
The handpiece delivers laser light to each affected area; no sedation or clipping of hair is needed. The laser operator and others in close proximity to the laser handpiece wear eye protection. The eyes of the patient are covered or directed away from the laser treatment area. Patients feel a gentle, warming sensation, which often helps them to relax. Treatments can range from 2-6 minutes per site.
We individualize treatment plans according to the needs of each patient. You may see relief after the first treatment session as pain and inflammation are reduced. Laser therapy treatments are cumulative– each treatment builds on the progress of previous treatments.