Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Laser light is monochromatic, coherent, and collimated to allow for very directed photobiostimulation of the patient. Both Class III and IV laser are used for veterinary therapy. For horses, Class IV lasers are best because they have a higher depth of penetration for their large joints and muscle mass.
Laser therapy has broad reaching effects. Its photons (packages of light) stimulate mitochondria (cellular power houses) via chromophores which are light sensitive cells. This stimulation increases cell energy production to normalize cell function, provide pain relief, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Laser provides pain relief by beta endorphin release, stabilizing irritated nerve cell potentials, reducing of Substance P, trigger point release, and acupuncture point stimulation. Inflammation reduction occurs from improved tissue circulation, increased lymphatic flow, and reduction of prostaglandins. Tissue healing is promoted by increased cell energy production (ATP), increased cell synthesis (mitosis), increased tissue regeneration and scar tissue remodeling.
Laser can be used in a global fashion to improve joint and soft tissue pain relief, reduction of inflammation, and cellular healing. Laser can be directed with a very focal beam to stimulation acupuncture points. Laser acupuncture stimulation is painless for needle sensitive animals. It is also helpful in area that are difficult to needle or retain needles in animals. See Acupuncture Rx for the far reaching benefits of acupuncture is animals.
Conditions that benefit from laser therapy include: arthritis, disc disease, soft tissue injury, scar tissue reduction, lick granulomas, anal gland fistulas, anal sacculitis, recurrent bladder infections, large wounds, and certain inflammatory pulmonary diseases. Contraindications to laser include: reproductive organs, hemorrhaging, abdominal stimulation of pregnant animals, cancers, recently injected joints/tissue, and use of photosensitive medications.