"Horses lend us the wings we lack."-Anonymous
What is Low-Level Laser Therapy?
Low-Level Laser Therapy is also known as cold laser therapy.
Cold laser therapy involves exposing cells or tissues to low-level infrared and near-infrared light,(1) typically red or near-infrared, with wavelengths between 600 and 1100 nm. Unlike other light therapies, cold lasers do not produce heat in the tissues, making them safe for use.
Research has indicated that laser wavelengths between 650 nm and 900 nm are the most effective.
Lasers can be categorized into three groups:
Red Light (wavelengths between 600-660 nm)- Red light is suitable for superficial issues, such as skin problems and the stimulation of acupoints.
Near Infrared (wavelengths between 800-860 nm) - Near-infrared lasers are the most popular commercial laser wavelength ideal for deep penetration, cellular stimulation, and ATP production; they can penetrate muscles and other tissues deeper down. (2)
Super Pulsed Lasers (wavelengths at 905 nm) - Super-pulsed lasers are suitable for commercial and home therapeutic use, and they interact with the iron in the hemoglobin to increase oxygen in the area.
Lasers with 980 nm are used in surgical settings to heat the water in tissues and relax them.
Laser penetration varies depending on the Laser's wavelength, power, and classification. The average Laser can penetrate about 5-7cm, with most absorption happening in the first few millimeters. The longer the wavelengths, the deeper the Laser will go.
Laser classification is classified into four different categories. Let's focus on Class 3B (lasers from 5-500mW) and Class 4 (lasers with more than 500mW).
Lasers with more than 500mW can cause damage to the eyes.
In addition, lasers can emit a continuous input or pulse. Different conditions may require other inputs.
How does Cold Laser work and assist in the healing process?
Cold laser therapy is a therapy that provides low-level light energy to the body's tissues. The light energy penetrates the skin and interacts with the cells, stimulating the production of ATP, which is the energy source for all cellular activity. This therapy has been proven to help boost ATP adenosine triphosphate, essential for cellular activity. Additionally, cold lasers prompt your cells to increase their collagen and elastin production, resulting in faster growth of healthy new tissue. This growth raises the number of blood vessels in the area, promoting better circulation and delivering oxygen and nutrients to the ministered area. (2)
When and where should you should not use Cold Laser Therapy
It is essential to be cautious when using Cold Laser therapy on humans or animals, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. After the first trimester, the abdominal area should be avoided to ensure the safety of the mother and child.
In addition, avoiding the thyroid area during laser therapy is recommended because studies show that lasers have caused thyroid dysfunction in rats. Since laser therapy promotes cell growth, it could potentially accelerate the growth of a tumor and is therefore not recommended for use directly over cancerous growths.
Moreover, it is essential to avoid using lasers near the eye area, especially class 3B or above, as they can cause severe damage. Proper protective measures should be taken to ensure the safety of the individual receiving the laser therapy. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor or Vet to see if Cold Laser benefits you and your animals.
It is strongly advised to avoid using this therapy on such areas, as it may cause further harm and complications. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a qualified medical professional before undergoing any kind of laser therapy. (4)
How I like to utilize Cold Low-Level Laser in my practice
In my approach, I like to utilize Cold Low-Level Laser therapy as a complementary therapy for various conditions. It is particularly effective in helping when I am looking for something easily portable to help with musculoskeletal conditions, tendonitis, strains/sprains, and surface-level skin conditions such as wounds and dermatitis. I also use it to help promote wound healing and reduce inflammation and pain in animals.
It is perfect to help stimulate Acupressure points for those animals that are adverse to needles.
Cold Laser is not the only answer; I like to use it in conjunction with the other modalities I offer, such as massage and Pulse PEMF Therapy.
As an expert in PEMF therapy for horses, people, and pets, Equine Sports Massage, Myo-Manipulative Functional Therapy, and Balanced Through Movement Method, I am confident I can provide exceptional service to all my clients. I am certified in Kinesiology Taping, Cold Laser, Acupressure, and Animal Neuro-Myofascial Release Technique, which enables me to offer a wide range of services. I am dedicated to continuously improving my skills and knowledge to ensure the best possible care for horses. I take great pride in my work and am committed to being a reliable and trusted resource for all my clients.
- Chung, H., Dai, T., Sharma, S. K., Huang, Y., Carroll, J. D., & Hamblin, M. R. (2012). The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 40(2), 516. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-011-0454-7
2. Effective Integrative Healthcare. (2022, March 16). What does cold laser therapy treat? by EIH. Effective Integrative Healthcare LLC. https://www.eihmd.com/2022/03/16/what-does-cold-laser-therapy-treat/
3. Holistic Animal Studies. (n.d.). Cold Laser Therapy. Holistic Animal Studies by Angel's Animals LLC. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://holistic-animal-studies-by-angels-animals-llc.thinkific.com/courses/take/animal-cold-laser-prepay/pdfs/13978109-how-does-cold-laser-therapy-work
4. Kara C, Selamet H, Gökmenoğlu C, Kara N. Low level laser therapy induces increased viability and proliferation in isolated cancer cells. Cell Prolif. 2018 Apr;51(2):e12417. doi: 10.1111/cpr.12417. Epub 2017 Nov 20. PMID: 29160001; PMCID: PMC6528928.