The Effect Of Laser Therapy For Vet


One look at the x-rays of my Border Collie’s phalanges make many people cringe and say “Ouch!” Those visible boney growths on his toes have been confirmed by biopsy as osteoarthritis. This disease is present in both of his front paws and his pain is evident after too much exercise. My friends with arthritis describe their pain as often being excruciating and so when Duncan shows pain, I can only imagine what he must be feeling. At 11?, Duncan – a.k.a. “Dutaro” – can still snag a ball like the San Francisco Giant’s second baseman and never wants the game to end. In an effort to keep him as pain-free as possible, and thus active, healthy and happy, I incorporated laser therapy into his treatment program. Playing ball is in his blood; by adding the effects of laser therapy, he’s able to stay off the disabled list.

The idea of laser (light) as a therapeutic method has been around for thousands of years – the Egyptians were known to use solar therapy. After observing that ultraviolet light killed bacteria, Niels Ryberg Finsen began employing UV rays to treat diseases in England in the 1890s, receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology/ Medicine in 1903.

In 1917 Albert Einstein theorized about the process of lasers through stimulated emissions of light; the term “laser” was first used in a scientific paper in 1959 (as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”). The first working lasers were developed in the early 1960s and laser therapy entered into its modern form in 1967 when Hungarian physician Endre Mester, considered the pioneer of laser medicine and credited as the discoverer of the positive biological effects of low-power laser, began his early science experiments. While applying lasers to the backs of mice whose fur had been shaved to see if laser irradiation caused cancer, Mester noticed that the shaved fur grew back faster on the treated group (who, by the way, did not get cancer) than on the untreated group. With other experiments he found that lasers could stimulate wound healing.

Laser therapy is akin to photosynthesis in plants in that the light delivered by the laser converts to energy that the body can use. It is not heat therapy, and therapeutic lasers are different than those lasers used for ablation, cutting, and thermally coagulating tissue.

A laser is an amplifier of light, emitted in the form of photons (discrete packets of electromagnetic energy). The absorption and penetration levels of each these photons is determined by its wavelength (light energy exhibits wave-like behavior as it travels through space.

The author’s 111/2-year-old Border Collie, Duncan, receives monthly laser treatments on his paws, elbows, shoulders, back, and ears.
and is measured in wavelengths, categorized by color and visibility). When the photons, in the form of light, come into contact with biological tissue, part of it is absorbed, part is reflected or scattered, and part is further transmitted.

The primary effects of laser therapy start with those photons that are absorbed, inducing activity at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Damaged or compromised cells and tissues have been shown to have a significantly higher response to laser therapy than normal healthy structures.

Biostimulatory effects

Laser therapy does three things: increases healing, decreases inflammation, and decreases pain. One way laser therapy accomplishes these objectives is by generating an increase in localized blood flow, which normalizes and heals damaged cells. In the body, blood transports oxygen and nutrients to cells and carries waste products away; laser therapy increases this process, resulting in more oxygen being delivered to cells to be converted into cellular energy.

Perhaps the most essential action of laser therapy is the photochemical stimulation caused by the administration of infrared light in the 800-1000 nanometers (nm) range, which interacts with cytochrome C, located in the mitochondria (the cellular power plants) of cells, catalyzing several reactions. This interaction results in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a coenzyme that stores and transports energy for various metabolic process; nitric oxide Emotion: no, a cellular signaling molecule involved in many physiological and pathological processes; and reactive oxygen species (ROS ), chemically reactive molecules involved in cell signaling and homeostasis.

Protein synthesis can follow, triggering further effects such as increased oxygenation, increased cell generation and migration and regulation of the levels of growth factors, cytokines (molecules of protein, peptides, and glycoproteins that provide communication between cells) and inflammatory mediators, all of which stimulate cellular metabolism and the healing response.

Other effects have been documented, particularly as they relate to decreasing pain: increased endorphin and serotonin production, normalization of nerve cell action potentials, blocking of nerve cells and decreased bradykinin (peptides that causes blood vessels to dilate) production. Angiogenesis (the process of forming new blood vessels) and neurogenesis (the process of generating neurons) are also confirmed effects. Simply put, laser therapy means more energy is available for cells to conduct their processes.

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