Keeping your pet pain-free is crucial to maintaining his or her quality of life. Our veterinarians use a multi-modal approach to pain management that includes anti-inflammatories, opioid drugs, local anesthetics, general anesthetics, and even epidural anesthesia to effectively combat pain at all levels. Some of our veterinarians even offer alternative services such as acupuncture or chiropractics for additional pain relief options.
If your pet is dealing with acute pain, our goal is to prevent the nerves from perceiving and remembering this pain so that it does not become chronic pain. For this reason, pain-management protocols are a part of the treatment plan for all invasive procedures, such as surgeries. If your pet is already dealing with chronic pain, our veterinarians can create a customized pain management plan based on your pet's individual needs and medical issues.
What is therapeutic laser?
Therapeutic laser is the application of light energy to areas of the body to stimulate healing. This lightâ€"tissue interaction is called photobiomodulation. In the past, therapeutic laser was often referred to as â€ślow-levelâ€ť or â€ścoldâ€ť laser (as opposed to a surgical or â€śhotâ€ť laser).
The word â€ślaserâ€ť originated as an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser light is different from â€śnormalâ€ť light because it is of a single wavelength and it is focused (concentrated). The wavelength influences the biological effects of the therapeutic laser and is measured in nanometers (nm). The wavelength also determines the depth of penetration into the bodyâ€™s tissues. Most medical laser applications use light wavelengths ranging from visible red to infrared. The shorter, visible wavelengths penetrate tissue to a shallower depth, whereas longer, infrared wavelengths penetrate deeper into tissue.
What types of conditions benefit from therapeutic laser?
The most common applications for therapeutic laser include muscular sprain/strain and the resultant pain, osteoarthritis (laser treatment over joints and muscles that are painful), post-operative application around incisions, wounds (to stimulate and accelerate healing) and any situation in which the pet is experiencing musculoskeletal pain.
How does therapeutic laser work?
Photobiomodulation (the laserâ€"tissue interaction) creates many consequences in the bodyâ€™s cells, with the most significant being reduction of pain and enhancement of healing. For example, therapeutic laser reduces pain by decreasing inflammation, as well as by decreasing tissue chemicals that stimulate pain and by affecting nerve conduction. Therapeutic laser also enhances healing by increasing microcirculation (blood flow through the smaller blood vessels of the body), stimulating cellular activity, and increasing growth factors.