Super Pulsed Low Level Laser is one excellent modality in my bag of tricks. Studies show a 2-3 x more efficient tissue penetration with super pulsed laser than continuous wave laser, whilst preventing tissue from being exposed to heat, making it a very safe yet effective method of using laser therapy as an adjunct to Osteopathic treatment.
So what does laser actually do? In a nutshell, LLLT reduced pain, reduced inflammation and increases microcirculation. It achieves this by stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms at a cellular level, and this increase in circulation and energy then triggers fresh healing. This means it can be useful in addressing:
- Soreness from poorly fitting tack.
- Injuries – acute and chronic.
- Joint degeneration.
- Musculoskeletal soreness due to injury, overuse or hard training.
- Shin splints.
- Splint bones.
- Tendon or ligament strain/swelling eg suspensories, flexor tendons.
- Recovery from exertion during training or competition.
- Healing injured tissues:
- Studies have shown improved speed and integrity of tissue healing.
In addition to standard laser treatments, it is possible to use this unit to apply laser to acupuncture points to help create a more systemic response to treatment. This is an area I will be particularly interested in developing having seen the excellent results ABM colleagues have been getting with this approach.
How much laser is needed? Research suggests that when used alone, for acute cases a loading dose of treatment every other day is beneficial. In conjunction with other modalities, this frequency is considered to be an no harm, however a lower frequency beginning around once a week, to fit in with the reality of accessing the animal sufficiently often, appears to be able to boost the healing powers of Osteopathic treatment. Frequency therefore is judged on an individual basis, taking into account the presentation (nature of injury, chronicity, stage of healing, aggravating factors etc.) and the progress seen with a combined modality approach.
Updated 24th January, 2019