Archive for Laser

New Video for Veterinary Offices

January 17, 2017

You cannot feel or see most low-level laser therapy so that makes it a bit difficult to explain the effect.  We created this customer-friendly video to help introduce laser therapy and its  positive effects on healing and the reduction of pain and inflammation.  Watch the video here!

 

 

The Most Versatile Tool in the Veterinarian’s Toolbox…Laser Therapy

June 1, 2016

As much as we all might wish for it, there is no panacea in veterinary medicine, no cure-all for the myriad of conditions veterinarians and therapists are treating daily. There is one device however that is more versatile than almost any of the other tools in the veterinary toolbox: a laser therapy system.

Laser therapy was primarily used for treating equine conditions when it first hit the market back in the 1980s, and was mostly used by therapists. Even though studies have been conducted on the mechanisms and efficacy of laser therapy dating back prior to the 1970s, it has been a very slow process of adoption for a multitude of reasons. A few of the most important reasons are, 1) the inability to feel or see the treatment working, 2) optimal results occur over a series of treatments ; not from a single dose, and 3) the introduction of laser therapy occurred when pharmaceuticals were also experiencing a growth surge due in part to the emergence of the biotech industry and the entry of generic drugs to the market.

Laser therapy persisted throughout this time period; therapists continued using their lasers to decrease pain and inflammation, and to accelerate the healing of soft tissue. By the mid-1990’s, laser therapy starting gaining the attention of veterinarians as advances in veterinary health care and nutrition were extending the lives of companion animals , just as it was doing for their owners. Pets living longer were experiencing similar aches and pains from aging that people do; arthritis, degenerative conditions, injuries due to weakened muscles.  Veterinarians looked for means to increase quality of life for these animals as they moved into their golden years, and laser therapy provided a welcome solution.

“My practice population has changed during the last 10 years, with more clients seeking options to manage a variety of concurrent conditions that range from orthopedic disease to internal organ disease in their companions,” states Dr. Cheryl Cross who owns a veterinarian practice in Knoxville, TN. “More often than not, I see patients with conditions for which there is no easy fast cure or quick fix – they need a variety of tools to allow increased comfort and life quality.”

During the early 2000’s, laser therapy systems burst onto the scene in small animal veterinary practices. What started with rehabilitation specialists adding laser therapy to their services, evolved into vet laser therapy being used in all aspects of veterinary practice. Laser light at specific wavelengths is well documented for reducing pain and inflammation and for accelerating the healing process.  Treating soft tissue injuries like tendon and ligament tears, arthritis, degenerative joint disease and hip dysplasia are also common uses for the busy laser. Now, many additional case studies and research projects are released detailing the effectiveness of laser therapy for common but difficult to treat problems such as wounds, lick granulomas and ulcers. Skin conditions like dermatitis and allergies represent another growing area showing positive benefits of laser, keeping interest in laser therapy high among the veterinary community.

“I can easily add in some red laser inside the ear canal if there is a new mild otitis, or in my older patients we can laser the tops of the paws if they have been knuckling or dragging a little,” says Dr. Cross, who treats a wide variety off four-legged clients from young athletes and working dogs to geriatric cats and dogs. “For the most chronic conditions for which management is best served via multimodal routes – laser therapy provides the piece that is actually quick to apply, easy to administer, easy on the patient, and very comfortable for the client as well.”

Now laser therapy is a go-to for post-surgical treatments, and follow up for long lasting relief. The faster an animal can return to normal function post-surgery, the likelihood of success of the surgery increases, and post-surgical complications decrease.  In many cases, animals that might not be candidates for surgery or for the use of anti-inflammatory or steroidal pharmaceuticals can be treated successfully with laser therapy.

“With one piece of equipment I can treat from nose to tail and the more I understand parameters and am inspired by Margaret Naeser and other pioneers of laser therapy – the more I am trying new applications and being very pleased that, if nothing else, I can offer an option,” Dr. Cross adds.  “Often clients have no other options to try. In my experience, however, it’s more than just offering – my patients are improving.”

Promising research continues to be conducted as it relates to laser therapy and its multitude of potential uses in the future, including the treatment of chronic renal disease, combating bacterial and fungal infections, boosting cellular protection from poisons such as snake venom and more.  The future is bright for laser therapy!  Although it is not a panacea that will cure all ills, it gets pretty close!  By treating an incredible array of conditions, laser therapy will continue to grow in application and deliver positive benefits for the clients of vets and therapists in clinics all over the world.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

May 9, 2016

Image courtesy of Therapy4Horses.

Ben Franklin’s words of wisdom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is just as true today as it was 300 years ago when he said it.  Although Franklin was most likely referring to the human species when he voiced those wise words, the same can easily be applied to the equine species as well.

Humans and horses have forged a powerful bond dating back thousands of years. From use in the Greek military over 2,000 years ago to the ranches of the burgeoning American Wild West, horses have fulfilled a crucial role in the history of man. Their bodies have evolved to master speed, endurance and strength and today, many of those qualities are exhibited in sport.

Their bodies may be built to run, jump, and support a rider, but training can put incredible stress on the body of a horse.  Common conditions such as suspensory and other ligament and soft tissue injuries are occurring at incredible rates. Kissing spine, SI pain, tying up, navicular and other conditions are common among horses across all sport disciplines.

While all injuries are not preventable, many can be with carefully executed training and conditioning programs. A key team comprised of a trainer, veterinarian, therapist and chiropractor is the first component in prevention. The expertise of this team in conjunction with a rider and owner who are in tune to the body and needs of the horse can make for a very successful injury prevention strategy.

Right on level with the importance of nutrition are laser and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy systems. Both systems use FDA approved, non-pharmaceutical mechanisms to reduce inflammation and pain and accelerate healing by using a specific wavelength of light or pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate the body’s own healing and immune process.

PEMF blankets and wraps are a crucial component of the conditioning regime of top equine athletes around the world. Used prior to competition to warm-up the joints and muscles to prevent injury, or after competition to remove lactic acid, reduce soft tissue inflammation and ease the tension in muscles and joints, these systems are a must-have for overall conditioning and treating injuries.

Laser therapy uses scientifically proven wavelengths of light to jumpstart the body’s cells to churn out ATP, the energy molecule crucial for all cellular function, to help reduce pain, decrease inflammation and accelerate healing. From healing wounds to soft-tissue injuries, laser therapy can target specific areas of the horse’s body to treat a specific injury or strengthen a weak area prior to competition to help prevent further injury.

Peak condition is required for elite performance and that is where RSI Equine, a division of Respond Systems Inc., plays an integral role. Backed by 30 years of experience manufacturing laser and pulsed magnetic field therapy in the USA, RSI Equine’s products have become a critical component for conditioning and have become a therapy of choice for healing injuries.

Visit RSIequine.com for more information on how to not only prevent injury, but to also treat conditions and injuries quickly, safely and effectively to get your horse back into peak condition.