Therapeutic Laser Therapy
What is therapeutic laser therapy?
Therapeutic laser therapy, also known as low level laser therapy or “cold” laser, delivers focussed light waves of specific wavelengths to tissues. The energy from the laser induces a biological response within the cells called photobiomodulation, meaning cellular and tissue function are altered.
Why is therapeutic laser therapy useful?
Effects can include increased blood flow, relaxation of muscles and decreased inflammation. This is thought to help reduce pain, reduce inflammation and increase healing speed. There are few studies measuring the effect of laser therapy in animals, however we know that therapeutic laser treatment can be beneficial in human patients.
Laser therapy can be used to manage a range of painful conditions from arthritis to wound infections. It is generally used alongside other treatments but can be especially useful in pets that are restricted in the medications they can take (such as older pets with organ dysfunction).
What can I expect from a therapeutic laser session?
Therapeutic laser therapy is safe, non-invasive and pain-free. It is carried out in pets who are awake and takes a matter of minutes to treat a single area. Sessions are usually repeated weekly, and it can take 3-6 sessions for results to be seen.
What does therapeutic laser therapy cost?
The price of therapeutic laser therapy will vary between practices, so contacting your practice directly is the most reliable way to obtain a current price. Some practices charge per session while others offer a discount for a block booking of 3-6 sessions. It is recommended to have at least 3 sessions to see the maximum effect, so this is often an economical option.
Insurance policies may cover therapeutic laser therapy under a “complementary therapy” claim. Your insurer may want confirmation from your vet that they have recommended this treatment. If in doubt, check your policy or call your insurer directly.
Who can give therapeutic laser therapy?
There is currently no regulation of veterinary therapeutic laser use in the UK, however The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 states that it is illegal for non-veterinary surgeons to provide medical treatment to animals. With this in mind, it is recommended to only undergo therapeutic laser therapy when administered by a suitably trained vet or veterinary nurse.