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What is cold laser therapy?

Cold Laser Therapy, also called Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), or more recently, Photobiomodulation (PBM), is a non-invasive and painless therapy used to treat a wide range of conditions.  Cold laser therapy uses photons (light energy) to stimulate cells to increase the production of ATP (cell fuel).  ATP is used to power all cellular functions.  This results in healthier cells, healthier tissue, and healthier animals! 

Lasers were first developed in the 1960's.  Since then, over 4,000 research studies have  shown its efficacy in wound healing and pain reduction. They are called 'cold' or 'low level' lasers because they have long wavelengths that promote the repair of tissue and accelerate healing time. These are contrary to medical, high power lasers that are used to cauterize (burn) tissue during surgical procedures. 

How does it work?

Cold lasers deliver light energy (photons) to injured and energy depleted cells.  They use specific wavelengths including red and infrared light and super pulsed laser for optimal tissue penetration and effects.  The photons enter mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) and are absorbed by an enzyme called Cytochrome C Oxidase.  This stimulates the  increased production ATP (cell fuel).  More cellular ATP results in better nutrient uptake, better toxin and waste clearance, and optimized cellular function.  Signaling molecules such as Nitric Oxide (NO) are also produced which induce vasodilation (blood vessel enlargement), and the production of growth factors.   This increases blood flow and oxygen to  tissues, promotes the production of  healthy cells and enhances the healing process.

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Cellular Energy

Increased Circulation

New, Healthy Cell Production

Thousands of published research studies over the last 40 years have found many benefits of cold laser therapy: 

  • Increases New Blood Vessel Growth

  • Improves Circulation 

  • Accelerates Wound Healing

  • Increases Collagen Production

  • Promotes Muscle Regeneration 

  • Increases Nerve Regeneration

  • Enhances Cartilage Production

  • Increases Bone Formation 

  • Decreases Pain and Inflammation 

  • Decreases Muscle Atrophy

  • Activates Immune Cells

  • Induces Relaxation

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Multi Radiance cold lasers

Equilibria uses a 15W cold laser from Multi Radiance Medical.  Multi Radiance was founded in 2004 and has since become a leading company in the laser therapy industry.  Their lasers are FDA approved and used for many applications such as sports medicine, chiropractic, general medicine. and veterinary medicine.  Multi Radiance lasers have been validated in more research studies than any other laser company and are currently involved in over 30 clinical studies around the world.

 

Multi Radiance Class 1 lasers are the most powerful on the market, and also the safest!  They use patented 'super pulsed' technology and a specific combination of laser, red light, and infrared light to drive photons deep into the body.  These billionth-of-a-second light pulses allow the laser to deliver very high power into the tissue without producing damaging heat, providing optimal benefits while reducing treatment time! Multi Radiance lasers also have the unique ability to vary the frequency (speed) of light delivery which has different effects on the body.  Higher frequencies inhibit pain, while lower frequencies stimulate healing processes. 

Is cold laser therapy safe?

Cold laser therapy is pain free, non-invasive and very safe.  Clinical studies have proven it to be highly effective in treating numerous conditions without any side effects.  Currently, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is FDA approved to treat both acute and chronic conditions including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Soft tissue strains and sprains

  • Enhanced wound healing

  • Cell regeneration

  • Hair loss

What conditions can it treat?

Cold laser is most commonly used for increasing the healing of wounds, injuries, and joint pain.  It can also be used to stimulate acupressure points for increased systemic blood flow and oxygenation. 

Humans

• Carpal tunnel syndrome

• Fibromyalgia pain

• Neck and back pain

• Tendonitis

• Neuropathic pain

• Dental pain

• Bone fractures

• Arthritis

• Wounds and burns

• Tendon injuries

• Traumatic brain injury

Horses

• Tendon/ligament injuries

• Sore backs, shoulders, stifles

• SI pain

• Kissing spine

• Arthritis/Bursitis

• Laminitis

• Skin conditions

• Sore muscles

• Post surgical sites

• Open wounds

Dogs/Cats

• Arthritis
• Tendon and ligament injuries
• Bone fractures

• Open wounds
Stiffness and muscle soreness
Post surgical sites

• Ear infections

• Hot spots

• Spays/neuters

• Swollen paws

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What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy is a form of photobiomodulation (PBM) used to help the body heal. We use larger pads that have both red and infrared light emitting diodes (LED's), which are absorbed at different depths of tissue. The light energy (photons) from the LED's is absorbed by cells in muscle, ligaments, and bones, increasing their cellular energy and allowing them to perform their normal functions more effectively. This in turn accelerates healing and recovery, and improves overall health.  

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Both red light and cold laser therapy deliver light energy to the tissue and use the same mechanism of action to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and stimulate tissue regeneration. Where they differ is in wavelengths used, power generated, and characteristics of the light beam generated.

While LED's do not penetrate as deeply as the cold laser, red light therapy works synergistically with PEMF and is useful to give those problem areas a little extra healing power! It is an excellent tool to help joint pain, sore muscles, tendon and ligament injuries, and wound healing. 

~ An effective, non-invasive, and side effect free alternative to pain medications ~

  • What does a PEMF treatment feel like?
    A mild pulsing is felt in the area being treated. The intensity can be adjusted for individual comfort. At higher intensities, slight muscle contractions may occur, but it is never painful!
  • Are there any side effects?
    While PEMF increases blood circulation and oxygen to cells throughout the body, it will also increase the removal of cellular waste/toxins. You may initially experience a detoxification effect (temporary headaches, muscle aches, nausea, and fatigue). These side effects will go away as your body becomes used to the PEMF. Drinking plenty of water before and after a PEMF treatment is encouraged.
  • Are there any contraindications?
    It is not advised to use PEMF on pregnant patients, or patients with implanted electrical devices.
  • How long will it take to see benefits?
    Some patients will experience pain relief and relaxation from their first session. Acute conditions are typically resolved faster than chronic conditions. After all, chronic conditions developed over a long time, therefore it will take more sessions to reverse them. A routine treatment plan is recommeded to maintain the benefits provided by PEMF.
  • Can my horse be ridden right after a treatment?
    Yes! In fact, PEMF can be used before and after a ride. Treating with PEMF before exercise increases blood flow and circulation, preparing the muscles to be worked and preventing injury. Treating after exercising reduces pain and stiffness and accelerates recovery time.
  • How many treatments are recommended?
    While this will largely depend on the condition being treated, it is suggested that a "loading dose" of PEMF is done initially (ex. 2-3x/week for 2 weeks). This is because the effects of PEMF are cumulative, so once the effects are sustained for longer periods of time the treatments can be decreased to a maintenance schedule.
  • What is the difference between PEMF and EMF?
    PEMF's are therapeutic. They are pulsed long wavelength/low frequency magnetic fields that support the body's natural functions. EMF's (electromagnetic fields) are harmful. These magnetic fields have short wavelengths and high frequencies and are emitted by power lines, microwaves, cell phones, and X-rays.
  • How often can you treat with PEMF?
    PEMF is safe to use every day. It is recommended to keep up a routine treatment schedule for optimum benefits.
  • What is the difference between PEMF and Cold Laser?
    Both therapies are used to energize cells and improve their function, but they do so in different ways: • PEMF uses magnetic energy to stimulate cells while lasers use light energy (photons). • PEMF loops generate a wider focal area and can penetrate much deeper into the body. Lasers have a smaller focal area and have a maximum penetration depth of 5 inches. • PEMF is capable of detecting sore or injured areas: as the PEMF loops pass over a sore area, the muscles will contract and twitch. • With PEMF, you can easily treat the whole body in under 45 minutes. Because lasers have a small focal point, they are used to treat specific injury areas such as joints or wounds.
  • What is the difference between PEMF and Shockwave?
    • PEMF is non-invasive and painless, so sedation is not required. Animals quickly relax and enjoy their PEMF treatment. Sedation is recommended for shockwave as the high-impact waves can be painful. • PEMF can penetrate up to 16 inches into the body. Shockwave has a maximum penetration of about 4 inches. • While PEMF can be used to treat the whole body relatively quickly, shockwave can only be used on specific areas such as the back or legs.
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