What is a Cold Laser Therapy Device and Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)?


Cold laser therapy devices can be used on equines as a method of reducing pain, especially in treating back pain, arthritis pain, soft tissue injuries, tendon, and ligament tears, joint conditions, neurologic injuries, suspensory tears, stifle injury, sesamoiditis, laminitis, degenerative joint disease, SI pain, tying up, kissing spine, superficial flexor tendon, capped elbow, accelerate wound healing, and reduce acute tissue inflammation of equine athlete. 

Let's discuss what a cold laser therapy device can do for you and your equine! Cold laser therapy, also referred to as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), uses laser light set to wavelengths between 600 and 980 nanometers to stimulate healing and tissue regeneration. LLLT is a non-invasive light source treatment that generates a single wavelength of light.

During a treatment regimen, a small device emitting laser beam or visible non-thermal lasers is placed over the target area. The low levels of light penetrate the tissue without heating or damaging the skin.

Since 1967, more than 2,500 studies have been conducted on the safety and effectiveness of cold laser therapy or LLLT in providing relief from pain and other symptoms. Many of these studies attest to its reliability in treating specific conditions and recommend the treatment as a preferred non-invasive technique.

Cold laser therapy (LLLT), emits no heat, sound, or vibration. Laser therapy stimulates PBM (Photobiomodulation), which is primarily a photochemical process that takes place when mitochondria are excited by a light source.

How does cold laser therapy work?

In cold laser therapy, the light is used to accelerate healing in the mitochondria of the cell. This therapy is a bio-modulator that causes up-regulation or down-regulation in a target area of the body. The laser stimulates the cells to heal and function in their respective field.

The laser beams are directed to the respective injured area tendon, ligament, joint, spine, brain, or acupuncture meridian in a time duration of three to twenty minutes.

Cold laser therapy often requires several therapy sessions. Sometimes acute conditions can be resolved by few treatment measures, but the chronic conditions need treatments over several weeks. The number of these therapy sessions varies depending on the severity and chronic nature of the disease process, age, general health of the horse, its performance goals, and nutrition levels.

How can you use cold laser therapy (LLLT) to increase the performance of competition horses?

Cold laser therapy or LLLT is used on equines as a method of reducing pain, especially in treating back pain, arthritis pain, soft tissue injuries, tendon, and ligament tears, joint conditions, neurologic injuries, suspensory tears, stifle injury, sesamoiditis, laminitis, degenerative joint disease, SI pain, tying up, kissing spine, superficial flexor tendon, capped elbow, accelerate wound healing, and reduce acute tissue inflammation of equine athlete.

    1. Cold laser therapy can help horses return to function in a stronger state, with less chance of re-injury.
    2. Laser therapy can improve microcirculation. That means cold laser therapy can help prevent blood from becoming stagnant in the narrow capillary beds of the circulatory system. Improved micro-circulation after laser irradiation promotes accelerated recovery after injury.[1]  For instance, edema in a swollen leg can resolve much faster, bruises can dissipate quicker, and healing can move along at a much faster pace because improved blood flow means that more oxygen and nutrients will be delivered to tissues under repair.
    3. Cold Laser therapy is effective for treating tendon injuries and shortening recovery time, but more importantly, proactive laser treatments can prevent injuries. Caring owners can improve both the comfort and productivity of their horses with regular laser visits. [2]

      “Many owners and trainers of performance horses have regarded injuries to tendons and ligaments as being potentially more threatening to an equine athlete’s future career than fractures,” writes Carol L. Gillis, DVM, PhD in her book Rehabilitation of Tendon and Ligament Injuries. A horse owner’s greatest fear is a tendon injury; cold laser therapy can be an effective treatment so a horse’s performance life is not curtailed. [3]

      Using Cold Lasers on Horses – Clinical Findings

      To understand the clinical impact of cold laser therapy in horses, performed treatments to thoracolumbar pain in competitive western performance horses.

      The subjected horses were involved in a national western performance and diagnosed with back pain. Some of the randomly selected horses were forwarded to a clinical trial of low-level laser therapy.

      The outcome of the program included a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) of perceiving back pain dysfunction and detailed spinal examinations evaluating pain, muscle tone, and stiffness. Mechanical nociceptive thresholds were measured along the dorsal trunk, and the values were compared before and after the treatment.

      The horses were reported to significantly reduce back pain, epaxial muscle hypertonicity, and trunk stiffness. [4]

      Case Study #2: Cold laser treatments to aid in healing wounds

      Checkout the results Grey Horse Performance got when they used Brandenburg Equine's handheld 3b cold laser (LLLT) or low level laser therapy on a deep chest wound for 14 days once daily for 15 minutes each session and there are the results!

      Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy in Horses

      • Cold laser treatment is non-invasive and cause little to no stress for the animal
      • LLLT promotes quicker tissue repair, and the absence of heat makes it suitable for almost any type of open wound
      • Cold laser therapy helps heal ligament and tendon injuries, sprains, strains and arthritic joints
      • Brandenburg Equine's Cold laser device delivers finely targeted light beams that can be used to good effect on all acupuncture, acupressure and muscle insertion points
      • The infra-red light interacts with receptors deep within the tissue, encouraging blood supply to the area and speeding up the natural healing process
      • Aids delivery of oxygenated blood to the site which in turn encourages the production of white blood cells necessary to fight infection
      • Stimulates the production of collagen, a key component of soft tissue
      • Cold laser therapy improves collagen alignment which leads to increased strength and elasticity in any scar tissue produced. This in turn is very beneficial in promoting flexibility and mobility 

      For more information on how to use the handheld cold laser device please check out the FAQ's.

      Additional Reading & Sources:

      1. Equisearch - Laser Therapy Relieves Muscle Soreness, Grant Miller, DVM https://www.equisearch.com/HorseJournal/laser-therapy-relieves-muscle-soreness-5441
      2. Innovative Veterinary Care - Two approaches to laser therapy in horses, Marc Smith, DVM https://ivcjournal.com/two-approaches-laser-therapy-horses/
      3. Gillis, Carol L., DVM, Phd. “Rehabilitation of Tendon and Ligament Injuries”. Author’s address: Dept. of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616. 1997 AAEP.
      4. National Library of Medicine - Effects of Low-Level Laser Therapy and Chiropractic Care on Back Pain in Quarter Horses - Kevin K Haussler, Philippe T Manchon, Josh R Donnell, David D Frisbie https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32067657/

      Purchase a 3B cold laser

       Brandenburg Equine - Cold laser therapy device


      Warranty Term

      The manufacturer warrants this product to be free from defects in workmanship and materials, under normal use and conditions, for a period of one (1) year for the original invoice date. Shipping and handling fees are to be paid for by the customer. The manufacturer agrees, at its option during the warranty period, to repair and defect in material or workmanship or to furnish a repaired or refurbished product of equal value in exchange without charge (except for a fee for shipping, handling, packing, return postage, and insurance which will be incurred by the customer). Such repair or replacement is subject to verification of the defect or malfunction and proof of purchase as confirmed by showing the model number on original dated sales receipt.

      What will you receive?

      One handheld laser therapy device, hard storage case, EU/US charger, basic user manual, protective glasses, 1-Year Warranty.

      *NOTE: It is recommended that you wear Safety Glasses while using any laser. No matter what class laser (even pointer pen lasers)- NEVER look directly into any laser.

      What can you use the Cold Laser for?

      The professional cold laser therapy can be used for: herniated disc, cervical spondylosis, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins, heel pain, femoral head necrosis, sciatica, chronic pharyngitis, bronchitis, cold, asthma, pulmonary heart disease and related diseases, cholecystitis, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic effusion, hepatic cyst, chronic hepatitis, periarthritis of shoulder, chronic gastritis, superficial gastritis, chronic enteritis, gastric ulcer treatment plan, chronic pharyngitis, bronchitis, cold, asthma, pulmonary heart disease, apoplexy sequelae of the lower extremities, cerebral apoplexy sequela upper limb, Insufficient blood supply to the leg and muscle atrophy, the lumbar shoulder disc protrudes, etc.

      Resources for Acupressure in Horses & Dogs

      Gene Bruno, OMD, LAc, FABAA
      Dr Gene BrunoIn 1971, Gene was one of the Directors of the Veterinary Acupuncture Research Project of the National Acupuncture Association (NAA), which introduced Animal Acupuncture into the United States for the first time. During this time he worked directly with Veterinarians, teaching them the basics of acupuncture and how it could be used to treat small and large animals. This led to the establishment of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Association (IVAS) in 1974.

      Dr. Bruno was a member of the group of acupuncturists who founded the first two schools of Acupuncture in the United States. He is the past president of the American Association of Oriental Medicine. In addition to the extensive research on developing animal acupuncture, Dr. Bruno has done research at Harvard Medical School and at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, looking into the practical applications of acupuncture for the treatment of pain.

      Dr. Bruno is the founder and a director of the American Board of Animal Acupuncture and currently teaches animal acupuncture at the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture in Arizona. Dr. Bruno uses the Brandenburg Laser on horses and small animals, and has found it superior to other lasers on the market.

      Print Equine Acupressure Chart

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      Equine Acupressure, A Working Manual by Amy Snow; Nancy A. Zidonis

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