Equine laser therapy (Low Level Laser Therapy) LLLT, or red light therapy for horses (!) is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries or lesions to improve wound/soft tissue healing and give relief, for both acute and chronic pain.
Photobiomodulation or cold laser therapy uses a single, in phase, coherent light source to trigger a biological effect. A laser light gives a single in-phase light source.
It involves the use of weak infra-red light, of 600-850nm to penetrate directly through the horse’s skin.
|It is also known as photonic therapy.
How Does It Work?
LLLT works by triggering stimulation of the the immune, lymphatic, vascular and neural systems to natural reduce swelling and inflammation and, with veterinary advice, is a possible alternative for non steroidal ant inflammatory drugs.
It triggers a number of metabolic events, kick starting several natural processes at a granular level, promoting increased blood flow and its associate benefits when it comes to healing.
In summary light therapy penetrates the skin to help re-growth of damaged tissue
Benefit of Red Light Therapy for Horses
It is a non invasive therpay that can usually be delivered in the home / yard environment. There is no noise and so is relatively unlike to spook a timid horse, or one that has been traumatised by injury, in the way other manipulation might.
Also during treatment, there horse is semi-asleep and floppy lipped. there is every chance tht the find therapy relaxing, so a de-stressed horse is another side benefit of red light therapy!
It must be stated that the application of laser treatment is a specialised subject and should only be considered with the appropriate guidance.
Some lasers can cause severe eye injuries if used incorrectly / without appropriate safety equipment
Horses are, of course, large animals , and profession laser / red light equipment will be able to cover larger areas of the horse than the smaller, and considerably cheaper, “pet” type of equipment.
however, for smaller areas that need treatment, these can still prove useful.
It goes without saying that all injuries should be asses by a qualified vet before agreeing on a course of treatment.
Equi-Laser a small hand held portable device powered using a single 9 volt alkaline battery or mains electricity. The laser equipment can be bought or hired direct from Equi-Laser. www.equi-laser.co.uk. At the time of writing, the Equine-laser was £585, making it considerably more expensive than other laser machines on the market
Equine Thor Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), a Cold Laser for horses. Equipment to buy or hire. THOR provide a treatment manual with pictures and step-by-step instructions on how to treat. They also offer a training course. www.equinethor.com
Whilst there are lasers marketed specifically for horses, if cost is an issue, the KTS machine is widely available and suitable for pets.
www.moulton.ac.uk The Moulton College Equine Therapy Centre provides a variety of treatments and services (rehabilitation, laser and spa therapy) to promote and assist the recovery of client’s horses in a purpose built facility located at the Pitsford Centre, Moulton College, Moulton, Northampton.
At Rose Farm Equine they specialise in Equine Bowen Technique, Healing Laser Therapy and Equine Rehabilitation. Situated at Rose Farm, Catcott near Bridgwater, Somerset. www.rosefarmequine.co.uk
Mark Bruin offers cold laser therapy, a well established procedure for speeding up healing and giving effective non drug induced pain relief. Based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Phone Mark for more information: 01484603907 www.lisabruin.com
Helen Thornton uses cold laser therapy, sports massage, Bowen therapy, and manipulation depending on your horse’s problem. Helen is based in North Lincs, covering all UK racing yards and competition horses. Phone: 07947623923 or visit www.helenthornton.com.