Deep Tissue or Class 4 Laser Therapy is the new therapy for inflammation and pain syndromes both in humans and animals like dogs. A common complaint in dogs is degenerative or bulging discs, which many times requires surgery, until now. Class 4 laser therapy for dogs is a high power, generally 10 watts, applied to a certain area of complaint. Many dogs suffer pinched nerves, again, an inflammatory issue, where the laser will penetrate the tissue, and cause a series of cascading events to lower the inflammatory response.
Clinically speaking, there are 2 lasers that are marketed to the animal and human markets. These are the cold laser and the class 4 laser. The difference is huge, and you need to understand what they are before you decide to get this therapy done on yourself or your dog. Cold lasers are in the class 1or 3 and penetrate only about 1 to 2 cm at most. The wattage output on a cold laser is about 0.5 watts, which in a 5 minute treatment, will result in no more than 150 joules of energy. The therapy depends on the amount of photobiostumulation or photonic energy therapy to the area. Not only will the penetration be much less, but the amount of joules of energy delivered will be much less in a cold laser. A class 4 laser on the other hand will generate 10 watts of power or more and will penetrate 15 to 18 cm. In a 5 minute treatment, the therapist will deliver about 3,500 joules of energy to the area of complaint. This is much more therapeutic. The benefits of laser therapy include: increased circulation, decreased pain, significantly increased healing times, and decreased scarring formation.
Dogs develop arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and pinched nerves, along with other inflammatory diseases. The Class 4 laser is now FDA approved and works on both dogs and humans. Most treatment programs are about 7 to 20 sessions ranging from 50 to 125 dollars per session for class 4 laser therapy. Laser therapy for dogs is now available in wellness and veterinary offices around the country.
Class 4 deep tissue laser therapy is a good choice if you want a second opinion or just want to try something to see if your dog can avoid going under the knife. Depending upon the problem, talk to your doctor to see if this is something that would benefit your animal.
For information on Lightforce therapy lasers click here.