Alternative medicine does not necessarily have to fall into the popular notions of being “all natural,” ancient treatment practice, or completely devoid of modern technology. MLS therapy laser, also known as low level laser or cold laser, is an alternative modality used for treatment of chronic inflammation, pain, and as an aid in tissue regeneration in cases of damaged or compromised tissues. This treatment has actually been available in human medicine for many years with plenty of data and anecdotal evidence supporting its efficacy. The feedback I have gotten from friends in the human medical field – including doctors and physical therapists – as to why it has not reached mainstream status, is because insurance companies refuse to pay for it.
Recently introduced into veterinary medicine and quickly gaining momentum as a major alternative treatment modality, MLS laser is a therapy utilized for treating pain, inflammation, swelling, and for repairing injured tissues. With regard to pain reduction, the therapy laser stimulates the synthesis of pain reducing biochemicals in the body, specifically endorphins and encephalin. All cells and tissues are bathed in fluid that is constantly drained and renewed by the lymphatic system. Since the laser stimulates lymphatic drainage from a site, it also considerably reduces swelling and inflammation, which in and of itself has a pain reduction effect. Finally, the therapy laser stimulates muscle and trigger point providing direct musculoskeletal pain relief.
Accelerated healing is another benefit of the therapy laser, as photons of emitted light penetrate deeply into tissues to stimulate rapid cellular reproduction and growth. These photons also increase the amount of energy available to cells so that they can absorb nutrients while eliminating waste products faster. As a result of all of this, tissues such as tendons, ligaments, muscle and skin are repaired more quickly.
Another phenomenon that stimulates faster healing is the opening or dilation of small blood vessels in an area. More blood supply brings in healing cells faster, accelerating the healing process while reducing the formation of scar tissue.
Like most other alternative treatment options, therapy laser essentially aids the body in doing what it does best, which is to heal itself. Most importantly, the MLS laser provides all of this benefit with zero negative side effects.
Dr. Roger Welton is the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital and CEO/Chief Editor of the veterinary information and blog online community, Web-DVM.