Dr. Lee is excited to announce the addition of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to acupuncture treatments. LLLT works in tandem with acupuncture to decrease pain and increase tissue healing.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture can be used alongside pharmaceuticals and other therapies such as low level laser as part of a multi-modal pain management plan. Acupuncture works by tricking the body into thinking it was injured. The body’s own response is then initiated to decrease pain, increase healing, and normalise the body. The needles have effects locally, segmentally along the spinal cord, and systemically. It is important that the animal is relaxed and comfortable during treatment for the best response. Most animals respond very well to acupuncture, and some may even fall asleep during treatment. The treatments will build upon the previous one until a steady state is reached. For this reason it is recommended to try 3-4 treatments weekly to determine if the pet will benefit from acupuncture. In acute cases this may be all the treatment the animal needs, and in chronic cases acupuncture may become part of a maintenance regimen. In those cases the frequency is weaned down to the lowest frequency possible. There is a small percentage of pets that do not respond to acupuncture or will not tolerate treatment. Other treatments such as low level laser therapy can be useful in these situations.
What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
Like Acupuncture, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) encourages the body to use its own mechanisms to promote healing and decrease pain. Similar to how a plant absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis, animal cells can absorb the energy from LLLT. By the activation of multiple biochemical pathways, the energy is used to promote tissue repair, increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, and decrease pain. The treatment is safe and well tolerated. For these reasons LLLT can be used in numerous cases. Like acupuncture, LLLT builds upon previous treatments to reach an effective dose. It can be used in acute cases such as post operative pain relief and wound healing, and chronic cases such as osteoarthritis.
Uses for Acupuncture/LLLT
Myofascial pain (trigger points)
Post-Op analgesia/wound healing
Soft Tissue Injuries (e.g. ACL tears, medial shoulder instability, tendon injuries)
Pain/inflammation from otitis externa
Lick granulomas/hot spots
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Ileus and other motility disorders
Pain from GI Disease (e.g. pancreatitis, gastric ulcers)
This list is just a small example of the uses for Acupuncture/LLLT. High Tide Veterinary Services is always happy to discuss whether Acupuncture/LLLT is a good option for your pet, please contact us for more information!