by Dr Marcie Hoover
Just had to take a minute to talk about my new friend…the K-laser. The K-laser and I actually met several years ago but didn’t really get closely acquainted until my foray into long distance running this past year. In preparation for the Pittsburgh Marathon, I committed one of the most common runner’s mistakes. I found myself over-training by trying to fit too much mileage into too short of a time frame. Don’t judge…you runners out there! You have all done it too! Of course, over training leads to injury and therefore several weeks before the race date, I found myself dealing with an IT band injury. This subsequently led me to make one of the next most common runner’s mistakes: over use of anti-inflammatory medications. Ugh! Now I had an upset stomach as well as my IT band pain! An intra-articular steroid injection helped to a small degree but I still needed more help. That’s when I became better acquainted with the beauty of therapeutic laser. Ahhhh. Relief! After just one treatment, I ran my first long run the next day with no pain. I was fascinated and instantly hooked. What a great option for treatment of pain! In very little time, with virtually no risk, no side effects and no harmful or painful procedure I felt better than I had in weeks. To keep the benefits going, I had repeat treatments several times weekly for the duration of my training. I’m convinced that I would not have finished that race if it weren’t for discovering the benefits of laser therapy.
My new buddy, the K-laser, is what’s called a class IV therapeutic laser which I realize means nothing much to most of us. The bottom line is, that a therapeutic laser is a way to use light of specific wavelengths and frequencies to provide treatment to relieve pain! It does this by increasing circulation which draws water, oxygen and nutrients to the problem spot thereby reducing inflammation and speeding tissue healing. It sounds kinda hokey, I know. To see all the science yourself, please feel free to visit k-laser.com. For me, seeing was believing!
At Clarion Animal Hospital we are fortunate enough to have our very own K-series laser and we are all looking forward to increasing its use in our animal patients. This is very exciting because it is a cost effective, safe, non-pharmaceutical, and proven way to speed up recovery and relieve pain. Best of all, it can be used along with most other treatments to provide multi-modal forms of therapy. Win!
Some examples of where we can use this newer treatment modality include:
-Post operatively on incisions
-Severely inflamed and painful ear infections (otitis)
-Bladder conditions such as cystitis
-Arthritis, hip dysplasia
-Back pain/disc disease
-Sprains/strains and trauma
The list is expansive!
Now for a bit of fine print. Depending on the type of condition being treated, a pet may only require 1-2 total treatments with the laser. More chronic or more severe conditions may require longer treatment periods. Chronic conditions such as arthritis for example may start by receiving several treatments in one week and then gradually be tapered to only receiving “tune ups” once every few weeks. Also, although I was lucky enough to feel quite an immediate response, in some cases 3-4 treatments may be needed before improvement is noticed.
If you feel like laser therapy might be right for your pet, give us a call and we can answer your questions. We’ll decide together if it would be a good treatment option for your pet.
Dr. Marcie Hoover