Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

What is Low Level Laser Therapy?

Low-level laser therapy, also known as cold laser therapy, uses low-intensity lasers to a whole range of conditions. The laser, which is a concentrated form of light, penetrates the skin, reaching the tissue it is meant to help. Cells absorb the light and turn it into usable energy that can go toward reducing pain and inflammation and speed up wound healing.

The therapy has been applied to animals of all shapes, sizes, and species, including dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, wildlife and other exotic species.

LLLT can treat many common conditions:

  • laminitis
  • tendonitis
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • post-operative applications
  • wounds
  • trauma
  • spinal cord injury
  • performance enhancement


Low level Lasers generate a photo-chemical reaction. Light energy in the violet to red area of the visible light spectrum has been found to induce physiological responses in cells via the activation of specific enzymes. This response is called biostimulation.

Light energy of a specific wavelength , that is coherent (polarized) and focused, is absorbed by photoreceptors on cell membranes. The mitochondria ( cells “engine” so to speak) are stimulated to produce more ATP energy. A cascade of cellular chemical reactions occur which results in increased regeneration of cells and increased cell communication. This translates to enhanced tissue healing and decreased pain and inflammation.

Studies are supporting more and more that Low Power Laser delivers a myriad of benefits beyond decreasing pain and inflammation due to the cascade of cellular chemical reactions previously described. It promotes these responses in a manner that does not produce heat.


The Erchonia Lasers are manufactured in the USA in McKinney Texas. These lasers incorporate a wavelength of 635nm which is the wavelength researchers have found to be most effective at “speaking” to tissue cells. Low power at 5 milliwatts allows for the appropriate power to support Biostimulation without the risks of tissue heating and retinal damage. The linear beams allow for more contact with the area of involvement, as well as simultaneous application to nerve root or spinal segment for a more complete treatment response.

Treatment Protocols

LLLT is used to rehabilitate at the cellular level, and is a great tool to use as an adjunct to other forms of treatment. The Laser treatments involve 120-180 second ( 2-3 minutes) durations. Up to four sets of frequencies can be applied, depending on what issues your horse may be dealing with. These sets of treatment will be repeated later that day to kickstart the healing. The following treatment schedule depends on the severity or chronicity of the condition. Typically 6 – 13 initial sessions are required in a treatment package for chronic conditions. Most of these chronic conditions need a maintenance schedule of one treatment every four to eight weeks to prevent relapses.