Spectra Therapy LASER products have been a great addition to my daily therapeutic routine. I have been able to use the LASERwrap tendon boots and sheet as a part of the rehabilitation process for my retired gelding, as well as for preventative treatments on other performance horses.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) exposes cells and tissues to low levels of red and near infrared (NIR) light. It is considered “low level”, as the light involved is used at lower energy densities compared to high powered lasers, such as the ones that slice through metal. Light is both particles and waves and is part of the Electromagnetic Radiation (ER) spectrum. The ER spectrum is made up of photons, or packets of energy that move at the speed of light. Lasers (an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) emit light through a process based on the stimulated emission of photons. A laser beam always assumes a normal distribution. The farther the distance from the center of the beam, the less impact it has on an object. When a laser beam hits biological tissue, most of the light is absorbed. As the photon enters the tissue and atoms within, the electrons become excited and rise to a higher state. That extra energy can then be used to perform more cellular tasks. LLLT acts on the mitochondria of the cell to increase ATP production and modulates the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The induction of transcription factors then trigger increased cell proliferation and migration. Transcription factors increase the levels of growth factors, inflammatory mediators and increases tissue oxygenation. This can help to stimulate and regenerate cells and tissue.
Benefits of LLLT:
1. Promotes healing of wounds, tissue and nerves
LLLT has a strong effect on the immune cells and helps wound sites to close more quickly. The laser causes vasodilation, increasing the availability of oxygen to treated cells and allowing more immune cells to flock to the injured tissue.
2. Reduces inflammation and edema, and treats chronic joint disorders
Vasodilation is highly important to the treatment of joint inflammation. The laser causes blood cells to separate and allows increased blood flow to the damaged area and facilitates healing. LLLT has been successful at alleviating pain associated with chronic joint disorders.
3. Treat neurological disorders
More evidence is required to conclude whether or not LLLT can effectively treat neurological disorders.
These wraps are a wearable form of LLLT in which a laser transmits light through two filaments into the wrap. LASERwraps have two modes: Blue and Green. In Blue mode, the laser treatments are 12 minutes long, with 20 minute pauses between treatments. This low setting should be used for longer periods of time, such as overnight. In Green mode, the laser treatments are 10 minutes long, with 10 minute pauses between treatments. This higher setting can be used for shorter periods of time, such as before or after a ride. The pauses in both modes allow the newly stimulated cells to start healing.
As suggested by the above research, the LASERwrap form of LLLT can speed up the healing process of tissues, muscles and tendons. The wraps will improve blood flow and circulation, and reduce pain and swelling. They can even reduce the formation of scar tissue. Instead of treating a single spot, as one laser beam would, the wraps treat the entire covered area and the power of the laser is not diminished.
Spectra LASERwraps are FDA cleared and patented, and the treatments do not involve any drugs.
I first purchased a LASERwrap tendon boot in the Fall of 2017. My competition horse had been struggling with arthritis and in an effort to keep him sound, I turned to Spectra Therapy. I used the Green mode for 50 minutes on each front leg before a ride and I certainly felt a difference in the way he moved. In the winter, the tendon boot helped stimulate his muscles before a ride and prevented arthritic pain during work. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with laminitis and Cushing’s disease in the Spring of 2018, which meant that what we had thought was mild arthritis in his hooves was actually a crippling endocrine issue. This means my laminitic, Grade 2 lame horse was becoming perfectly sound after a laser treatment and was able to be ridden at an FEI level. Once I found out about his laminitis, I immediately stopped riding and began his rehabilitation plan. I used the LASERwrap tendon boot on his front legs every day and I truly believe they had a hand in preventing him from foundering.
Last year, we discovered my gelding also had Navicular Syndrome in his left front hoof. I purchased a second tendon boot and continued treating him once a day. The X-rays this year showed that his hooves were healing nicely and there were no Navicular changes in his front feet. Without the tendon boots I think the outcome would have been very different.
I also use the boots as a preventative treatment and put them on all of the horses I ride. One of the older mares I worked with had arthritis in her legs so I used the boots before every ride. I am certain the tendon boots helped to keep her performing at her best.
With all of the success I have had with horses, I began using a LASERwrap on my dog when he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The vets were astounded when his lungs were clear only two weeks later.
I am beyond pleased with the success I’ve had with Spectra Therapy’s LASERwraps and intend to purchase several other products to treat my performance horses!
Readers, what do you think? Do you already use Spectra Therapy products or would you be interested in purchasing a LASERwrap?