Red Light Therapy – An Alternative Treatment for Your Pet’s Joint Pain

Any pet owner with an older pet knows how hard it is to watch them age. Their hips and joints become stiff. They start to move slower and slower. Their muscles start to atrophy. It’s painful for them to go through, and it’s painful for you to watch. You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do for them to ease their pain.

Such was the case with a 12-year-old Havanese dog named Star. Star had started walking and running on only three of her legs, rarely putting pressure on her right back leg. The Vet had diagnosed her with mild arthritis of the hips. Without further testing, however, it was hard to know if the hip with the source of the problem. Her owner didn’t want to put her on traditional pain medications, and was looking for alternative methods to treat Star’s pain and inflammation. She decided to try red light therapy.

Red light therapy, also known as LED light therapy, or Low-Level Light Therapy, is a way to help the body heal itself. Wavelengths of light are absorbed into the center of a cell. The energy created by these wavelengths increases the energy within the cell, speeding up the body’s natural healing process. It acts like an energy booster or extra battery that helps a cell function more efficiently by bringing more red blood cells and oxygen into that cell. Red light therapy has been shown to reduce pain, inflammation, decreased circulation, bruising and swelling. It’s also used to help wounds, cuts and scrapes toheal faster.

It’s highly recommended for use after a pet has had surgery to speed up healing. It uses the same principles as the more powerful lasers your Vet may have, but it doesn’t get hot enough where protective eye wear is needed. It can be done in the privacy of your home where your pet is more comfortable.

The first time Star experienced red light therapy; she was somewhat nervous. It’s common during the first session that the pet may feel a little anxious because they have never experienced anything like this before. Still a little nervous during her second session, she was able to put weight back onto her right leg again. During the third session, gentle massage was used along with the therapy to loosen up the muscles and ligaments that were tight from the strain. The massage helped to uncover which areas were most painful for her, which helped determine where the therapy would be most effective. By the end of the fourth session, she was walking more normally, on all four legs.

Clearly, the problem was not her hip, but stiffness and pain in both her ankle and foot. The pain in her hip was caused by overcompensating as a result of the compromised ankle and foot movements. Star is now walking normally the majority of the time, and seems much more relaxed and pain free than she did weeks prior.

Red light therapy ended up being a more effective treatment for Star than pain medication. Pain meds would only have addressed the pain, and not the underlying cause of the pain. Red light therapy, however, targeted the inflammation and stiffness in her ankle, foot and hips, so not only was she in less pain, but her body was actually healing itself. For Star to use her right back leg properly, the tendons and ligaments in her ankle and foot needed to relax and have more flexion. Red light therapy and massage were key to allow this to happen.

Kisses Happen is now offering red light therapy to all our clients, canine and feline. Our large right light pad has 66 lights and can cover a large area on your pet. It is different from other light therapy pads in that it offers two wavelengths, the two that are proven to provide the most efficient healing. Each part of the body that is treated takes only 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week until your pet’s symptoms are reduced, then once a month to maintain their new pain-free condition.

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