Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. My laser is a class 3b cold laser, as are many used in dog rehab. That means I can't use it to cut or burn tissue (or to take over the world like any of those notorious movie bad guys try to do.) The classification is really regarding its handling and what safety precautions must be taken. The red light emitted by the laser is absorbed by the cells and used for energy production. This in turn stimulates the tissues. As a result we see increased blood flow to the tissues, improved drainage and decreased swelling, increased collagen production, and the production of endorphins (natural pain killers). Overall an acceleration in the healing process is the goal.
Laser therapy can be used for many conditions in physical rehabilitation. It is commonly used for biceps tendinitis, arthritis and stiff, achey joints, ACL/cruciate ligament tears, medial shoulder instability, bone healing after fractures, panosteitis ( sometimes called growing pains), bursitis, muscle spasms, muscle trigger points and knots, and wound healing. While the cold laser is extremely helpful in canine rehab, it is not "a magic wand" to cure all that ails your dog. It should be used as part of a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan.