Treatment of Chronic Back Pain in Horses Stimulation of Acupuncture Points with a Low Powered Infrared Laser

Veterinary Surgery Volume 16, Issue 1 pages 106–110, January 1987

Benson B. Martin Jr VMD1,* and Alan M. Klide VMD, Diplomate ACVA2

Fourteen horses that could not perform at their expected standards due to chronic back pain of 4 to 48 months duration, and had not obtained lasting improvement from other forms of therapy, were treated by stimulating nine acupuncture points using a low powered infrared laser (300 μw, 904 nm). The treatments were performed weekly, and consisted of stimulating each point for 2 minutes with a pulse frequency of 360 pulses per second. After completion of a mean of 11 treatments, clinical signs of back pain were alleviated in 10 of the 14 horses, there was no change in three, and one was lost to follow-up. Of the 10 horses who were training and competing, four won. One year after treatment was discontinued, 9 of these 10 horses continued to perform at a standard acceptable to the owner.

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