Low Light Therapy for Equines


Infrared therapy is an effective and safe remedy for pain and inflammation due to the ability to penetrate deep through the layers of the skin, to the muscles and bones. Since infrared therapy enhances and improves circulation in the skin and other parts of the body, it can bring oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues, promoting healing. It helps ease pain, relieve inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress.

In horses, red light therapy is used on a number of ailments including:

  • Muscular injuries
  • Tendon injuries
  • Ligament injuries
  • Bruising
  • Oedemas
  • Open wounds and wound healing
  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Splints

Using light therapy has shown an increase in healing times from injuries (2) and overall wellness - prevention is always better than a cure! Light therapy isn’t only for horses with injuries or niggles though. For general wellbeing, the increased circulation allows the horse to relax muscles and often they will be looser and more supple in training.

Positive results in utilising light therapy for pain in horses dates back as far as 1987, where a study of 14 horses with chronic back pain (between 4 - 48 months in duration) which were non-responsive to other treatment protocols were treated with light therapy weekly, across 9 acupuncture points. By the end of the study (median, 11 weeks duration) 10 of the 14 horses returned to competition with success. One year after treatment was discontinued, 9 of the 10 horses were performing at a level satisfactory to their owners. (1)


(1) Treatment of chronic back pain in horses. Stimulation of acupuncture points with a low powered infrared laser. Martin BB Jr. 1987.
(2) Equine wound healing: influence of low level laser therapy on an equine metacarpal wound healing model. Jann. 2012.
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