Study: Does Light Therapy Assist With Wound Healing?

Different forms of light therapy have been touted to have many benefits for equine health, including assisting with healing soft tissue injuries and infections, as well as addressing sprains, strains, arthritis and swellings. But can it assist in healing wounds? 

Drs. Peter Michanek, Tamás Toth, Evelina Bergström, Helena Treffenberg‐Pettersson and Anna Bergh used eight Standardbreds to test the effects of pulsating visible red light and near infrared light on skin wounds. 

The research team made small, circular wounds on each side of the study horse’s neck. The wound on one side was given one light treatment; the wound on the other side was left untreated. The light therapy was given by the same operator throughout the study and followed a standardized protocol: treatment was given five days a week for four weeks. 

Healing was monitored by someone who was unaware of which treatment, if any, the wounds had been given. The research team found little difference in the treated and control wounds in any phase of the study. The treated wounds took longer to completely heal than the untreated wounds.

The team concludes that in this study, pulsating visible red light and near infrared light do not speed healing of experimental skin wounds. 

Read the study here

Read more at Equine Science Update

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