Activating the ability to self-heal with laser

HPLT helps people and animals recover faster

Laser therapy for horses is on the rise: more and more veterinarians and animal physiotherapists are using lasers. HPLT – High Energy Laser Therapy – is the market leader in the Netherlands and sees lasers being used more widely. The great power of laser therapy? Activates the body’s self-healing ability. For example, tendon injuries or cuts can heal very quickly, without medication.

HPLT lasers can be used for both humans and animals. Laser therapy is becoming more and more popular in the equine industry. At the moment, this is mainly due to the good results achieved in the treatment of tendon injuries and cuts, but laser therapy can be used more widely. HPLT has been operating in the Netherlands for about ten years and the network is constantly expanding. Owner Mark Van Nonen explains: “The HPLT laser has a wide range of special programs and is equipped with different laser heads. This allows for targeted treatment for each case. Specific protocols have also been developed to treat horses that work in a very purposeful manner.”

What is the laser used for?

Lasers are often used to treat tendon injuries or injuries. But the laser can be used on a much larger scale. “When a horse has problems with its back or, for example, is stuck in the SI joint, a laser can also offer a solution. We also have good experiences with capsulitis, an inflammation of the capsules in the cervical vertebrae. The laser is an ideal addition to a vet’s treatment. Or a physiotherapist and helps many of the horses that are treated regularly. As the body’s ability to self-repair is processed, recovery is also very quick,” says Van Nonen.

Lasers are often used to treat tendon injuries or injuries. But the laser can be used on a much larger scale. “When a horse suffers from his back, lasers can also offer a solution.”

In addition to treating injuries or wounds, lasers are also used prophylactically in sports horses. “When the laser is placed on the muscle, the muscles receive the maximum amount of oxygen and therefore maximum energy. As a result, the muscles work better, the training has a greater effect and the muscles recover optimally. But the laser can also have a protective effect on horses with sensitive backs. The great thing about this is that you see a much faster reaction in animals than in humans.

No scar tissue

Lasers are currently popular for treating tendon injuries. Laser treatment not only makes the injury go away faster, it also heals better. “With a tendon injury, you often see a large white spot on the ultrasound after healing, which is the connective tissue that has developed after the injury. The problem with the connective tissue is that it cannot stretch and become warm under load. As a result, the tendon injury often comes back. When treated with a laser, the connective tissue does not get a chance to develop due to the rapid recovery: healthy tendon tissue simply returns. This is the power of the laser.” After laser treatment, a minor tendon injury can heal in as little as six weeks, and a major lesion as early as ten weeks.

Great results are also achieved with laser wound treatment. Due to the activation of the self-healing ability, even large wounds recover quickly and well. And that again without scar tissue. We can also remove sarcoidosis with a laser. When sarcoidosis is cut with a laser, the blood vessels are immediately closed and the sarcoidosis does not spread.”

What does a laser do?

There are many scientific studies that confirm the effect of laser treatment. The laser works at the cellular level. “The cell nucleus contains the DNA, and around the nucleus is a kind of ‘accumulation’, the mitochondria,” explains Van Nonen. “It has been shown that when a laser light of a certain color, 810 nm, is applied to the cell, the batteries are fully charged. They will be full of energy. This causes the cell to produce a substance, ATP, adenosine triphosphate. Its main property is that it turns on the cell’s pump. So A cell that’s really full of energy gets the maximum amount of red blood cells. This is again a medium of oxygen transport, so there is the maximum oxygen supply to the cell. You also get maximum waste removal.” Another advantage of laser treatment is that it is a highly focused treatment due to the combined beam.

Lasers are currently popular for treating tendon injuries. Laser treatment not only makes the injury faster, it also heals better.

the use

In the Netherlands, lasers may only be used by professionals on animals. Many vets and physiotherapists already have lasers at their disposal. It is important for the laser to have the correct wavelength: the HPLT laser has the correct wavelength for treating horses, which is 810 nm. Higher wavelength is not ideal: it has the disadvantage that it gets hot. “810nm is really the gold standard. There are more devices on the market, but the big difference is the wavelength. Never confuse lasers with LEDs for example, this is a completely different matter and doesn’t go deep enough in terms of treatment,” says Van Nonen . “Because laser light is grouped, it can reach much deeper, for example, than physiotherapists can reach with their hands. Scientifically, the depth of the laser is up to four centimeters. But laser light also has scattering: a reflection in the cell. This creates radiation. Again. With everything together at the right power, the laser can reach about twelve centimeters.” As the latest addition, a wireless echo can also be added to the laser device. This works like a normal echo and the echo can be read directly on the laser device screen.

Ninji Hojser, animal physiotherapist: ‘I can’t live without it’

Animal physiotherapist Ninge Huijser has been working with lasers since 2014. It’s a great treatment method for common complaints such as tendon injuries and cuts. Healing starts many times faster and the results are amazing. I can’t live without it and I can treat animals in a broader sense. I can also start early in the treatment or rehabilitation process.”

For more information, visit Here is also an overview of HPLT practitioners.

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