Treatment of chronic back pain in horses. Stimulation of acupuncture points with a low powered infrared laser

Vet Surg. 1987 Jan-Feb;16(1):106-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950x.1987.tb00919.x.


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 microW, 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.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Back Pain / therapy
  • Back Pain / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases / therapy*
  • Horses
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Male