Looking for a neuropathy treatment? Low-level laser therapy increases blood flow to nerves and reduces inflammation. Research has shown it can reduce pain and increase nerve density.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a result of damaged nerves. In most cases, damage is across multiple nerves. It is the most common condition for those with diabetes. 60 to 70 percent of all patients with diabetes have neuropathy.
Many individuals experience peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nervous system. The other main nervous system in the body is the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. Individuals experiencing pain in the hands and feet most likely have damaged nerves in the peripheral nervous system.
An estimated 20 million+ in the United States have some form of peripheral neuropathy. This is probably an underestimate, as not everyone is tested for the disease and tests currently don’t look for all forms of neuropathy. Neuropathy is often misdiagnosed due to its complex array of symptoms.
What are typical neuropathy symptoms?
Since neuropathy is damage to the peripheral nervous system, the result is often interference with vital nerve connections. In those with diabetes, the poor blood circulation also reduces the supply of nutrients and oxygen to limbs. The distortion or interruption of messages between the brain and the rest of the body can result in a sensation of tingling, prickling, buzzing, pinching, burning, and/or sharp jabbing stabbing pain in the feet.
What can cause neuropathy?
The most frequent causes of neuropathy include:
– Traumatic injury, including sports and spinal cord injuries
– Autoimmune diseases
The effects of peripheral neuropathy can develop suddenly or can spread slowly over time.
What neuropathy treatments are there?
Nerve pain from diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be severe, constant, and difficult to treat.
Most current treatments for neuropathy only address symptoms, not the underlying issue. The treatments help lessen the discomfort but don’t improve the problem. For example, prescription medications mask the disease rather than treating it.
Some examples of the most popular treatments include over-the-counter and prescription medications to relieve pain. Or even alternative treatment options for pain like injections or patches of local anesthetics. Others use hand or foot braces and orthopedic shoes to relieve pain. More invasive treatments include surgical destruction of nerves and implantation of a device to relieve pain.
How does low-level laser therapy compare as a neuropathy treatment?
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) sends energy and information directly to the cell’s DNA, which controls cell function. When the cells receive better information, they work better. The tissues composed of these cells, like bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments also work better. LLLT promotes the healing and regeneration of damaged tissues. It also stimulates microcirculation and increased oxygen around the nerve fibers. This increased blood flow and energy to the nerves helps to heal. In addition, laser therapy reduces inflammation and, thus, reduces pain.
Research studies have included patients who experience a reduction in pain and even an increase in nerve fiber density.
Neurologists prescribe drugs to treat the symptoms of the nerves. Physical therapists treat muscles and joints but not nerves. Chiropractors correct spinal problems that may be putting pressure on the nerves but do not treat the nerves. Laser stimulates the nerves, the root cause of neuropathy pain. At Juvenate Healing, we provide a comprehensive treatment starting with the source (laser) and including muscles and joints (tui na- medical massage).
Are there side effects for laser as a neuropathy treatment?
No. Laser treatment is non-invasive, is completely painless and has no side effects.
Moreover, light energy from low level lasers will only be absorbed by cells and tissues that are not functioning normally. There is no need to worry about an effect on healthy cells.