Have you been suffering from peripheral neuropathy? It is estimated that 42.5 million Americans suffer from neuropathy without much relief. Neuropathy results in sharp pain, numbness, burning, tingling, lack of coordination, extreme sensitivity to touch, and/or loss of feeling in your feet and/or hands. The loss of function that some experience is so significant that their quality of life is dramatically reduced. It is not uncommon to entirely lose feeling in their feet and hands, frequently falling because of loss of sensation and/or debilitating pain.
There are many risk factors for peripheral neuropathy, most commonly diabetes, post-chemotherapy, and alcoholism. Some neuropathies are considered idiopathic or without an identified cause. Class IV Infrared Laser therapy has been shown to be 90% effective at improving symptoms and enhancing nerve cell growth and myelin cell repair in damaged nerves, restoring function. When undergoing light therapy it is important to understand the differences:
Infrared Laser versus red/blue light therapy:
If using light therapy for a therapeutic effect, it’s important to concentrate the correct wavelengths into the soft tissues at the appropriate depth for there to be a cellular effect increasing metabolic activity within the cell, improving transport of nutrients and/or ions across the cell membrane, and increasing the production of cellular energy to increase cellular function and health. Class IV Infrared Lasers are specifically designed for this purpose. It has the appropriate power delivery to take into account loss of energy as it traverses the soft tissues into the deeper areas to heal the cells where the nerves live. In blue/red light therapy, or infrared sauna therapy, the intensity of the light does not deliver the amount of energy needed to the appropriate depths in the soft tissues to provide the cellular changes to improve nerve health.
Are all Infrared Lasers created equal?
The wavelengths that penetrate the deepest and that activate the cells to produce energy as well as to activate the ion pump in the nerve cells is 810 nm. Supporting wavelengths longer and shorter than 810 nm are also utilized to increase blood flow and oxygenation to the tissues. It is important that whatever laser is being used not only has the correct wavelength, but has the appropriate intensity at the correct depth to deliver the energy needed to create the cellular change. This can only occur with a Class IV Laser.
Where can you get this therapy?
At Advanced MMC, we use a Summus Class IV Laser to deliver the appropriate wavelengths at the appropriate depth to the length of the affected nerves. Our laser has four wavelengths, which are programmed in a series to deliver different amounts of each wavelength; first to prepare the soft tissues for healing by increasing the delivery of blood flow and the release of oxygen into the affected tissues, and then gradually increasing the amount of 810 nm wavelength to take advantage of the healing milieu to then increase the cellular function and healing of the nerve cells. The therapy is delivered 2-3 times a week for six weeks. People usually see a significant improvement by the 8th visit, but some people start feeling a difference even after the first visit. Studies have shown that the results of the therapy are maintained for years after the therapy is completed (usually 16 visits).
Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants’ office is at 8401 Chagrin Rd., Suite 20A, in Chagrin Falls. To schedule an initial assessment for IR Laser therapy for peripheral neuropathy, call 440.557.5011. Visit www.AdvancedMMC.com for more information, including blogs and videos.