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Laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy

Laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy

Phil Harrington May 12, 2020

Where opioids have failed, DCs are reporting laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy is showing up to an 80% success rate...

Where opioids have failed, DCs are reporting laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy showing an 80% success rate

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY (PN), THE RESULT OF DAMAGE TO NERVES THAT CARRY MESSAGES TO AND FROM THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD, FROM AND TO THE REST OF THE BODY, can be caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, exposure to toxic chemicals (i.e. Agent Orange), chronic alcoholism, prescription medications and more. Some signs and symptoms of PN include bilateral gradual onset of numbness or tingling in the feet or hands; sharp, jabbing or burning pain; and extreme sensitivity to touch.

Common opioid and medical treatments for PN

Current medical treatments for PN may include opioid pain medications with high potential for addiction and abuse. Lyrica (pregabalin) was originally FDA-approved as an anti-epileptic drug but is also prescribed to PN patients. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain, thus numbing the brain from the painful signals associated with PN.

Side effects from Lyrica include infection, ataxia, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, peripheral edema, tremor, abnormal gait, abnormality in thinking, amnesia, arthralgia, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, edema, neuropathy and more.2 Gabapentin is another anti-convulsant drug that is prescribed to PN patients.

Laser therapy and PN

Photobiomodulation (PBM, or as it can be applied, laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy) is the application of red and infrared laser light at appropriate dosages to manage pain and inflammation and enhance tissue healing.3 Laser treatment for peripheral neuropathycan modulate neuropathic pain by altering chronic inflammation, decreasing mechanical allodynia, suppressing conduction velocity and reducing amplitude of action potentials.

Class 4 therapeutic lasers are FDA-cleared prescription medical devices that can deliver photons of red and infrared laser light to the large volume of tissue required for treatment of peripheral neuropathy.

Study results on laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy

One study assessed the safety and efficacy of class 4 laser therapy on pain management and overall quality of life for diabetic patients suffering from PN. No adverse events were reported, pain levels were significantly lower, and other factors improved.

Dr. Gainan has been using laser therapy LLLT in his office since 2002 with great results.

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