Nerves are long and delicate with the potential for interruption at many points. Pharmaceutical management may increase comfort without healing the nerve and restoring function or addressing the circulatory problems which underlie many neuropathies. Energy-based treatments, including lasers, light emitting diodes and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, have been documented to regenerate nerves and even to reverse atherosclerosis in the larger blood vessels, improving function and sensation while alleviating pain.
Problems associated with microcirculation are common in diabetics and frequently may cause or contribute to neuropathy and neuropathic pain. Energy-based treatments have been shown to restore normal microcirculation and treat angiopathies effectively. Neuropathies are often classified as “diabetic” or “idiopathic” meaning without known cause. Improvement in control of blood sugars may significantly help recovery of nerve function and increase overall health and wellbeing. Laser therapy, in particular, has been documented to improve blood sugars in diabetics, even when being given to address completely unrelated issues. See Laser Therapy in Diabetes.
All of the above methods – as well as electrotherapy and acupuncture – may help in neuropathies to improve circulation, regenerate nerves and blood vessels and to restore sensation and function. While there are no panaceas, magic bullets or guarantees, we believe that the treatment of neuropathy is likely to become cost-effective – and far kinder – once energy-based therapies are adopted as first line strategies in health care.
The earlier a neuropathy is recognized and addressed, the better results are likely to be. Numbness or nerve pain often first observed in the ball of the foot and/or toes may respond rapidly to energy-based treatments. In contrast, long-standing neuropathy extending above the knee may require much more time and treatment, if it responds at all. Our experience suggests that early intervention with energy-based methods may reverse many, perhaps most, neuropathies and may prevent them from ever becoming chronic or progressive.
Following are some case studies and links to science supporting the treatment of neuropathy and nerve pain with energy-based therapies.
Neuropathy, Joint Pain
“Tom D” was a 56 year old male with poorly managed diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol whose chief complaint was “burning feet” x 4 months. He was treated for burning pain in the balls of both feet and also pain in the neck, low back and left elbow with laser therapy, and all pain scores declined progressively. He was discharged after his 8th visit and has reported normal sensation without any foot pain two years later.
Numb / Tingling Limbs
GE, a 76 year old female whose chief complaints were legs and whose feet which were numb, cold and mottled purple from the knee down, was seen for 8 visits and treated with acupuncture, laser and bio-electromagnetic therapies. Her feet and legs became progressively warm and pinker, and sensation normalized.
Neuropathy / Back Pain / Sciatica
“Dale J.” was a 77 year old male whose chief complaint was severe, right sided back and hip pain with sciatica radiating to the ankle. He was also experiencing progressive numbness in both legs beginning at the knee, worse on the right side. He noted that he could not feel the accelerator pedal while driving because his right foot was completely numb. Legs and feet were cold to touch.
As it was his primary complaint, he was treated first for his back pain with acupuncture, laser and bioelectromagnetic therapies. By the 8th visit, back, hip pain and sciatica had resolved, and we began to treat legs and feet. “I can feel my toes,” he said immediately following the first treatment to his legs and feet. After the next visit, he reported, ”I feel my toes, and my legs are warmer.” And they were. “I feel everything now. I feel better than I did when I was 70,” he reported after the 12th session.
Though most may consider neuropathy a condition limited to peripheral sensory nerves, the reality is that it occurs in motor nerves as well. A such, neuropathy can affect any and all organs and systems. Based on the science, the potential for energy-based treatments to regenerate nerve and restore normal function is significant.
Copyright 2011 by David Rindge. All rights reserved.