Is there a cure?
No device, drug or magic compound can legally claim to cure but several treatments appear to be able, IN SOME PATIENTS, to alleviate the symptoms.
What are typical causes?
Diabetes is a major contributor to peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can also result from chemotherapeutic drug use. Some genetic diseases, such as Charcot Marie Tooth involving nerve damage, also cause symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Pain in the lower extremities is a major symptom of vascular disease known as peripheral vascular or peripheral arterial disease (PVD and PAD).
What are contributing and controllable factors?
Vascular disease is the leading contributing factor. In diabetic patients vascular problems occur throughout the body. Patients suffer from vascular injury to the eyes, hear, kidney, and to the lower legs and feet themselves. If left unaddressed, poor blood flow to the feet can often lead to the formation of ulcers. In many cases, these wounds are so difficult to heal that amputation is required.
What are typical complications?
In addition to slow or non-healing wounds and ulcers, poor blood flow to nerves causes loss of sensation and subsequent difficulty in walking and balance. Patients might not be able to pick up a fork due to feeling loss in fingers, or are unable to sense an uneven surface while walking, or a hot surface while bathing. Imagine not being able to know whether your foot is on the brake or accelerator.
What are typical treatments?
Typical treatments include drugs that do not affect the vascular problems but tend to inhibit the painful symptoms. Other oral approaches involve. Nutritional supplements that increase blood flow. If the symptoms in the legs and feet become very severe surgery on the blood vessels in the legs is often suggested.
Are all peripheral neuropathies the same?
No, some are due to disease, some to toxins like chemotherapy drugs, some are due to genetics, to infections such as Lyme disease, and some are simply unexplained. The latter are labeled idiopathic neuropathy, which means the cause is unknown.
Proven results from light therapy:
What is infrared Light Therapy?
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a part of medical devices that emit near infrared (IR) light or light of various colors. IR light, unlike blue, red, or yellow light, is invisible to the human eye. The IR light has been documented to dilate blood vessels at the site of treatment.
What is the bio/physiological reaction to infrared light?
Scientific evidence shows that IR light triggers the release of nitric oxide from blood vessels dns from red blood cells at the site of treatment. Nitric oxide causes local vasodilation that lasts several hours after the treatments cease. Vasodilation improves blood flow and is useful in patients whose PN is due to poor blood flow.
How does Light Therapy apply to peripheral neuropathy?
Improving blood flow lessens what is known as “ischemic” pain and helps nerves to begin to carry sensations again. Remember, sensory loss due to poor blood flow to nerves is a symptom of PN.
Why are there differences in responses?
Some patients have idiopathic neuropathy which may not respond to light therapy whereas others with vascular damage (poor blood flow) often experience relief from their symptoms.
How often is Light Therapy used?
Light therapy, by a licensed healthcare provider, is typically given for a minimum of three times a week for 8-12 weeks. Timing varies. If possible treatments can be given more frequently, blood flow often improves more quickly with positive outcomes seen in less time.
Clinic or home use; what is the difference?
Clinics use devices with more power of photo energy. At home devices use lower power for more frequent convenient use. Home units are generally used as part of the patient’s continuing therapy. A medical practitioner should advice you, as they frequently have several tools at their disposal to help you benefit from a combination of therapies.