Advances in lasers and electrotherapy pain relief offer a number of options for doctors of chiropractic
Electrotherapeutic devices come mainly in four different forms: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), interferential (IF) therapy, microcurrent (micro) therapy, and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). It remains a frequently-prescribed treatment modality with the ability to target a multitude of acute and chronic musculoskeletal ailments for electrotherapy pain relief.
Electrotherapy pain relief devices
The most popular of the electrotherapy modalities remains TENS, which transfers current through the skin to interact with the nervous system by interrupting peripheral pain pathway receptors leading to the brain. While TENS should not be considered a cure for the cause of the pain, it oftentimes serves to ease discomfort for the duration of treatment.
IF is similar to TENS in that it passes current through the skin to relieve pain, traveling at a much higher frequency, allowing it to penetrate deeper into body tissues. Micro current mimics the current that is naturally produced by the body, providing electrotherapy pain relief. This promotes the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in cells in and around the treatment area and increases blood flow to induce healing. EMS sends pulsing current specifically to the muscle for electrotherapy pain relief, causing it to periodically contract and relax.
Lasers and treating peripheral neuropathy
Where opioids have failed, DCs have reported laser treatment for peripheral neuropathy (PN) showing an 80% and above success rate.
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, PN can be caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, exposure to toxic chemicals (i.e. Agent Orange), chronic alcoholism, prescription medications and more.
Class 4 laser therapy
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.
“Class 4 laser therapy should be a staple in all offices as it helps patients with so many conditions, even beyond PN,” said Robert Patterson, MD, from Sanford, N.C. “It’s important to be properly trained in treating and managing the PN patient. This will give you confidence in the PBM protocols and you will become a more successful provider.”
To view the latest in laser and electrotherapy pain relief products for doctors of chiropractic go to cdn.chiroeco.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CHEC_10_2020_FULL-2.pdf.