Low-Level Laser Therapy Helps Diabetic Neuropathy
If you have neuropathy, you know that the pain is difficult to handle or even unbearable at times. Although neuropathy can be the result of any number of medical conditions, it is commonly seen with diabetes. Complications often arise when blood circulation starts to become less effective, thus cutting off the supply of oxygen and nutrients distal parts of the body need to function properly. Without enough energy and nutrients, the nerves in the hands and feet will start to develop nerve pain, otherwise known as peripheral neuropathy.
While medical research has yet to reveal a means for reversing the effects of neuropathy, that does not mean that you cannot find relief. There are many conventional means for diminishing the pain, such as antidepressants, topical creams, analgesics, sodium channel blockers, SNRIs, and so on; but what if you don’t want to use those? What if you haven’t found any relief?
That is where photobiomodulation, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can fill in the gaps and help you finally feel less pain.
How Does Low-Level Laser Therapy Work For Neuropathy?
Lasers have long been used for a number of reasons in medicine, so it is no wonder if you have never heard of LLLT. Low-level laser therapy helps neuropathic pain by using infrared wavelengths to stimulate blood flow and increase circulation to affected regions of the body. In terms of neuropathy, this is highly effective, since it is caused by a lack of blood flow to the hands and feet.
In doing this, the nerve endings that were damaged due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients start to repair themselves. Functionality is again optimized, and the pain gradually diminishes.
What Studies Have Been Done On LLLT and Neuropathy?
The use of LLLT as a complementary therapy for healthcare is still fairly novel, so research is still taking place to see just how well low-level laser therapy relieves neuropathic pain. However, in spite of a lack in the quantity of research, the quality of the results has been excitingly promising.
There is one thing to keep in mind: most studies found that while LLLT in and of itself does indeed help with neuropathy, uniform administration of LLLT has yet to be established. This means that certain modalities may work better than others, but research has not revealed the best way yet.
That said, a study from 2013 (published in 2017) looked at 60 patients and stated that low-level laser therapy improved the sensory function of individuals diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Another study done in Brazil on rats in 2017 concluded with similar results.
One study looked at pain management using LLLT. The research found that low-level laser therapy significantly reduced pain in people with type 2 diabetes.
Do you struggle with diabetic neuropathy? Want to try low-level laser therapy? Judging by the result of numerous studies and the growing interest in this form of laser therapy, it may be worth your while to give it a go. Currently, LLLT is offered to individuals with neuropathic pain by pain management specialists and chiropractors. Get in contact with a chiropractor to learn more about low-level laser therapy may help you live pain-free once again.