Arthritis pain affects millions of Americans every day. While medication, physical therapy and even surgery are common forms of treatment, laser therapy is emerging as an alternative treatment that is making an impact. ChiroEco.com explores how laser therapy works and what types of joint pain it can treat, plus what sufferers and clinicians can look forward to in terms of future treatments.
Arthritis is a painful, prevalent condition that afflicts millions every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, in particular, affects nearly 14 percent of adults age 25 and over. Symptoms are wide ranging, and pain associated with resulting limited mobility is often debilitating as well. Evidence indicates laser therapy may provide significant relief.
What’s the difference?
Although certain types of arthritis manifest very similar symptoms, their underlying causes may be very different. For example, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis both result in painful joint and limb stiffness; one originates from mechanical degenerative causes, while the other is an affliction of the autoimmune system, however. Other types such as infectious or hemorrhagic conditions stem from site bacteria or bleeding. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, laser therapy helps reduce pain and improves site flexibility for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Therapeutic lasers did not elicit similar results for osteoarthritis, but reports do indicate positive effects for patients with milder forms of the condition.
How does it work?
When you get hurt or feel pain, cell signaling is partly responsible for telling your brain “what’s what.”
Neurotransmitters deliver pain messages. Think of them as a kind of “mailman”; synapses are the roadway the mailman drives along. Laser therapy works by exciting these biochemical responses. Of course, your body already does this without laser therapy; processes stunted by injury, however, may not affect cell signaling properly diminishing a person’s ability to heal. Laser treatments give the body an added healing edge, so to speak. Pain from extreme site immobility, for example, is sometimes the result of inflammation; a naturally occurring autoimmune response to illness or injury. In some cases, inflammation can go awry, perpetuating further strain or injury and so forth. Arthritic patients often experience perpetuating symptoms under such conditions. Energy emitted from lasers excite mechanisms that drive the metabolism and nervous system that remedy illness. It results in increased hormone, cell and neurotransmitter production.
What’s the “buzz?”
In the future, laser therapy will allow for more personalized, individual attention to specific needs. Rather than a simply randomized effect on problematic tissue, scientists will soon have the ability to isolate or “tweeze” individualistic cells. This will allow practitioners to more effectively deal with a host of rheumatoid diseases and subsequent effects.- See more at: http://www.phschiropractic.com/learn/blog/laser-therapy-helps-alleviate-arthritis-pain.aspx#sthash.ayy9s2Y2.dpuf