In our daily lives, our necks and shoulders carry a lot of weight. We sling on bulging bags or backpacks, lift and carry our children, or move heavy boxes or other items at work. Over time, this can result in chronic neck pain. Cervical manipulation, mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises are all possible treatments. Laser therapy is a newer modality that’s also been found to give relief. ChiroEco.com explains how laser therapy works.
When patients suffer neck pain, they’ll pretty much try anything to get relief. From supplements to medications, acupuncture to surgery, people want their pain to stop. According to U.S. News and World Report, laser therapy may be one way to relieve acute neck pain. It uses physics to incite body chemistry.
Think of muscle fibers as a kind of landscape that can either reflect or absorb electromagnetic radiation. Laser therapy works to help neck pain under this general premise. By affecting tissue with non-coherent light emitting diodes, lasers use wavelengths to essentially transfer energy. According to some reports, this energy transfer may help the body produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a vital component of both metabolism and homeostasis.
ATP “phone home”
Cell signaling helps drive biochemistry and forces that make metabolism and homeostasis function; it is juxtacrine signaling, in particular, that may alleviate pain. Juxtacrine signaling is a very complex organization of events that allows cells to not only work properly, but tells them when to work. In this, cells know when to produce substances on their own surfaces that cause other cells to adhere. Cell adhesion is important to neural development. Without the ability to develop neurons, the body is in trouble, so to speak; peripheral nervous systems count on cell adhesion to help remedy injury and disease. To put it simply, ATP is a major energy source that fuels cell signaling.
Nerve membrane potentials
Now you have cells that work and fuel to drive their processes; you need electricity. In neurophysiology, nerve membrane potential is a very complicated way to refer to how electrical signals work in this respect. Ions are responsible for carrying electrical currents between neurons; synapses connect the neurons together that are largely responsible for communicating pain. Laser therapy helps essentially modulate the timing at which pain is transmitted. Cytokines are the “hormonal regulators” that are subsequently influenced by laser assisting as well.
In all this, when a patient feels pain, it is the result of very specific processes at work. Regardless of how it occurs, body systems have ways to counteract pain’s detrimental effects. The body sometimes needs a little help, however. Laser therapy works to promote these systemic processes already in play.
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