Laser Therapy as a Treatment Option for Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, has various causes, including health conditions, such as diabetes, viruses, such as chicken pox or shingles, nerve compression, and use of medications, such as chemotherapy drugs. Neuropathic pain is often described as shooting or burning and may be accompanied by weakness, tingling or numbness.
What is laser therapy?
Laser therapy is a treatment option that may help reduce neuropathic pain. It is a painless, medication-free, noninvasive treatment. During laser therapy, different wavelengths of light are applied to an area of the body in order to promote tissue repair and reduce pain.
Laser therapy decreases nerve sensitivity by reducing levels of bradykinin, a peptide chain that promotes inflammation. Reducing inflammation often decreases pain. Laser therapy is also thought to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. Laser therapy can also improve circulation and aid in nerve regeneration in the area of the body that is being treated.
Laser therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments, such as medication or physical therapy. Physical therapy and chiropractic clinics often offer laser treatment. A treatment session only lasts a few minutes; however, it can take approximately one month (up to four sessions per week) to determine if the treatment is successful.