Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments & Therapies
Diabetes damages many of the small tissues throughout the body, especially very small arteries that provide nutrients to nervous tissue. When the small arteries are damaged they cannot provide sufficient levels of oxygen and nutrients to neurons for their normal repair and healing processes. As a result, the neurons begin to function at suboptimal levels and in a state of chronic irritation.
The neurons cannot perform their normal functions of sending impulses from the receptors in the hands or feet up to the spinal cord. They begin sending bad signals, which the brain interprets as pain, numbness, tingling, and burning. As the diabetic neuropathy progresses, more blood vessels are damaged and the neuron gets less and less nutrients.
Medication can provide some relief in the intensity of the painful burning and tingling. However these medications are not able to increase blood flow to the neurons to allow them to properly heal and repair.
Low-level laser therapy or cold laser therapy stimulates cellular repair processes within the body. A specific wavelength causes the small blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow to the nerves. Increased amounts of blood flow provides greater oxygen and nutrients to the neuron. This is combined with another wavelength that enhances cellular repair processes within the neuron for regeneration and repair. These repair processes increase the amount of energy production within the cell that can be spent on healing. In addition, it accelerates the metabolic activities that lead to proper neuron function.
Low-level laser therapy has been shown to increase the blood flow and healing in all tissue types. Laser therapy is a way to stimulate both normal and damaged blood vessels to provide greater nutrient flow to the tissues. Combining this with wavelengths that enhance repair and regeneration provides greater healing within the neuron. The neurons are slowly able to regenerate and heal over time so that they are not sending pain signals to the spinal cord; which is why lasers are used for carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve entrapments.
Many patients with diabetes report significant improvement in the intensity, frequency, and duration of tingling, burning, warm, cold, and altered sensation in their feet. Low-level laser therapy treatments are enhanced when combined with fibrillation therapy, which further stimulates signal transmission in a neuron. When nerves are stimulated repeatedly it triggers mechanisms of repair and healing within that nerve cell. This is very similar to your muscle tissue. Repeated bouts of exercise trigger mechanisms that increase muscle strength and endurance. In a neuron, repeated signal transmission through the sensory and motor neurons enhance their healing and regeneration. Combining the repair processes that are enhanced with fibrillation and cold laser provides significant therapeutic benefit to patients suffering with diabetic neuropathy.