New Hope for Neuropathy

by Nov 19, 2018

If you’ve been living with neuropathy for years, you probably know how easy it can be to lose hope.

A problem that begins with only an intermittent annoyance—a tingle here, a strange shocking sensation there—can slowly develop into a problem that consumes your life and makes your whole world smaller, despite the best efforts of you and your medical team.

Your own doctors may have even told you that there’s nothing more that they can do.

But don’t lose hope.

With new, advanced treatment therapies such as MLS laser therapy, we are making a difference and seeing real results—even for patients who have lived with neuropathy for a decade or more.

Even if you think you’ve tried everything, even if your primary care provider is stumped, even if you thought you’d given up hope, we may still be able to make a difference for you.

But first, a little background.

The Insidious Path of Peripheral Neuropathy

Why is this condition so dangerous, so frustrating, and so hard to treat? It has a lot to do with how it develops.

The first step toward peripheral neuropathy, for most people, begins with consistently high blood sugar levels—with or without a diabetes diagnosis. This isn’t the only possible cause of peripheral neuropathy (there are many others), but it’s by far the most common.

Elevated sugar (along with various other possible conditions) creates a hostile environment for the peripheral nerves in your feet and legs. For example:

  • Inflammation causes the spaces around the nerves to tighten and compress.
  • Capillaries gradually lose their integrity, meaning fewer and fewer nutrients can get to the nerves—and waste products take longer to be recycled.
  • The nerve’s ability to receive and transmit signals to the brain is weakened.

However, the truly insidious thing is that, at first, you don’t even notice it. You can live with your nerves under constant attack for months or even years without noticing any symptoms.

By the time you start to feel the effects (phantom pain, tingling feet, etc.) a significant amount of damage is already done—damage that will be difficult to reverse.

But if you don’t reverse course, the effects on your day-to-day life will increase. Pain will become more severe, and more constant, to the point where you’re on medications every day to manage the discomfort—and then even those stop doing you much good. The pain may be so bad that you can’t even sleep.

Eventually, the nerves become so damaged that they can no longer communicate with the brain at all, and your feet feel completely numb. While in the short term you might just be happy that the pain is gone, this represents the most dangerous and severe stage of the condition—and is linked with all kinds of dangerous problems throughout the body.

And of course, your world will continue to get smaller. Hiking? Hunting? Driving? Meeting up with friends? Playing with the grandkids? Sooner or later, you will lose the sensation and mobility required to do the things you love safely.

Meanwhile, with no way to sense if your feet have been injured, your risk of developing a severe wound, or even total structural foot collapse, is extremely high. Ultimately, it could mean losing your foot to amputation in order to stop the spread of infection.

How Laser Therapy Can Help

The traditional way to deal with peripheral neuropathy broadly includes two approaches:

  • Manage your symptoms.
  • Treat or manage the underlying condition (usually diabetes) to slow or stop nerve damage from progressing.

That’s still broadly true, especially the second point. No matter what kind of treatment you receive, making healthy lifestyle choices and managing your diabetes through diet, exercise, medications, and other strategies in consultation with your medical team is critical for long-term success.

Beyond that, though, MLS laser treatment is making huge inroads in helping our patients with their symptoms—and in many cases, even helping restore some amount of sensation and function to the nerves.

Don’t misunderstand: we’re not saying you’ll feel like you’re back in high school again. Extensive nerve damage is usually not fully reversible—and the worse your condition has gotten, the harder it is to ever go back.

However, we have seen:

  • People who are able to feel their feet and toes again for the first time after months of years of sensory loss.
  • People who are able to significantly reduce, or even eliminate, their dependence on daily medications for pain management.
  • People who are able to safely return to activities they used to enjoy, and greatly increase their mobility, independence, social activity, and quality of life.

So how does it actually work?

Well, remember that a laser is just light, and light is just energy. (That’s a little oversimplified, but basically true.)

When the lasers (the MLS system actually uses two concurrently) are synchronized and tuned to the right frequencies, wavelengths, and powers, their energy can be absorbed and used by the cells and tissues of your body.

How does your body use this energy to combat the effects of neuropathy? Lots of ways:

  • Pain-reducing endorphins are released, easing your symptoms.
  • Swelling and inflammation are reduced, easing the pressure on your nerves.
  • Blood flow to the extremities increases, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to get in and waste produces to be recycled more efficiently.
  • Your body’s natural healing and repair mechanisms getting a kick start, enabling at least partial repair and regrowth of nerve tissue and allowing them to receive and transmit signals more easily.

As we said, this is not a “magic cure.” But we have seen some very impressive results with patients in all stages of peripheral neuropathy. And the earlier you seek treatment, the better.

So, don’t lose hope! Give us a call today—we will do everything we can to help you regain as much of what you’ve lost as possible. You can reach us at (620) 241-3313.

McPherson Office

316 W. 4th Street
McPherson, KS 67460
P: (620) 241-3313
F: (620) 241-6967

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