Red light relief: New hope for neuropathy sufferers

There are more than 20 million Americans suffering from some form of peripheral neuropathy.

The condition is caused by nerve damage resulting from a traumatic injury, infection, metabolic problem or exposure to toxins, according to a report prepared by the Mayo Clinic Staff. One of the most common underlying causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes.

Symptoms can begin almost without notice. A numbness and/or tingling begins gradually, starting with the longest nerves, which are those reaching to the feet, and then spreading up to the legs and arms.

Other symptoms are burning sensation; sharp, jabbing or electric pain; extreme sensitivity to touch; lack of coordination; muscle weakness and bowel or bladder problems if autoimmune nerves are affected (Mayo clinic Staff report).

Treatment for the condition has largely centered on drug therapy. But Dr. Josh Johnston, a chiropractor at the Neuropathy Treatment Center in Denver, CO, says that “the majority of people either do not respond well to the therapy or develop additional symptoms from the common side effects of the drugs.” “We have the results of more than 10 years of research on this class of conditions, collectively known as ‘peripheral neuropathies,’” Dr. Johnston said. “In fact, helping people with these problems has become our primary focus.

Studies over the last few years have supported the thesis that pulsed infrared light and laser therapy offers new hope to neuropathy sufferers and those looking for a drug-free way of treating their pain, cramps, tingling, numbness and/or interruption in sleep. The technology converts light energy to chemical energy, stimulating the nerve cells to regenerate.

Dr. Johnston has teamed up with other physicians and therapists to provide the pulsed infrared light therapy, what he calls a breakthrough treatment protocol. The use of light to stimulate tissue repair has recently become a recommended therapy by the American Diabetes Association. It is painless and non-invasive. Neuropathy Treatment Centers of American reports a 92 percent success rate for helping patients with pain associated with peripheral neuropathy.

When patients visit the center, they are given an exam to determine the function of their nerves in the legs, feet, toes and hands. If the exam reveals neuropathy, a care plan is devised to rehabilitate the nerves and reduce discomfort.

“We have seen this treatment changing people’s live,” he said. “People suffering from peripheral neuropathy pain can have a low quality of life as the pain touches every aspect of their existence.”

Inquiries should be directed to 303-691-0022. The Center is certified by the Neuropathy Treatment Centers of America.