Laser Therapy Option for Nerve Pain and Neuropathy
Nerve pain tends to have a different feel compared to “standard” pain. It might come with some tingling, burning, or electrical sensations – or even some intermittent numbness. Whatever you feel, however, it’s not pleasant or reassuring!
When nerves are under distress, whether via neuromas, compression, or generalized neuropathy (i.e. nerve damage), it is important to determine exactly what is causing the problem and address it accordingly. Nerves are sensitive structures and crucial to the healthy function of feet and ankles They deserve appropriate care when needed.
There are a number of different treatment recommendations we may make depending on each specific case of nerve pain. One potential method we might recommend – either on its own or in conjunction with one or more other therapies – is MLS Laser therapy.
We previously discussed the potential benefits of laser therapy on certain forms of heel pain, but it can also be beneficial in certain nerve pain situations as well.
Whether or not MLS laser therapy is something we suggest for nerve trouble in your feet or ankles, though, it’s very important not to let such a problem go unaddressed. Nerves can often be difficult to heal, so the sooner you get to the root of the problem, the better! That’s what we’re here for.
How MLS Laser Therapy Can Help with Nerve Pain
MLS laser therapy can be an effective means of reducing pain in many situations. Part of this can involve blocking the signals of local nerves. If that helps block the errant signals of a nerve in distress, that can certainly be a benefit.
However, just blocking pain isn’t enough. Can laser therapy also help nerves maintain their health or even improve it? In some cases, the evidence looks very good.
The MLS laser system creates a very minor, localized disruption that causes the body to react to it in several positive ways. We have already mentioned the potential blocking of nerve signals, but another is an increase in blood flow.
The feet already have a more challenging time receiving plentiful blood flow simply due to their position on the body. They are the farthest location from the main pump of the heart, and all that blood has to fight gravity to get back to headquarters as well!
When anything begins to impede circulation – whether it’s complications from diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or something else – the feet often feel the effects of it first. And since the nerves can be such delicate and high-maintenance organic tools, reduced blood supply can be very dangerous for their health.
However, MLS laser therapy can not only increase blood flow for periods of time, but it can also trigger the creation of new capillaries to provide local cells better access to the nutrients and growth factors that blood contains. Nerves can be among those beneficiaries!
So, MLS laser therapy can have a significant impact on the health of nerves in the feet, and may reduce pain by slowing or stopping their degradation. It is something we might recommend as part of a treatment plan, but there are other matters to keep in mind as well.
Not All Nerve Pain is the Same
MLS may be an effective form of treatment if neuropathy is being caused by impeded circulation, but that is not the only reason a nerve might be in trouble.
Nerve can also become distressed via trauma of some sort. This can be compression against a bone or other harder tissue, or even becoming trapped in scar tissue.
In situations such as these, it is important that the source problem is taken care of if the nerve is to find any relief. No amount of improved blood flow is going to have any lasting effect when the cause is still present!
In some cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to free a confined nerve. We might also recommend the use of custom orthotics to shift excess pressure away from a vulnerable nerve, or stretches and exercises to condition supporting elements of the foot and ankle to increase comfort.
The bottom line is that there is no “go-to” form of treatment for nerve pain that works in every situation. Even if the symptoms feel relatively “standard,” there can be several different potential causes at the source that must be diagnosed and properly addressed. We must always take the time to fully examine your condition and understand how it affects your life before recommending any specific therapy.
Do Not Hold the Phone on Nerve Pain
Nerve pain is not something that tends to go away on its own. It’s more often a sign that a professional evaluation is necessary, and Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle has the expertise to provide just that.
Call our Medford office at (541) 776-3338 to schedule an appointment with us. If you prefer to contact us electronically, simply fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will respond to you during standard office hours.