Chiropractor Chandler AZ
Cold laser therapy is an excellent treatment for decreasing pain and inflammation. Cold laser or low-level laser therapy emits specific wavelengths and frequencies that decrease inflammatory cells and pathways within the body. A different wavelength of energy promotes cell repair and healing. Low-level laser therapy is a great treatment for speeding up repair along with decreasing inflammation in the surrounding tissues.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the median nerve which damages the nerve’s function and repair processes. Prolonged compression of the median nerve results in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the thumb and adjacent two fingers. The nerve is unable to transmit its signal along the nerve, nor is it able to heal itself until the compression is removed.
The median nerve can be compressed at several locations in the arm, elbow, or wrist. Most people are familiar with compression at the wrist or carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is formed by a ring of wrist bones and the ligament that crosses the top of the bones. Inside the carpal tunnel multiple tendons, arteries, and veins travel along with the median nerve. Damage to any of these tissues or tendons can result in inflammation and accumulating fluid.
Traditional treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome involves decreasing the inflammation in the carpal tunnel with heat, ice, electric, ultrasound, massage therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication. Corticosteroid injections can be performed to specifically reduce the inflammation inside the carpal tunnel. Physical therapy exercises and stretches are also utilized to enhance wrist flexor and extensor muscle flexibility. Commonly in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, these muscles have become overworked and undergo spasms to protect the wrist. This further complicates the condition by jamming the carpal tunnel bones together and further minimizing the space within the tunnel. Massage therapy reduces stress on the tendons and relaxes these muscles, allowing the carpal joints a greater ability to move.
A newer and very effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is the application of class IV cold laser therapy. Cold laser therapy, as previously mentioned, decreases the inflammation inside the carpal tunnel and along the injured tendons. Removing the inflammation inside the carpal tunnel removes the compression on the median nerve, allowing it to heal and repair.
Low level laser therapy also enhances cellular repair and regeneration. The specific wavelengths ramp-up the cellular healing and enzyme activity that promote tissue repair. These wavelengths are effective on both muscle, tendon, ligament, and nervous tissue. The faster the tendons and nerve can heal, the quicker a person will recover.
Cold laser therapy is often applied either by itself or with traditional treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome. Many people describe their carpal tunnel symptoms fluctuating over months; at times the symptoms are very mild, but other times it can be excruciating. In these patients their symptoms went down as compression was removed from the median nerve. However the tissue was not able to completely heal and recover, so when they returned to their previous activity, the tissue became damaged again and inflammation increased. The combination of increased tissue damage and inflammation compressed the median nerve again and their symptoms returned. Complete recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome requires all of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments involved to be completely healed and repaired. In many of these cases, the application of low level laser therapy was the final piece needed to promote full tendon and median nerve repair.