h1 bulletLaser Therapy: Infrared Photo Energy May Reduce Neuropathic Pain

 

Introduction:Diabetic neuropathy is a common health problem today which often poses a variety of clinical challenges. In this article, Dr.
Thomas J. Burke reports on the results of a study utilizing phototherapy (non-coherent light therapy) on patients with neuropathies. This is an exciting paper and demonstrates the potential value of light therapy in these clinical conditions. There is a rapidly increasing body of evidence that is demonstrating the clinical value of using non laser light therapy for a wide variety of painful conditions.

- William J Kneebone, DC, CNC, DIHom, FIAMA, Department Head

 

Methods and Results: Medical records of 493 patients, who received treatment with MIRE™ between the months of May and June 2006, were reviewed in addition to patient submitted health questionnaires. Patients were grouped into various categories depending on the answers provided in their health questionnaires, such as duration of pain and non-successful pain treatments. Changes in pain response to MIRE treatment in DPN and PNO patients are summarized in the chart below.

 


Changes in pain in response to MIRE treatment in DPN and PNO patients

 

All Patients

DPN

PNO

# of Patients

493

248

245

Pre-Treatment Pain (10 max)a

6.9 ± 2.2

6.9 ± 2.2

6.9 ± 2.1

Post-Treatment Pain

2.5 ± 2.1b

2.5 ± 2.4b

2.5 ± 2.0b

Mean Decrease in Pain

4.4 ± 2.3b

4.4 ± 2.4b

4.4 ± 2.1b

a = mean ± SD. b = P<.0001 vs. initial pain. DPN = diabetic peripheral neuropathy. PNO = peripheral neuropathy from other causes.

 

Additionally, 187 of the 364 patients (51%) who were using medications to manage their neuropathic pain at the onset of MIRE Therapy reported they had reduced their medications during MIRE therapy. It was also noted that pain response to MIRE is independent of medication usage, as highlighted in the chart below.

 


Pain Response to MIRE is independent of medication usage.

 

No Meds during MIRE

Decreased Meds

No Change in Meds

Changed Meds

 

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Patients (n)

129

187

151

26

Initial Paina

6.7 ± 2.4

7.2 ± 1.9

6.7 ± 2.3

7.3 ± 1.9

Post Paina

2.4 ± 2.2b

2.5 ± 2.2b

2.6 ± 2.0b

2.6 ± 1.9b

Mean Pain Decreasea

4.3 ± 2.5b

4.7 ± 2.1b

4.2 ± 2.3b

4.7 ± 2.4b

Number of Treatmentsa

15 ± 9.2

15 ± 8.2

16 ± 9.1

19 ± 8.9

a = mean ± SD. b = P<.0001 vs. initial pain. Meds = medications. (n) = number of patients. Changed meds indicates either a different dose or a different medication or both.

 

Conculsion: Based on these data, MIRE—administered as part of a care plan prescribed by physicians—is associated with a substantial reduction in neuropathic pain. Use of MIRE may be an alternative for physicians to consider for patients with neuropathy, especially those who have obtained an unsatisfactory level of neuropathic pain relief while using various oral medications. MIRE might also be an alternative first line treatment in some patients with significant neuropathic pain who have not yet begun drug therapy.