Laser Therapy Accelerates Nerve Repair
After severe injuries, many patients suffer not only bone, ligament, cartilage, and muscle damage… but also suffer nerve damage. For the moment we’ll talk about peripheral nerves. Whether these nerves or crushed or even cut, they WILL grow back. The problem is that they grow back VERY SLOWLY (on average 1 inch per month). The overall sensations of nerve recovery is NOT a smooth journey. The feelings during nerve healing range from numbness…moving to burning, itching, pain, throbbing…. and eventually…..hopefully…. it will transition to normalcy as the nerve signaling “re-calibrates” itself. This overall process ranges from several months to years for nerves to fully heal.
The good news that is that several studies show how COLD LASER THERAPY can SPEED nerve repair. Specifically, 808 nm LASER treatment of damaged nerves showed SIGNIFICANT improved healing of both the myelin sheaths of damaged nerves AND higher levels of GAP43 protein expression compared to un-treated damaged nerves.
Myelin sheath is the insulated layer around each nerve….much like the insulation around a copper wire. GAP43 protein expression has been termed as the “growth” protein because it is shown at high levels in nerve growth cones during nerve axon regeneration. It is considered a crucial component of an effective regenerative response in the nervous system. In other words, it’s an indicator of nerve growth. Higher levels of this protein suggest faster growth.
Several patients of mine have suffered nerve damaging injuries from car accidents, skydiving crashes, mountain bike crashes, and even combat from military deployment. We have used both acupuncture and HIGH quality LASER therapy to speed up repair of damaged nerves.
We also must mention that damaged nerves can be the result of diabetes, chemotherapy, spinal injuries, stroke, and simple “old age”. Fortunately we’ve seem dramatic improvement of nerve healing in these conditions too!