NEW RESEARCH SHOWS THAT COLD LASER DRAMATICALLY HELPS PEOPLE WITH SHINGLES-INDUCED NEURALGIA
The medical journal Practical Pain Management (a journal for Pain Clinics / Pain Doctors) recently ran an article on the benefits of using COLD LASER THERAPY to treat people suffering from Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (Neur = Nerve, Algia = Pain). The Herpes Zoster Virus --- the same virus that causes Chicken Pox --- never completely goes away, but instead hides in the nerve root right next to the spinal cord. The virus can go dormant for decades at a time. Later in life, for a wide variety of reasons (stress, weakened immune system, ANTIBIOTIC USE, POOR GUT HEALTH, etc, etc), people get what we typically call the SHINGLES. Of the one million new cases of Shingles a year, over half occur in people over the age of 60.
Because the Shingles always displays in a Dermatomal Pattern that is related to the individual nerves (see picture at left or click the previous link), they tend to manifest in rather clear cut and delineated manners, whether on the head or body. Although the Shingles themselves tend to last 2-4 weeks, about 50% of the people over 50 years of age who get Shingles end up with what is called Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN). This means that the Herpes Virus stays in the nerve causing pain long after the visible signs of the disease itself are gone. Not only can this nerve pain induced by the Herpes Zoster Virus be virtually debilitating, it can go on for months ---- or even in some cases, even years.
The standard treatment for severe cases of Shingles has always been anit-viral drugs like Acyclovir. However, what is a person supposed to do when the Shingles themselves are gone, and the Neuralgia remains? Pain pills are a short term option, but everyone knows that these lose their effectiveness over the course of time, not to mention the side effects associated with long term use. Although there are many natural remedies that help certain people with their Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, by far the most promising is Cold Laser Therapy.
Cold Laser Therapy works on the premise that every single cell in your body has photo receptors (light receptors). According to the article, "Photon particles of light are absorbed by the mitochondria through cytochrome c oxidase and result in increased cellular Adenosine Tri-Phosphate [ATP] levels." In simple English, this means that when certain frequencies of light stimulate these photo receptors, it turns on the mitochondria to produce the one and only source of energy that cells can use ---- ATP. We know that specific frequencies of laser light can penetrate deep into injured or diseased tissues and stimulate the production of cellular energy by as much as 8 times.
Think for just a moment about why this would be important as far as any healing process is concerned. If you have an abundance of energy in a local area, that energy can be used for repairing or regenerating tissue instead of simply maintaining normal cellular functions. It's sort of like having some extra money at the end of the month to take care of whatever needs to be taken care of. The really cool thing about using Cold Laser Therapy for pain control is that it is not simply masking pain like medications do, but actually healing the tissue. You feel better because you are really better --- not because you took pain meds that only mask the symptoms. The rather amazing thing is that this is not the first study of its kind to look at Cold Laser Therapy for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia. Here are a few of many others.
Although insurances are not yet paying for treatment with Cold Laser Therapy (and probably never will if the Pharmaceutical Industry's ever-powerful lobby has its way), you can see that the results are nothing short of miraculous. In my office, a treatment using Cold Laser usually lasts about 10 minutes or so, and currently costs $30.00. Depending on where the lesion is, I often let a person treat them self or let a spouse treat you. For more information, stop by COLD LASER CURE and spend a few minutes looking around.
ARTHRITIS MEDICATIONS LINKED TO SHINGLES
One of the more common classes of drugs used to treat people with Rheumatoid Arthritis is called TNF (Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor). As the name sounds, it was originally used as a chemotherapy drug. Dr. Kimme Hyrich and his team of researchers from the University of Manchester in England discovered some shocking news for those taking this class of medications. The results were published in the February 2013 issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Approximately 12,000 patients taking TNF drugs for RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS were looked at. The three most common TNF drugs patients take for Rheumatoid Arthritis were the subject of the study. They are.....
Not only did the incidence of Shingles (Herpes Zoster) more than double for those taking the TNF drugs, their incidence of other skin infections increased as well. Although some of this has to do with the disease itself (RA is an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE), much of it has to do with the drugs that are given to treat it. Because Autoimmune Diseases involve the body making antibodies against itself and then attacking itself, the drugs that are given are typically Immuno-suppressive. Although CORTICOSTEROIDS are a popular Immuno-suppressive drug, there are many other drugs that could be classified as such, including TNF.
Furthermore, of the 'severe' cases of shingles (severe was defined as bad enough to require hospitalizations), 20 out of 21 cases were from the TNF group. The TNF group's Shingle patients were far more likely than the non-TNF group to have widespread (multi-dermatomal --- see below) Shingles as well as Shingles in the eye. But that's not all. The rates of other serious skin infections (Staph, Necrotizing Fasciitis, cellulitis, and others) went up significantly as well.
PROGRESSION OF SHINGLES:
This process typically takes about 3-6 weeks to run its course, with the acute phase (through #3 above) being finished within the first two weeks. However, in some cases, a painful condition called post-herpetic neuralgia (post-Shingles nerve pain) can occur. This form of neuralgia has the potential to be severe.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).