By Dr. Niele Maimone, DC
Align Healing Center was established in Danville in 1999 and since first opening my doors I have seen a progressive increase in chronic pain and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), now called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in our community. RSD/CRPS is a chronic, painful, and progressive neurological condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints, and bones. The syndrome usually develops in an injured limb, such as a broken leg, or following surgery. However, many cases of RSD involve only a minor injury, such as a sprain. And in some cases, no precipitating event can be identified.
RSD/CRPS is characterized by various degrees of burning pain, swelling, and sensitivity to heat, cold or touch. Pain may begin in one area or limb and then spread to other limbs. In some cases, symptoms of RSD/CRPS diminish for a period of time and then reappear with a new injury.
Causes and Risk Factors for RSD/CRPS
An exact understanding of RSD/CRPS is not complete. It appears to involve a complex interaction among the sensory, motor and sympathetic nervous system as well as involvement of the immune system. Currently Western Medicine is not sure what causes RSD/CRPS. It is believed that in most cases the sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in sustaining the pain. Another theory is that CRPS is caused by a triggering of the immune response, which leads to the characteristic inflammatory symptoms of redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected area.
Treatment Options for RSD Patients
Medical treatments for the management of RSD/CRPS include analgesics, anti-depressants, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nerve blocks, and multiple other drug therapies.
The Natural Approach for Chronic Pain and RSD/CRPS
Holistic, non-invasive treatments for RSD/CRPS offer new possibilities patients may consider for pain and symptom management. As with traditional treatments, holistic treatments may need to be combined for optimal results. Natural Medicine (vitamins, herbs, natural compounds, etc.) has proven to be effective and long-term in helping calm the sympathetic nervous system and reduce systemic inflammation.
At Align Healing Center we are currently seeing beneficial results in the treatment of chronic pain and RSD/CRPS. The combination of Laser Therapy combined with Natural Medicine is yielding hopeful results.
Laser therapy is the application of low levels of laser light to areas of the body that have been injured or damaged. Contrasted with high-powered lasers used in health care that cut tissue, such as surgical or hair-removal lasers, therapy lasers produce beneficial chemical and biological interactions that can help relieve pain and repair injured/damaged tissue. Just as photosynthesis creates energy for plants, the absorption of the laser light by your cells causes increased production of cellular energy. In areas of injury or damage, this means there is more energy available to improve the rate and quality of healing. Studies on tissue cultures have revealed a wide range of beneficial physiological effects, including increased levels of endorphins, reduced levels of inflammatory compounds and an increased rate and quality of tissue healing. We often have patients notice improvement after the very first treatment session; whereas with chronic pain or RSD/CRPS it is realistic that it may take a few treatments. The effect of laser therapy is cumulative, meaning that each successive treatment builds on previous ones.
The results that we are experiencing with our patients are nothing short of remarkable. Class IV Laser Therapy has exceeded our expectations of the healing potential that it ignites in the body and it is our mission to share it with anyone who is seeking freedom from their pain.
Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the owner and founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. She has been active in our natural health & wellness community since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter.com.