An interactive toolkit to help patients manage chronic pain using lasers and other therapies can help them find the relief they need to live a healthy life, according to a new study.
The researchers, led by Texas A&M University, found that people who use lasers to manage pain can feel their muscles relax, relieve congestion and improve mobility and balance.
They also have improved pain tolerance, with some having the equivalent of an arthritis treatment within six months of starting laser therapy.
“The results are promising because they suggest that patients are finding these kinds of effects when using lasers,” said Michael J. D’Amico, an assistant professor of surgery and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a co-author of the study.
In a separate study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, D’Ameo and his colleagues also showed that using a laser to treat a type of chronic pain in the spine or pelvis can help patients with multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory disease that affects nerve cells in the spinal cord.
“We’ve been looking at these types of things for a long time, but the results have been so mixed,” said D’Ano, a surgeon who is also a professor of medicine and director of the Texas A & M Health Sciences Center at Houston.
“The results from our study are really encouraging.”
The study looked at a different type of treatment that has received a lot of interest.
In the study, people with multiple pain syndromes experienced improvements in pain and mobility and were able to reduce their pain without any additional surgery.
The team also found that laser therapy also can help people who have severe pain, including people with cancer and chronic pain, who can use lasers for pain control without any side effects.
“This is really exciting because the data show these benefits are real,” said Aileen Siegel, the president and CEO of the A&M Institute for Advanced Research in Pain, a nonprofit dedicated to researching laser therapy for chronic pain.
“It’s important to recognize that laser technology is already here.
There are people using it and doing it well.
We just need to get the research started.”
The findings are encouraging, but they are still in their early stages, said Dr. William R. Schoettgen, an internist at the A & M Institute for Research in the Neurological Sciences and director at the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“What we do know is that laser treatment does not increase the risk of infection or complications from the therapy,” Schoetsgen said.
“I think the study was the first to look at that in a randomized clinical trial, but we need more research before we can be certain.”
The results were so encouraging, the researchers are hoping to study more people to see how it works.
They are also studying people who are in pain without being aware of their condition and have had surgery and are seeing benefits, too.
The Texas A + M Institute is currently recruiting patients to participate in a two-year, $7 million trial to test laser therapy in patients with chronic pain and cancer.
For more information, visit the university’s website or call 281-966-4100.
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