Page 27

Innovative Health Care Magazine

27 InnovativeHealthMag.com news as a ‘new treatment’. In fact, however, it has been used medicinally since the 17th Century – but not practiced in the same manner. The term “Cryotherapy” means the use of a low-temperature environment for medicinal use. The analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of cryotherapy are related to three specific changes in the body. First, the nerve signal transmission is slowed; reducing the amount of nerve signals getting through to the brain might relieve pain in some individuals. Secondly, Cryotherapy stimulates the production of endorphins, decreasing the body’s perception of symptomatic pain. Not only is the treatment painless, it is especially useful in acting on three physiological effects: as a painkiller, an anti-inflammatory and as a muscle relaxer. To treat a patient medicinally for those three pain effects could entail three different and strong prescriptions that can cause other significant health issues while trying to alleviate suffering. Finally, cryotherapy can reduce pain intensity and frequency by reducing inflammation. All of these potential benefits can be measured in the lab, but how does cryotherapy measure up in the real world?  Dr. Borrego explains “Let’s say you have a patient who has constant knee pain. They have exhausted using injections and other things. You could use a probe approach. The cryo, or cold, therapy is placed on the skin, over the area where the nerves to a particular joint travel where the cold therapy is applied to that nerve pathway. It’s not that it is a temporary treatment. What we are trying to do is to retrain the pathway to the brain. The brain is the most powerful organ in the body in terms of pain. When the cryotherapy is applied to the affected area, the goal is to create an interruption in the inflammatory pain cycle, which is causing the continuous throbbing.” Cryotherapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other pain management techniques which enhances the effectiveness and maximizes the benefits. The initial positive effect may last up to eight hours. The immediate effect of skin cooling and analgesia longer, but, as Dr. Borrego stated earlier, it is a process of retraining the nerve pathways. Another effective alternative that is producing positive results is the use of electronic stimulation for pain management. Specifically, it is the vagus nerve that is stimulated via the auricular percutaneous leads. This nerve is one of two cranial nerves which are extremely long THE LOSS OF MUSCLE STRENGTH, COUPLED WITH CONSTANCY OF MODERATE TO SEVERE PAIN, MAY GREATLY REDUCE THE ABILITY TO WORK and run from the brain stem to the viscera; a branch of it goes to each ear. The vagus nerves carry a wide assortment of signals to and from the brain, and they are responsible for a number of instinctive responses in the body, including mood and pain levels. This type of treatment uses low electrical impulses to cause muscles to contract, which calms the affected areas. A tiny apparatus is placed behind the ear. It is battery operated and contains a microchip. Three small leads go from the device, directly to the ear. As Dr. Borrego explains, “By electrically stimulating these areas of the ear, it allows for stimulation of the vagus nerve, which modulates pain. It works in these main areas. It stimulates the nerve, which, in turn, stimulates the brain, telling our body it has been hurt. This signals the body to release endorphins. At the same time, it also stimulates the blood supply and the flow of oxygenated blood to the painful area to assist in healing.” An electrical signal is sent through the designated area. The signal disrupts the pain signal that is being sent by the affected area to the surrounding nerves. Botox is very successful in pain relief, especially for cases of ‘whiplash’ or migraine headaches caused by an accident. “The term “whiplash” is a colloquialism; it is a non-medical OR FUNCTION AT NORMAL CAPACITY.  term describing a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck. It is commonly associated with automotive accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear; however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways. Botox, of course, is famous for its use for cosmetic purposes. Dr. Borrego explains: “That is not the only application. The same action that allows for the muscles to relax and minimize wrinkles is useful in stopping the pain in both of these instances, with dramatic effect. Pain from whiplash and/or migraines is markedly reduced.” The needles are inserted in the affected areas (to the neck muscles for whiplash, all around the parameter of the painful areas with migraines). These areas are traditionally difficult to treat. Dr. Borrego continues, “You may have a patient who has been treated with narcotics and physical therapy for three to five months, without any noticeable relief. The pain is still there and it is dominating their lives. If they have a Botox treatment once every 90 days, (with a maximum of three treatments annually) the pain cycle is broken and they have relief. This type of constant pain can make slaves of the patient; this allows them to return to their lives.” The innovative and patented MLS (Multiwave Locked System) Therapy Laser was developed in an effort to produce an efficient and simultaneous effect on pain, inflammation, and edema, exceeding the limits of traditional low power and concerns of high power laser therapy. Most lasers use heat, MLS Laser Therapy does not. It is a non-heat laser that uses two wavelengths, rather than the traditional single wavelength. Using specific calculations, it mixes the light to decrease inflammation and edema, while alleviating the constant pain. It increases the analgesic effects of pain relief at the cellular level. This allows it to be used in injuries where there has been soft tissue damage and to help in a degenerative condition. All of these alternatives have benefits that are different from the traditional use of opiates. Dr. Borrego feels strongly about their advantages. “It is so hard to treat chronic pain”, he says, shaking his head. “At least there are some effective, innovative alternatives to simply supplying the patient with anti-depressants or opiates.” In the past, prescriptions for these powerful medications have been the primary route most physicians take for their patients with this issue. ““With the use of pills, there can be a broad range of side effects. The patient can have G.I, upset and/or constipation. This form of treatment can become less effective. This can lead to increased dosages and diminishing effectiveness, at the risk of dependence and addition. If other medications are added, it can multiply the problems, with side effects all over the place. What we are seeing now is a multimodal approach. It is no longer just a choice between one or two standard treatments. There are some exciting new ways to successfully manage pain” he states. “And if you are not successful with one, you can go on to others.”


Innovative Health Care Magazine
To see the actual publication please follow the link above