ANSWER: Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a condition which has frustrated patients and doctors for decades. I would be surprised if I met someone who didn’t know someone who suffers with PN, or suffered from it him or herself.
In a nutshell, PN can be described as damage to the peripheral nerves of the body that reside outside the spinal cord and brain. There are several causes of PN. Diabetes is the most common. Other causes include alcoholism, autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), infection, tumors, vitamin B deficiency and toxicity (as occurs in chemotherapy).
There has been quite a buzz lately regarding new “cutting edge” treatments for PN at chiropractic centers as well as other alternative health clinics. Low level laser (cold laser) and infrared light therapy have been the latest little darlings of the industry, and it’s likely that one or both of these treatment modalities are the ones used at the clinic that you contacted.
Unfortunately there is no research showing that these modalities meet the sensational claims made by those who advertise them. Some studies have shown mild to modest pain relief when compared to placebo treatments, but three important questions remain unanswered.
Is there any durability to the pain relief? There is nothing in the research to suggest that the relief described is anything but temporary.
Is there any actual change (healing) that occurs within the nerve? Again, there is no evidence that there is.
Is there any change to the underlying condition that causes PN in the first place? To their credit, most pain centers that advertise relief for PN pain don’t go as far as to claim this.
It all seems harmless enough, given that there are no direct side effects, but there can be indirect side effects, the most hazardous being the delay of necessary medical treatment. This is precisely why we advise our patients to consult with their medical doctor before attending our program in order to rule out any degenerating or debilitating conditions. I would hesitate to submit to a consultation at any clinic that tells me to “come in and get examined and get relief” without providing a single detail of the treatment and I would advise my loved ones likewise. By now you have probably assumed my answer to your question. No, the Break the Pain Habit program is not a new, cutting edge modality for the treatment of PN, nor is it related in any way to the treatments utilized by the clinics in this recent marketing blitz. The Break the Pain Habit program is a workshop that teaches participants how to disconnect stress and other negative emotions from their pain through a 30 day, do it yourself, home study. It is a one time process that does not require repeat visits. With a complicated process like PN, it would be irresponsible of me to make any guarantees, and our program doesn’t claim to cure diabetes, toxicity or vitamin deficiency. We are confident, however, that applying the principles we teach can mitigate the pain to the point that patients can begin to recapture their lives. Back to the question