Photon Therapy

INTRODUCTION

The photonic stimulator (used in PHOTON THERAPY, PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY) is a hand held device which emits infrared light and is held over specific points located on the body. The infrared light penetrates the skin to help increase blood flow and circulation. It is a non-invasive, safe, painless beam of light which activates or produces particular physiological results based on applied neuropsychological principles.
For those with RSD/CRPS, the sympathetic nervous system is dysfunctional in that it does not properly control the cutaneous blood flow to the areas of the skin. These altered blood flow patterns look like hyperthermia (increased heat) or hypothermia (decreased blood flow). There is a temperature asymmetry in the body. The photonic stimulator can regulate blood flow and normalize temperature patterns. (Please see our FAQ's)

Photon therapy has been used to treat many conditions, injuries from sports, auto accidents work injuries, or painful diseases e.g. back/neck/hip/knee and CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). The TIP (Thermal Imaging Processor) is a digital infrared imaging system that measures heat emanating from the body and is used to measure progress before and after treatment is completed, offering a unique form of visual feedback. For more information please click on our PHOTON FAQ's.

UPDATE March 2007: Due to an upsurge in interest, we have posted new FAQ's on Photon.

Photon FAQs Thermography 2006 Studies Myofascial Pain Improvement of Pain Bales Scientific Readings/Updates 2007

GENERAL INFORMATION ON PHOTON THERAPY (PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY)

PHOTON TREATMENT: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS(FAQ's)

1. Will I feel anything?

Most people feel no sensations other than the movement of air from the small fan used to cool the emitter and the vibrations from the motor. The doctor orders the intensity of the lamp and sometimes there is a warmth sensation.

NOTE: There are NO electric shocks or burning sensations.

2. Are there any contraindications?

As with any therapy (ultrasound, EMS therapy, etc.) it is not applied over cancer, infection, pregnant uterus, eyes or tumor People with these problems CAN be treated with photon therapy at other sites in their body.

3. What does photon therapy do to me?

Photon therapy works in four general ways: a) localized muscles relaxers, b) localized anti-inflammatory, c) localized pain reliever and d) to help injured nerves heal. Because there are no drugs used, the doctor is able to target specific areas that are to be treated and there are no "all over the body" side effects. Sometimes the patient does feel more relaxed all over because their symptoms have changed. This is related to the restoration of the parasympathetic nervous system. They are, however, able to operate a car in a safe manner.

4. What conditions are treated with photon therapy (photodynamic therapy)?

Most disorders of the nervous system have responded well. These conditions include but are not limited to: Diabetic neuritis, peripheral neuropathy, CRPS/RSD, pain disorders, etc. Many disorders of the muscles have also been successfully treated: whiplash, trigger points, muscles spasm, myositis, and fibromyalgia. Other success have been met with Failed Back syndrome, TMJ dysfunctions, joint pains and injuries from sports, auto accidents and work injuries.

5. Can photon be used on children and senior citizens?

Yes because there is no painful experience.

6. How can you tell that I am getting any benefit from treatment?

The doctor performs an examination prior to treatment and again when photon therapy is finished. There must be a measure of improvement. High resolution thermal imaging examination must be performed in complex neurological conditions and establish the specific dosage and requirements for the patient.

7. How many treatments do I need?

Each patient and each diagnosis requires a different quantity of care. A usual trial of treatment is four sessions to document sustained improvement. If this cannot be accomplished, treatment should be terminated.

8. Can anyone give photon treatments?

No. Only trained licensed health care professionals are permitted to apply photon therapy. It is required that proper chart notes, treatment plan and protocol are followed.


PHOTON: ADVANTAGES, EFFECTS ON PAIN RELIEF, AND MECHANISM OF ACTION

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PHOTON THERAPY?

  • Faster healing: accelerates fibroblast development in damaged tissue as well as stimulating bone and cartilage regeneration
  • Anti-inflammatory action:reduces swelling and accelerates healing times of soft tissue injuries
  • Increased vascular activity: results in an increase of microcirculation of lymphatics and small blood vessels in injured tissue
  • Stimulates nerve function: accelerates the regeneration of damaged nerves.
  • Fast: typical treatment is only 10 minutes
  • Nonpharmalogical: no hidden side effects
  • Non-invasive: unlike acupuncture or injections, the skin is not physically penetrated
  • Economical: costs less than other therapy and offers greater benefits

 

EFFECTS OF PHOTONIC STIMULATION ON PAIN RELIEF

1. At appropriate energy densities and treatment parameters, it can alter the pain threshold.

2. Photonic stimulation has the potential to significantly alter the neurochemistry of the central and peripheral nervous systems. This suggests that there may be a neuropharmacological substrate for laser-mediate analgesia.

3. Photon can alter electrically evoked potentials, in terms of latency (or velocity) and amplitude.


HOW DOES PHOTON WORK IN THE BODY?

Photon breaks the painful inflammatory cycle by dilating small blood and lymphatic vessels. This increase in circulation removes the irritating inflammatory products and results in accelerated healing and pain relief. the fibroblasts. immune system and nervous system are also stimulated by photon to increase activity--thereby repairing damaged tissues sooner.

Numerous tests show that the increase in circulation and reduction in pain associated with the use of photon is the result of an increase in the release of nitric oxide directly under the transmitter. The photodisssociation of nitric oxide (NO), either directly form the endothelial cells or from the hemoglobin within the red blood cell, may be responsible for these benefits.

Over 40 years ago, Furchgott (et al JPETT 113:22, 1955) demonstrated the ability of photo energy to induce vasorelaxation. Furchgott, Ignatto and Murad were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine and physiology in 2000 for their work in identifying NO as the molecule responsible for regulating blood pressure.

SOURCE: Kobrossi: Photodynamic Therapy pamphlet

 


USE OF THERMOGRAPHY IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF CRPS: A PHYSICIAN’S OPINION

by Dr P Getson DO Pain Practitioner 2006 Vol. 16 No. 1

REVIEW ARTICLE FROM PARC PEARL DEC. 2006

Diagnosing CRPS is difficult at best and doctors have yet to come up with a definitive test. One helpful diagnostic tool which helps assemble the pieces of the puzzle is thermography. It has been around since the 1950’s and still is used at NASA.

Neuromuscular disorders can be diagnosed with thermography. With regard to CRPS, the infrared cameras are hi-tech computer images which measure changes in skin temperature.

“The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls these changes and changes in the sympathetics cause changes in the thermal imaging which do not conform to dermatomal patterns”.
Thermography is exacting in measuring temperature and temperature differences.

"Thermography show changes in skin temperature to one tenth of one degree centigrade. Lack of symmetry is out of conformation to dermatomal distributions.”

Measurements on a CRPS patient within the first six months shows the affected side to be warmer than the contralateral side by 0.9 Degrees C which is considered as standard for sympathetically maintained thermal asymmetry. Sometimes this uneven temperature is 1.5-2 degrees C. difference. After six months, the pattern changes and the affected side is the “cold side”. The temperature difference is often seen in very striking, vivid images.

While feeling the affected side with the hand measures temperature, the thermogram is much more sensitive and the temperature scale is very sensitive also. It is specifically calibrated to measure very small differences. It can be adjusted to allow for room or body temperature.

Another interesting thing to observe in “CRPS is the spreading patterns which can be seen 6-9 months prior to the occurrence of symptoms in a limb that has been affected with dysfunction but has not yet become symptomatic“. Patients mention symptoms in one limb which are seen as thermal abnormalities in other limb.

Thermography means that patients can be diagnosed and treated earlier.

USES: New cameras have real-time imaging properties that could help monitor a limb while a spinal cord stimulator is being installed.
Thermography could help the surgeon place the leads accurately so that the patient gets maximum benefit from the stimulator.

DIAGNOSING CRPS:
Thermography is the best tool we have to date to help us with diagnosis of CRPS. It also completely validates the symptoms described by the patient. he/she is not making it up, exaggerating or hallucinating.
Earlier diagnosis means earlier treatment and a better prognosis.
Thermography continues to surprise us with its uses and is a valuable help in making a diagnosis of CRPS.

Source: Pain Practitioner Vol 16 No. 1 Spring 2006 and ©PARC PEARL December 2006 p. 7.



PAST STUDIES

Infrared Photon Stimulation: A New Form of Chronic Pain Therapy
by Jacob Green, M.D., Deborah Fralicker, R.N., D.C., William Clewell, Ph.D., Earl Horowitz, D.P.M., Tim Luce, B.S., Victor Yannacone, L.L.B., and Constance Haber, D.C.

ABSTRACT: Three diverse problems were studied, the first of which was "chronic painful diabetic neuropathy." This was typified by cold, painful feet. Photon therapy over the acupuncture sites and over the afflicted area resulted in increased temperature and amelioration of pain in many patients. In addition, it was noted that those who became temperature coherent (we noted a wide dispersion of recorded temperatures in symptomatic patients) were associated with better assessment of the technique by the patient.The second group of "chronic myofascial pain" syndrome patients typically demonstrated an increased are of temperature in the skin, were also treated by utilization of typical acupuncture points. For the most part, clinical improvement in pain ratings were noted associated with decreased skin temperature in affected areas becoming side-to-side coherent over time. A third patient with complex regional pain syndrome type II was also treated with this technology with clinical improvement in his previously dramatically reduced skin temperature without admission of any basic symptom change.
It is felt that the infrared energy creates a change in the potentiostatic electrochemical process which invokes a non-local coupling reaction in the body's electrical system. This would also indicate a new anatomical designation of acupuncture treatment points in correspondence with the older nomenclature which was often misleading.This is the first overall reporting of a treatment utilizing the body's own "electrical buttons" as opposed to invoking electrical change of an internal or external invasive or semi-invasive procedure.

 

Thermal Imaging Processor (TIP) Photon Stimulation: A New Form of Therapy for Chronic Diabetic Medical Painful Neuropathy of the Feet
by Jacob Green, M.D., Ph.D., Earl Horowitz, D.P.M., Deborah Fralicker, R.N., D.C., William Clewell, Ph.D., George Ossi, B.S., Aerospace Minnie Briley, C.M.E.T. and Tim Luce, B.S. Pain Digest, September/October 1999, Volume 9, Number 5


ABSTRACT: Diabetic neuropathy is a common, significant, and painful condition that does not readily lend itself to simplified Photonic therapy. Patients with painful diabetic neuropathy were treated with a new entity, i.e., a photon stimulator, and this device is described. Patients and control subjects were all assessed by physiological means (high-resolution digital infrared imaging)before and after all therapy. Patients were all given the opportunity to express their own opinions as to the efficacy of treatment outcomes via use of the standard visual analogue scale (VAS). The results are noted.

 

Photon Stimulation Therapy for Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome: A New Technique
by Jacob Green, M.D., Ph.D., Deborah Fralicker, R.N., William Clewell, Ph.D., Earl Horowitz, D.P.M., and Tim Lucey, B.S. Disability, August 1999, Volume 8, Number 3

ABSTRACT: Complex regional pain syndrome type I, previously known as reflex asymmetry dystrophy, is notoriously difficult to treat. We report on the significant temperature reduction and the side-to-side symmetry noted in one patient treated with infrared photon therapy. We review recently published experience with the photon stimulator in chronic diabetic painful neuropathy and chronic myofascial pain syndrome. Significant temperature symmetries which were the hallmark of these other disorders were likewise similarly affected. Considerations for the acupuncture type of electrochemical process change in non local coupling functions are thought to be responsible. Neuromodulation and neuroaugmentation created by this technology seem to be helpful in the amelioration of this chronic painful condition.

Chronic Myofascial Pain Treated with a New Device: The Photon Stimulator - Physiological and Clinical Assessment
by Deborah Fralicker, D.C., Jacob Green, M.D., Ph.D., William Clewell, Ph.D., George Ossi, B.S., and Minnie Briley, C.M.E.T. JMPT, Submitted April 1999

ABSTRACT: Classical spinal and peripheral acupuncture treatment points were stimulated by an FDA approved infrared photon device in the treatment of chronic myofascial pain. Favorable assessments by the patients of this new mode of photon therapy were reported for both groups. A significant reduction in the patient's level of pain using the standard visual analog scale for pain measurement were found. A reduction of the classic hotter (spot) skin surface temperatures in the area of the myofascial complaints that the surrounding body in both groups of patients.
This infrared photon therapy device appears quite acceptable for the outpatient treatments in chiropractic physicians offices, especially those with an interest in myofascial pain and knowledge of acupuncture technique.

Improvement of Pain and Disability in Elderly Patients with Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Knee Treated with Narrow-Band Light Therapy
by Jean Stelian, M.D., Israel Gil, M.D., Beni Habot, M.D., Michael Rosenthal, M.D., Julian Abramovici, M.D., Nathalia Kutok, M.D., and Auni Khahil, M.D. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, January 1992, Volume 40, Number 1

ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the effects of low-power light therapy on pain and disability in elderly patients with degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee. Design: Partially double-blinded, full randomized trial comparing red, infrared, and placebo light emitters. Patients: 50 patients with degenerative osteoarthritis of both knees were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: red (15 patients), infrared (18 patients), and placebo (17 patients). Infrared and placebo emitters were double-blinded. Interventions: Self-applied treatment to both sides of the knee for 15 minutes twice a day for 10 days.
Main Outcomes: Short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire, Present Pain Intensity, and Visual Analog Scale for pain and Disability Index Questionnaire for disability were used. We evaluated pain and disability before and on the tenth day of therapy. The period from the end of the treatment until the patients request to be retreated was summed up 1 year after the trial.

Results: Pain and disability before treatment did not show statistically significant differences between the three groups. Pain reduction in the red and infrared groups after the treatment was more than 50% in all scoring methods. There was no significant pain improvement in the placebo groups. We observed significant functional improvement in the red- and infrared-treated groups, but not in the placebo group. The period from the end of treatment until the patients required retreatment was longer for the red and infrared groups than for the placebo group.

Results: Pain and disability before treatment did not show statistically significant differences between the three groups.Pain reduction in the red and infrared groups after the treatment was more than 50% in all scoring methods (P less than 0.05). There was no significant pain improvement in the placebo group. We observed significant functional improvement in red- and infrared-treated groups (p less than 0.05), but not in the placebo group. The period from the end of treatment until the patients required treatment was longer for red and infrared groups than for the placebo group (4.2 +/- 3.0, 6.1 +/- 3.2, and 0.53 +/- 0.62 months, for red, infrared, and placebo, respectively).

Conclusions: Low-power light therapy is effective in relieving pain and disability in degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee.

Results of Treatment with the Bales Scientific Photonic Stimulator
by Harry F. L. Pollett, M.D. FRCPC
Cape Breton Healthcare Complex
North Sydney, Canada

Diagnoses Treated
Back Pain - 21 Patients
RSD - 13 Patients
Tension Headaches - 10 Patients
Leg/Hip/Knee Pain - 10 Patients
Myofascial Pain - 5 Patients
Diabetic Neuropathy - 4 Patients
Chest Wall Pain - 3 Patients
Post Herpetic Neuralgia - 3 Patients
TMJ - 3 Patients
Abdominal Wall Pain - 1 Patient


Treatment Results
Diagnoses Treated:
Back Pain - 21 Patients (11 helped by other means before treatment with Stimulator)
Back Pain - 21 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Back Pain - 21 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) - 13 Patients RSD - 13 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
RSD - 13 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)
Tension Headache - 13 Patients (10 patients helped by other means before treatment with Stimulator)
Tension Headache - 13 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Tension Headache - 13 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)
Leg/Hip/Knee Pain (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Leg/Hip/Knee Pain (at present time - September, 1999)
Diabetic Neuropathy - 3 Patients (1 patient helped by other treatments)
Diabetic Neuropathy - 3 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Diabetic Neuropathy - 3 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)
Myofascial Pain - 5 Patients (4 patients were helped by other treatments before Photonic Stimulator)
Myofascial Pain - 5 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Myofascial Pain - 5 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)

Recurrences
Change in Work Status
Concerns

Treatment Results
Minimum Number of Treatments - 3
Number of Patients Treated - 105
Number of Patients Surveyed - 81

Back Pain: 21 Patients (11 helped by other means before treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Treatments Included:
Trigger Points
I.V. Lidocaine
Epidural Steroids
Chiropractor
Back Pain - 21 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Worse after treatment - 5 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 7 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 4 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 5 Patients
Back Pain - 21 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)
Worse after treatment - 4 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 5 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 5 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 7 Patients

REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY (RSD) or COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME (CRPS) - 13 Patients
(4 patients were helped by other treatment before Photonic Stimulator)
Treatments included:
Physiotherapy
Trigger Joint Injections
Sympathetic Nerve Blocks
I.V. Lidocaine
Bier Blocks with Guanethidine or Bretylium

RSD - 13 Patients
(at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)
Worse after treatment - 1 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 1 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 2 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 9 Patients

RSD - 13 Patients
(at present time - September, 1999)
Worse after treatment - 2 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 3 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 3 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 4 Patients
All better - 1 Patient

Tension Headache - 13 Patients (10 patients helped by other means before treatment with Stimulator)
Treatments Included:
Physiotherapy
I.V. Lidocaine
Oral Medication
Trigger Point Injections
Scalp Nerve Blocks

Tension Headache - 13 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)

Worse after treatment - 1 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 4 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 3 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 5 Patients


Tension Headache - 13 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)

Worse after treatment - 2 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 3 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 6 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 2 Patients

Leg/Hip/Knee Pain (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)

Worse after treatment - 2 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 2 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 4 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 2 Patients

Leg/Hip/Knee Pain (at present time - September, 1999)

Worse after treatment - 2 Patients
Unchanged after treatment - 3 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 3 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 2 Patients

Diabetic Neuropathy - 3 Patients (1 patient helped by other treatments)
Treatments Included:
Oral Medication
Sympathetic Blocks

Diabetic Neuropathy - 3 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)

Significantly better after treatment - 2 Patients
All better - 1 Patient

Diabetic Neuropathy - 3 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)

Worse after treatment - 1 Patients
All better - 2 Patient

Myofascial Pain- 5 Patients
(4 patients were helped by other treatments)
(1 patient was not helped by other treatments)

Treatments Included:
Trigger Point Injections
I.V. Lidocaine
Tricyclic Anti-depressants

Myofascial Pain - 5 Patients (at end of treatment with Photonic Stimulator)

Unchanged after treatment - 1 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 1 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 3 Patients

Myofascial Pain - 5 Patients (at present time - September, 1999)

Unchanged after treatment - 1 Patients
Slightly better after treatment - 3 Patients
Significantly better after treatment - 1 Patients
One patient able to return to work as a result of the treatments. None of the other patients are working.

Recurrences
Less that one week - 27 patients
Less than one month - 3 patients
Less than three months - 8 patients
More than three months - 8 patients
Total - 46 patients
Improved with no recurrence - 15

Change in Work Status
Not working to working part-time - 1
Not working to working full-time - 5
Part-time to working full-time - 2
Not working to looking for work - 1
Full-time to working part-time - 0
Full-time to not working - 0
Part-time to not working - 0

Total with improved work status - 9
Total with decreased work status - 0

Concerns:
Three of four Diabetic Neuropathy patients appeared to get an exacerbation of infection after treatments.

One patient died of cancer of the lung three months after treatment. Diagnosed six weeks before death, but our infrared images may have shown tumor.

A 38 year old female patient with a family history of heart disease had a heart attack two weeks after treatment. She had good pain relief, but now appears to have fulminant progression of her coronary artery disease.


 

FURTHER READINGS

Beckerman, H. Et al The Efficacy of Laser Therapy for Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders: a Criteria-Based Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials Physical Therapy 1992;72: 483-91

Getson, Phillip DO USE OF THERMOGRAPHY IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF CRPS: A PHYSICIAN’S OPINION Pain Practitioner 2006 Vol. 16 No. 1 (see review article in this file).


Kara, T. Photo biological Fundamentals of Low Power Laser Therapy, Journal of Quantum Electronics, 1987:23 1707-13

Klaber, Tom. Ending Pain with Light, Alternative Medicine, November 1999. To read click on pages: page 1,

Photon Therapy Brightens the Future, Swaha Devi, Alternative Medicine, September 2000

Young, S. et al. Macrophage Responsiveness to Light Therapy, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 9, 495, 1989.

 

UPDATES:

UPDATE MAY 2001: COMING SOON! Dr Pollett's follow up survey of treatment of CRPS patients with the photonic stimulator.

UPDATE March 2002: "Infrared Light Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Pain" in Today's Therapeutic Trends (2002) has been published in the fourth quarter issue. We congratulate Dr Pollett on his hard work!

UDPATE July 2003: Dr Pollett has indicated that in his practice, based on his statistics for treating RSD/CRPS patients with photon therapy, that the success rate is 60%.

UPDATE October 2005: Dr Pollett has successfully treated many RSD/CRPS patients since he began using the photonic stimulator in 1998. For updated information, please contact PARC.

UPDATE February 2007: PARC has expanded photon information to include FAQ's. advantages, effects on pain, wound healing and mechanism of action of photon therapy.

There are many types of laser therapy of which photon is one. For locations across Canada, try www.bioflexlaser.com.


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