Treatment for a common, work-related hand and wrist ailment just got a little bit easier. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an extremely painful problem, and the traditional remedy is no picnic either. Now, doctors don’t need a surgery suite; a small exam room with a big light will do just fine.
Larry Vesey remembers exactly what happened four years ago. Larry: “While working, I noticed tingling in the hands, some numbness. It was difficult driving, and even more importantly, it was difficult working. I would drop tools”. Larry suffered the debilitating pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.
For chiropractor Dr. Helen Bartosek, it’s a common injury. Dr. Bartosek: “Carpal tunnel is a compression of the median nerve”. That’s the nerve that controls the thumb and first two fingers. The compression of the median nerve causes numbness and pain.
Larry: “It’s hard to function when your hand is numb, and when you grasp something, you don’t really have a feel for what you’re grasping if your hand is numb”. Two million Americans have similar symptoms, caused mainly by constant use of the computer keyboard. And for many, going under the knife is the only solution.Now, there’s another option.
The latest alternative to surgery is laser. It’s being used on a patient with pain similar to Larry’s pain. It’s called the Microlight 830 Laser, approved by the FDA just two years ago. This is a defined light that goes at about a 5-centimeter depth into the skin, which helps increase the circulation, decrease inflammation, and decrease pain. Instead of surgery, Larry chose laser treatment. In less than 10 minutes, a patient’s hand and arm are treated with the laser.
5 weeks later – Larry: “All the symptoms have virtually disappeared”. Today, Larry can do anything with his arms, pain-free. Instead of surgery, and a recovery time of six to eight weeks, this little red light is offering a new, non-invasive alternative to debilitating pain. Dr. Bartosek: “It is using your own body to help heal the carpal tunnel”. Patients typically are treated three times a week for four weeks with that laser; most patients feel less pain after three to five treatments.