COLD LASER THERAPY

What If The Avengers Had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Robbie Adams December 23 2017

“There was an idea. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to to fight the battles we never could.”

Marvel Super HeroEarth’s Mightiest Heroes are set to take on their ultimate nemesis in the Marvel Universe of the Infinity Wars! … If you guessed Thanos, The Dark Lord and Mad Titan you would be INCORRECT! The Avengers (at least in this time line story) will face their greatest foe ever: CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME.

Skeleton Hand with Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder that affects the hand and wrist.  It occurs when the median nerve which runs through the wrist is compressed, causing such symptoms as changes in sensation, pain, and restricted use of the hand. Carpal – from the greek word karpos, meaning ‘wrist’

Carpal Tunnel Pain

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) most commonly occurs in women, with those aged between 30 and 60 years having the highest rates of the condition.

Female with Carpal Tunnel

In the Carpal Tunnel Marvel Universe, conditions and factors are different than those in the Multiverse…

Captain America:  Steven Rogers was born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, in 1920 to poor Irish immigrants, Sarah and Joseph Rogers. By early 1940, before America’s entry into World War II, Rogers was a tall, scrawny fine arts student specializing in illustration and a comic book writer and artist.

Disturbed by the rise of the Third Reich, Rogers attempted to enlist, but he is rejected due to his frail body. His resolution attracts the attention of U.S. Army General, Chester Phillips and “Project: Rebirth”. Rogers was used as a test subject for the Super-Soldier project, and received a special serum made by “Dr. Josef Reinstein”, to give Steve Rogers super human strength. Marvel history is born.

HOWEVER the serum failed in one critical way. It did not prevent Steve Rogers, aka Captain America from escaping the evil clutches of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!

Now Captain America can no longer wield his mighty Adamantium Shield of Justice with power because of these symptoms:

  • Burning, prickly, pin-like sensations in the hand and fingers
  • Hand stiffness – particularly in the morning and during cold days

The FIRST AVENGER is now sidelined and out of action.

Captain America

Iron Man: A wealthy American business magnate, and ingenious scientist, Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark suffers a severe chest injury during a kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction. He instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity! Unfortunately, in the process of creating the now famous suit of armor, Tony Stark develops his greatest enemy: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Now just like Captain America, Iron Man is taken out of action with these painful symptoms:

  • A feeling of swelling in the fingers – even though they may not be visibly swollen
  • Weakened grip strength

Iron Man

The Incredible Hulk: Robert Bruce Banner, M.D., Ph.D is a renowned scientist in the fields of Biochemistry, Nuclear Physics, and Gamma Radiation. He is one of the scientists who tried to recreate the Super Soldier Serum which originated (wrong word, maybe? Unless it’s “which originated with”. “which created Captain America”) Captain America in World War II, but when exposure to high levels of Gamma Radiation instead of Vita Radiation went awry, the mild-mannered scientist found himself plagued with a peculiar condition; when angered or provoked, he would transform into the huge, rage-fueled and nearly mindless, green-skinned monster known as Hulk!

Bruce Banner is also considered one of the greatest scientific minds on Earth, possessing “a mind so brilliant it cannot be measured on any known intelligence test.” (End quote?) His alter ego, The Hulk, possesses the potential for seemingly limitless physical strength, which is influenced by his emotional state, particularly his anger. This is reflected in the repeated comment, “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets.” (End quote?) HOWEVER, even with his almost unlimited brute force, power and strength, The Hulk has succumbed to the painful and numbing effects of his now new arch enemy: Carpel Tunnel Syndrome…

  • Forearm Pain
  • Sore Wrists
  • Itching palms

The once Incredible Hulk- who at one time had the power and capacity to take on the entire Army of Thanos, the dreaded Chitauri- can now only dream of the days where he could “SMASH” his way through any conflict.

Incredible Hulk

Thor God of Thunder:  Thor is one of several powerful ancient beings who dwell in a magical realm called Asgard. Ages ago, Odin, lord of the Asgardian gods, desired a child who would one day exceed him in power. Odin wooed Gaea, the earth goddess, and from their union Thor was born in a small cave in Norway on Earth.  Thor declared that he would defend Earth and contend with his (changed from the) jealous and hateful adopted half-brother, Loki, who plagued Thor with many devious tricks and outright confrontation. One such deception led Thor and other heroes, including Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man to fight the Hulk. Learning of Loki’s manipulations, the heroes, along with the Hulk, bested Loki and agreed to continue their partnership, and the Avengers were formed!

However, the journey does not end well for the young, brass Asgardian God. He too is also afflicted with a new and painful adversary- Carpel Tunnel syndrome.  The countless years of combat and struggle with the vast enemies of Asgard has finally taken its toll on the God of Thunder with these painful afflictions:

  • Difficulty making a fist
  • Swollen feeling in the fingers

The “Mighty” Thor can no longer command with authority his omnipotent “Mjölnir” (the hammer of Thor)

Thor God of Thunder

So what can we mere ‘mortals’ do to prevent CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) or at the very least, reduce the pain associated with this affliction when this enemy strikes?

Lets break it down to some of the possible causes of CTS other than defending the Universe from enemies beyond:

 carpal tunnel

Factors that increase the likelihood of developing CTS include:

  • Female gender (Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Pregnancy and menopause (fluid retention may increase pressure within the carpal tunnel)
  • Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and hypothyroidism that directly affect the body’s nerves can make them more susceptible to compression are also at high risk
  • A wrist injury such as a fracture or dislocation.

Hurt Wrist with Carpal

Prevention: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

Prevention should always be your first plan of attack. Because many factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, there is no single way to ultimately prevent it. However treating any underlying medical condition is critical. Most often simple common sense may help minimize some of the risk factors that predispose a person to work-related CTS for example.

  • Taking multiple “microbreaks” (about 3 minutes each) reduces strain and discomfort
  • Shaking or stretching the limbs
  • Leaning back in the chair
  • Squeezing the shoulder blades together
  • Taking deep breaths
  • Maintain Good posture
  • Reducing Force from Hand Tools

Wrist injury

Treatment: “The best-laid plans of mice and men…” – Robert Burns

There are times however when your best laid plans for prevention fail or don’t always work out the way you envisioned it. This is where treatment comes in.

  • Wrist splints to keep the wrist from bending
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Acupuncture
  • Magnets
  • Surgery
  • Cold Laser Therapy (LLLT)

Medical Treatment

The Cold Laser Treatment: Not an ancient weapon used against Asgardians by the Frost Giants of Jotunheim

A randomized double blind study carried out at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan used an 830nm diode laser and found decreased motor latency and improved grip strength following laser therapy. More significantly, 72% of the workers treated with laser therapy returned to work compared with 41% of the workers in the control group. A recent additional analysis of the use of laser therapy in the treatment of CTS found an average success rate of 84% in the 171 cases studied.

Cold laser therapy or photobiomodulation is considered safe. It is non-invasive, painless and drug-free. There have been no reported adverse results or side effects of BioFlex Laser Therapy throughout the company’s nearly 30 year history.

BioFlex Laser

ECONOMICS

***For example in the United States CTS is the major single contributing factor of time lost from work. A recent article indicated that 50% of all workers with CTS missed in excess of 30 days of work.  Moreover there is a high level of prevalence in North America, with 1 in 10 people experiencing the symptoms of CTS at some stage in their adult life. Due to the high rate of occurrence, CTS results in billions of dollars of workers compensations claims annually. The treatment of CTS also has an extremely high cost associated with it. It is estimated that 460,000 carpal tunnel surgeries are carried out each year in the U.S. with a direct medical cost of over $1.9 billion.  A study carried out in California in 1993 demonstrated that the cost to treat one carpal tunnel case without surgery was $5,246, but with surgery the number skyrocketed to $20,925. This clearly demonstrates the need for new approaches that can be applied during the early stages of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that will allow patients to continue to work, avoid disability and reduce the rate of surgery.

Resources:

Naeser MA. Photobiomodutation of pain in carpal tunnel syndrome: Review of seven laser therapy studies. Photomed. Laser Surg. 24 (2): 101-110, 2006.

Rochkind S. Photoengineering of neural tissue repair processes in peripheral nerves and the spinal cold: research development with clinical applications. Photomed. Laser Surg. 24(2): 151-157, 2006.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17334675

http://www.intentmultimedia.com/images/a_gmstudy.pdf

Laser Therapy

So don’t despair future Avengers! Relief of pain associated with CTS can be obtained! AVENGER ASSEMBLE!

Avengers

Please contact us for a complete list of indications for use in your region and always consult your physician or healthcare professional about any medical treatments you may be pursuing.

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