Together, we can shift the conversation about healing from impossible to measuring precisely when healing resumes.

By Allan Gardiner, Founder, PhotoMed Technologies

Ending a Muscle Spasm


Electrical testing of muscles in spasm confirmed precisely when a muscle relaxed. Could touching the subject to affix the electrodes be a form of treatment? Millions suffer headaches associated with neck muscle tension or spasms.


Ending a trapezius muscle spasm measured using sEMG

Figure 1 - Illustration of the release of a muscle spasm from a treatment using PhotoMed Technologies experimental therapy. The electrical activity was recored by surface electromyography (sEMG).


Surface electromyography (sEMG) demonstrates muscle relaxation upon the second application of PhotoMed's therapy

Neck, shoulder pain, and lost range-of-motion are among the most common types of pain. Neck muscle tension and spasm frequently lead to chronic or recurring headaches.

PhotoMed Technologies sponsored a patient-centered study in a small clinic to test its therapy for chronic trapezius spasm. Electrodes were placed on both sides of the neck to record electrical activity in the muscles.

Dan, a middle-aged man with a chronic headache had two treatments with different parameters applied to the side with the spasm. (Not his real name.) The first treatment was not effective. The therapy was individualized based upon a lack of response. The second treatment was effective by prompting the conclusion of the chronic spasm. The man in pain was surprised, as was the practitioner, who had tried other methods without success.

While instructive, placement of the sEMG electrodes is time consuming and requires touching the person. Several people with chronic trapezius spasms reported that they regularly had the muscles massaged to partially relieve pain. Pain studies of the neck and shoulder frequently describe palpating sites to find tender spots. We were concerned that touching the volunteers might provide an unintended treatment. Beyond this study using sEMG, we have requested that the practitioner delivering the study treatment refrain from touching the person after an initial handshake.

PhotoMed's Team began examining people with complex regional pain syndrome or diabetic neuropathy presenting with abnormal skin temperatures in the affected limb. Thermal imaging provided a non-contact means of capturing fine temporal and spatial details suitable for later re-examination.


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Updated: May 24, 2017



PhotoMed Technologies is a dedicated to finding non-invasive solutions to chronic pain and functional impairments.

Founded and funded as our family mission to help people with no path forward. We appreciate your donations and support.

Allan Gardiner

New Frontiers

PhotoMed Technologies' methods and equipment open new areas for pain, biophysics, physiology, neuroscience and other areas of research.

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PhotoMed's products are for investigational use only. Methods and equipment may be covered by issued or pending patents.