Millions endure diabetic neuropathy that can be painful or "silent" when feeling in the feet is lost. Loss of sensation can lead to injuries, wounds, and amputations. PhotoMed's therapy can prompt restoration of protective or better touch sensitivity and relieve pain.
PhotoMed Technologies methods and research tools reveal previously invisible phenomena. Touch sensations that rapidly return after years being lost suggest that the nerves were not dead... Ordinary phenomena account for a brief loss of sensation and its return, such as when our feet are "asleep." Could similar mechanisms maintain impairment for years?
A quick return of nearly-normal touch sensation demonstrates the correction of his misaligned body image map through vision.
Video 1 - Misalignment of body image maps are associated with several kinds of pain. Recovery from a total loss of awareness of touch sensation provides a means of testing concepts. Real-time recordings enable future researchers to economically examine previously overlooked phenomena. The time from his first treatment is shown in the lower left corner.
George (not his real name) endured diabetes and its complications for 40 years. George volunteered for a PhotoMed Technologies study to learn if he might have less back pain. He shuffled slowly into the room staring at his feet. To my surprise, he reported that he could not feel his feet for about the past 5 years. He shuffled because he could not feel his feet.
George never dreamed that he might feel his feet again.
Steps to restored sensation
George arrived with no effective sensation in either foot
He received PhotoMed Technologies experimental therapy on only his LEFT foot during his first visit.
During this first visit, he reported surprise at achieving a bit of sensation from heavy pressure applied to his left toes.
George returned a week later walking without looking at his feet!
I knew that some feeling must have returned in BOTH feet.
He reported that he did not think that the therapy had effect. His wife reported other improvements , too.
I had waited years to test my hypothesis that sensations in feet could return quickly but would be incorrectly mapped until corrected by additional input from vision or touch. Let the cameras roll!
Before treatment, we used von Frey monofilaments (right) to learn that he could feel a 19 gram press with either foot. Note that 10 grams is considered by many to be the limit of protective sensation. (Lightest filament in this set.)
George was asked to keep his feet still and to not look at them during treatment and measurement. This experiment demonstrates alignment errors in his perceived locations where being touched before he views his feet.
Feeling returned so quickly that his "touch maps" were misaligned until...
Next, we treated only his RIGHT foot, waited a few minutes and then retested his sensitivity.
His right foot had become sensitive to a 5 gram filament!
To my scientific satisfaction, George made errors when telling me where he was being touched. His mental image for touch locations was not yet aligned with his body!!!
This clip shows George's errors when relating where he was being touched. I tried to speak evenly to avoid revealing my delight and excitement that might provide clues to him about about his errors.
Video 2 - Touch mapping errors after his first treatment to his right foot. The timer in the lower left corner shows the time since the first treatment to the right foot began. This example demstrates the involvemnt of vision for maintaining proper touch sensation. (0:31)
Several tests found that his touch map could suddenly re-align upon viewing where he was being touched.
In previous cases, the re-alignment completed before I could test the maps. The person typically looked at their fingers while rubbing them together.
The rapid return of sensation and correction of touch location through vision suggest previously unrecognized phenomena. PhotoMed's team can help pioneers get started examining details of this and other phenomena using PhotoMed's methods and equipment.
Layers of pain at the same location
Additional cases demonstrated that "touch map errors" and phantom pain frequently appear near a surgical site. See the example for chronic post-surgical pain.
Curiously, a pain site with multiple sources can remain stable for years. The different sources of pain can resolve at different times using different methods such as:
vision or touch
other unrelated non-invasive therapies.
PhotoMed's patient-centered studies provide a means of discovering "what works" for each person.
PhotoMed Technologies™ is dedicated to finding non-invasive solutions to chronic pain and functional impairments associated with the central and peripheral nervous systems.
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PhotoMed's' methods and equipment open new areas for pain, biophysics, physiology, neuroscience and other areas of research.
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PhotoMed Technologies envisions a future when collaborating clinics, including those rural and remote, can offer their patients the most current non-invasive solutions developed by passionate practitioners and researchers around the globe.