The Benefits of Anodyne Therapy in the Treatment of Pain
One of the chief problems encountered in physical rehabilitations today is pain. It greatly affects mobility and hinders the performance of activities of daily living independently. In Physical Therapy, heat is one of the most basic and oldest methods that is used for pain relief. Anodyne Therapy is one of the several therapeutics methods that use heat.
Also known as Monochromatic Infrared Photo Energy (MIRE), Anodyne Therapy is intended to maximize the effect of infrared light in the application of heat and alleviation of pain in the area being treated. Its mechanism of action goes like this:
- First, heat can directly reduce pain because thermal sensations are conducted to the spinal cord by large-diameter nerve fibers while pain sensations are transmitted by small-diameter nerve fibers. So when you apply heat over a painful area, the heat sensation reaches the brain before the pain sensation does. Consequently, the pain sensation will be covered by the heat.
- Second, upon the application of infrared light on the site of treatment, it will warm the area causing Nitric Oxide to detach from the epithelial cells on the area to be treated, and from the hemoglobin in the erythrocytes.
Nitric oxide is a natural pain killer as well as a very potent vasodilator in the body. Nitric Oxide dilates the arteries therefore allowing more blood to flow in the process. If there is good circulation, harmful chemicals created by inflammation or injury will be expelled or taken away from the area affected, thereby lessening the pain felt in that area. Additionally, muscle spasm cycles will be interrupted. Since the muscles are supplied by oxygenated blood, ischemic pain will also be decreased. To sum it up, Anodyne Therapy provides direct pain relief through the use of heat and by enhancing blood circulation.
The Anodyne Therapy procedure is easy and painless. It is also safe because it is non-invasive. Each session lasts for about 20-30 minutes but its effects stay for several hours. It uses pads that congruently fit to the body part where they are attached to. Each pad typically contains upto 60 small infrared sources. They can penetrate up to 5cm into the body, when they emit Infrared Thermal Energy. Anodyne Therapy has become very popular nowadays, it is being utilized during Physical and Occupational Therapies. In fact, it has been also used extensively by the US Armed Forces in treating soldiers who are wounded in battles.
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