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DISCLAIMER: The following content is meant to be educational to enable individuals to make informed decisions. It is NOT intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding treatment.
Chronic Pain, Arthritis, Phantom Limb
Drs. Marla Golden and Michael Moscowitz have pioneered a brain and body approach to chronic pain, in which patients receive simultaneous neuroplastic input from the mind and the body to unravel the dedicated neuronal pathways built from experiencing intense pain. Their approach leverages the "use it or lose it" competitive nature of the brain's neurons to permanently refocus the faulty pain pathways and combines methodologies developed individually by Drs. Golden and Moskowitz. It leverages an intense guided visualization practice developed by Dr. Moskowitz where patients imagine a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that controls the pain and a feedback process developed by Dr. Golden that uses touch, sound and vibration in the body. Using this brain-body circuity together over time, allows patients to unravel the neural pathways dedicated to the persistent pain. Individuals can visit Dr. Moscowitz and Dr. Golden in their California and Florida practices and download the workbooks and instructions they developed on their website: http://www.neuroplastix.com/
Mirror Box Therapy
Phantom Limb, Muscle Weakness
V.S. Ramachandran invented mirror therapy in the1990's for people experiencing phantom limb pain and it was extended to help stroke patients improve muscle control in weakened limbs. Despite the introduction of mirror therapy in the late 1990s, little research was published on it before 2009. Out of 115 publications between 2012 and 2017 about using mirror therapy to treat phantom limb pain, a 2018 review, found only 15 studies whose scientific results should be considered. From these 15 studies, the reviewers concluded that mirror therapy seems to be an effective low-cost therapy for relieving phantom limb pain. Similarly, a 2017 review that studied a wider range of uses for mirror therapy, concluded that mirror therapy is effective in treating complex regional pain syndrome, neuropathy, and low back pain. Physical therapists are the most typical providers.
Cold Laser Therapy
Arthritis, Wounds, Musculoskeletal Disorders
Photobiomodulation, low-level laser, or cold laser therapy works through a photochemical effect (which also occurs with photosynthesis in plants). When cells inside tissue are stressed via disease and injury, the mitochondria (or powerhouse/place where metabolism takes place inside a cell) produces harmful nitric oxide. The nitric oxide displaces needed oxygen from cells thus causing inflammation or cell death. When tissues absorb the light from the low-level laser therapy, the nitric oxide is dissociated (or irreversibly split) allowing more oxygen back into the cells and therefore increasing tissue oxygenation. Via this mechanism, cell metabolism and mitochondria function are restored. The absorption of the light is also said to increase cell proliferation and migration (regeneration) and to modulate levels of growth factors and inflammatory mediators. Cold therapy is primarily available through physical therapy and functional providers. Before deciding on a therapist, research which system is used and the results they have seen. Not all systems are equal. BioFlex laser systems have been shown to be one of the most effective.
Muscle tone, movement, chronic pain, autism, arthritis,
Moshé Feldenkrais was a Ukrainian-Israeli engineer and physicist, who made significant contributions to science, but as a result of his own injuries, became best known for a system of physical exercises he developed, the Feldenkrais Method, that aims to improve human functioning by increasing self-awareness through movement. Practitioners use gentle repeated movements and directed attention to help people retrain the brain and body to overcome muscle tone limitations caused by injury, disease and brain dysfunction. People with Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson's, Autism and paralysis can experience lifelong improvements through the program, which may take 2-6 months of sessions. Learn more about the program and find practitioners here: https://feldenkrais.com/
The Shepherd Center
Spinal Cord and Brain Injury, Chronic Pain, Multiple Sclerosis
Located in Atlanta, GA, The Shepherd Center specializes in the comprehensive treatment of spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular disorders. They treat patients from all over the world and are recognized as one of the top 10 rehabilitation facilities in the United States. They are committed to utilizing evidence-based therapies in their in-patient and outpatient facilities and implement neuroplastic principles and techniques throughout their treatment protocols. Shepherd also has an active research program which allows patients to participate in cutting edge programs. Their innovation center, which is being expanded, also helps design and test supportive technology tailored to patients' individual needs. Learn more by visiting their website here: