New equipment, which allows the combined emission of laser and therapeutic ultrasound, has considerably reduced the pain of patients with fibromyalgia, according to Brazilian researchers linked to the Institute of Physics of São Carlos (IFSC), USP.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic muscle pain that can be present in the whole body. But there is also localized muscle pain (in the case of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI / Dort), often generated by overwork or strain.) See another study that links the two types of fibromyalgia in this link.
Fibromyalgia affects 3% to 10% of the world population, with a higher occurrence in women. Despite the constant pains in almost the whole body, the patients do not present lesion, inflammation or degeneration of the tissues. The disease is also shrouded in two other mysteries: the cause is still unknown, much less the cure for it.
According to the research with laser and ultrasound, done in patients with pains in the whole body, the application in the palms of the patients hands, and not in the points of pain spread by the body, is presenting greater analgesic and anti-inflammatory action. As a consequence of pain reduction, patients also had improved sleep, the ability to perform everyday tasks and the quality of life as a whole.
“There are two innovations in the same study: the equipment and the treatment protocol. By making the combined emission of ultrasound and laser we can normalize the pain threshold of the patient. The treatment in the palm of the hands contrasts with the type of care done today, very focused on pain points, “said Antônio Eduardo de Aquino Junior, a researcher at the Institute of Physics of São Carlos (IFSC) at the University of São Paulo (USP). one of the authors of the article.
In the study, guided by Vanderlei Salvador Bagnato, professor and director of the IFSC-USP, 48 women aged 40 to 65 diagnosed with fibromyalgia were divided into six groups of eight in the Clinical Research Unit, a partnership between the IFSC and Santa Casa de Misericórdia of São Carlos.
Three groups received laser emissions, ultrasound or the conjugation of ultrasound and laser in the trapezius muscle region. The other three groups focused on the palms of the hands.
The results showed that the treatment performed in the hands was more efficient for the three types of techniques, and the treatment with the combination of laser and ultrasound offered significant improvements to the patients. The evaluation of the results with each type of application was based on protocols such as the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).
The idea of testing the effects of the new equipment on applications in the hand region arose from a review of scientific literature.
“Previous studies have indicated that patients with fibromyalgia have a greater number of neuroreceptors near the blood vessels of the hands. Some patients even have red spots in this region. Therefore, we changed the focus and tested the direct action in these sensorial cells of the hands and not only in the so-called trigger points of pain, as the trapezius muscle, a region usually of great pain for fibromyalgia patients, “said Juliana da Silva Amaral Bruno, physiotherapist and first author of the study.
According to Aquino, the new equipment that makes the combined emission of ultrasound and laser should reach the market in early 2019.