Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CLRT reduces Sciatica by 90% in about 90 seconds!

This is a cool case I had a few months ago.

"J", a 36 year old African American male and former college basketball player, presented in my office with severe sciatica, rated 9/10, after an accident at work three nights before. He had been driving a front-end loader around the warehouse where he works, and ended up driving it into a 3 foot ditch because of poor visibility. Immediately after this sudden drop and jolt, he felt severe pain shooting from his low back all the way down his right leg to his big toe, and from that point on, he was unable to walk upright at all. He got no relief from sitting, lying down, OTC meds, or the Lortabs prescribed by the company medical doctor. He was set to see an orthopedist in three weeks (!) as the worker's comp process dictated, but "J" decided to come see me first as I had previously helped him get rid of his migraines.

Upon chiropractic, orthopedic and neurological examination, "J" had all the "usual" positive findings of sciatica-- twisted/posterior L5 on X-ray, extreme tenderness, edema and heat in lumbosacral junction, decreased sensation in calf area, positive straight leg raiser test, positive Braggard's, Valsalva's and Kemp's Tests, absent Achilles DTR, inability to squat and rise, etc-- all in all, it was certainly not looking good for his L5/S1 disc.

Now I am certainly not squeamish at all about adjusting around hot discs-- I do it all the time, although carefully and specifically, mind you-- but I knew I better do something to quiet this down first before I go jumping on L5 from P to A with the drop piece. Soooo, I placed some SOT blocks under his hips to to elevate the pelvis slightly, and began to palpate for the L5 cranial reflex point on the top of his head. I immediately found a relatively massive depression in the space between the L5 and the S1 reflex points (the disc point?!?!) which was extremely tender to even a light touch. I pulled out my trusty pocket red laser (200mW) and began to light up this spot.

After a few seconds, his breathing slowed down significantly and I could see that the lower back muscles were not guarding nearly as much. After half a minute or so, I stopped, re-palpated the cranial depression, and "J" reported that the tenderness was about 50% better. I rechecked his lumbar spine for tenderness over L5, and he reported this was also about 50% better. Not bad for 30 seconds. So I went back to lasering the L5 point, but on a hunch, I switched to my 30mW green laser for its calming effect. Another 30 seconds of this, and then some quick passes on the gastroc, soleus, psoas and QL cranial reflex pathways for another 30 seconds,... and I got him up on his feet.

It was obvious something was different. For one, he was smiling. For another, he was able to stand fully upright, not bent over at the waist anymore. On his own, he squatted down and came up instantly. This too was very different than before. He actually jumped in the air a couple of times, landing on his toes. "Hold on there, fella. Just wait a second before you go doing all that..." I said. "But the pain is gone, Doc."
"Gone?" I was a little surprised... I mean I knew it would work, I just didn't know how well.

"Well 90% anyways." He reported all the sensation had returned in his legs and feet and now just his low back was "a little sore." I had him walk around the office for a bit to see if it quickly returned. It did not.

So I got him back on the table, rechecked all the ortho/neuro tests, which were now negative, gave him some easy adjustments with the drop table (mostly out of habit) and sent him on his way. When I saw him again in 3 days, he reported remaining about 90% better. I monitored him twice a week for the next 3 weeks and even with his 12 hour shifts of heavy lifting in the warehouse, he only reported some soreness and stiffness in his low back through this period--no sciatica, radiculopathy or neurological symptoms of any kind. And "J" had missed only one day of work.

A few days after his appointment with the orthopedist, I got a sciatica referral from that group.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

London Calling... for CLRT!

It's official! This fall we'll be translating the CLRT manual into... English!

The first international seminar on CLRT featuring Dr. Nick Wise will be held at the London Gatwick Hilton on Saturday, October 24th, 2009. Cost is £120 and the 7 hours will contribute to CPD points. There will be some great specials on my advanced kit and lasers at the seminar, so sign up quickly as seating is limited. Keep your mince pies peeled for more details coming soon!

For registration and more info, contact Gill Jacobs at gill@lightforhealth.co.uk.


Reduction of musculoskeletal pain with Cranial Laser Reflex Technique (CLRT): A randomized controlled trial using pressure algometry

Nicholas A. Wise, D.C.

Background: Cranial Laser Reflex Technique (CLRT) is a novel method for reducing musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, involving a brief laser stimulation of a specific cranial reflex point. Every major muscle group and each spinal segment has a corresponding cranial reflex point or line that appears to be linked to its tensional/ positional information. These make up a powerful cranial microsystem that is little known outside of a small segment of the chiropractic profession.

Objective: To compare the short-term effects of CLRT on painful musculoskeletal points with those of a sham treatment using pressure algometry. 

Design: Double-blinded randomized-controlled trial. 

Methods: 57 volunteers with various musculoskeletal pains gave informed consent and were randomly allocated to either the CLRT treatment or sham group. Painful trigger points and/or tender spinal joints were found in each patient, and using a digital algometer, the pain/pressure threshold (PPT) was determined and a pain rating was given using a numerical pain scale from 0-10. CLRT or sham CLRT was performed with a 40 mW, 840nm laser, for a maximum of 60 seconds to the appropriate cranial reflex(es). The initial pressure (PPT) was immediately delivered to the same spot, and the pain rated again.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference in pain scores between CLRT and sham groups immediately following treatment. There was some improvement reported in 95% of the treatment group, with 59% reporting a change of 2 points or higher. In the control group, 18% reported an improvement, none of them greater than 1 point. The average change in pain scores in the treatment group was 2.6 points (p = 0.000), while the average improvement in the control group was 0.037 points (p = 0.4). The rest of the controls reported no change or a slight worsening on re-testing. Since the mean starting pain rating was 5.4, a decrease of 2.6 represents a 48% decrease in pain.

Conclusion: CLRT is an effective short-term treatment for musculoskeletal pain. Future studies will be needed to show efficacy over longer periods of time, as well as the effect on additional outcome measurements, like range of motion, quality of life, and EMG measurements of muscle tone.