question for medical pro with electronics knowledge

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tracecom, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. tracecom

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    Is infrared light therapy like this snake oil or real?
     
  2. #12

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    It will work for some people, but a heating pad will work just the same because it's all superficial. You could get the same results by standing next to a fireplace or hugging a hot water bottle. The, "standard" used to be diathermy. A megahertz oscillator to a piezo crystal puts some depth to the heating action.

    Right now, it all depends on what the insurance companies will pay for. I used to get zapped with a giant TENS machine because my muscles are so strong that you can't put my back into place without paralyzing my muscles. Now, the insurance companies won't pay for that treatment. I guess we're going to find out whether they will pay for using an infrared light bulb.:rolleyes:
     
  3. bertus

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  4. wayneh

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    Here's a similar device. Smells of quackery to me but friends I know have tried it and liked it.
     
  5. bountyhunter

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    Problem with the use of heating devices is they increase inflammation which almost always makes the underlying problem worse. I have had constant muscle spasms from back and neck problems for over 30 years and I know that cold packs are the best treatment. warmth may feel better when applied, but it aggravates the problem which is causing the pain.
     
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  6. wayneh

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    Tell that to the steady stream of guys using the steam room at my gym. ;)

    I agree that heat isn't for everything, but it's very good for most things.
     
  7. #12

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    It's the amethyst crystals that bring it all together.
    That is, the part about, "snake oil".:D
     
  8. GopherT

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    Quantifying the efficacy of a medical therapy is difficult. Mostly because the human mind is fickle and is better at deciding (better or worse) than it is at determining absolute quality. At the same time, it gets distracted by other factors surrounding the therapy.

    This is why you see so many conflicting reports on the effectiveness of various therapies. Tests are completed for different people in different circumstances and some correlation is found. The "benefit" is then reported as the advantage.

    Additionally, some devices are simply "fast tracked" when the manufacturer claims the device is very similar to an existing device (effective or not). It is then cleared under a 510k process. 510k is also used for devices that appear to be impossible to injury the user (IR light). Claims of effectiveness are usually just waved through because anyone can find a correlation and claim causation. The FDA just pushes them through the system or ignores them (stay in 510k status).
     
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  9. #12

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    Another part is a placebo effect or the mere fact that a person is getting any attention at all. I have seen studies that indicate a bit of human contact is all that is needed to make a lot of people feel better. They often think they feel better about their physical/medical problem when they really feel better about something as simple as the fact that they aren't being ignored.
     
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  10. killivolt

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    I have a lady at work who I think a percentage of this is true. But, for some reason she keeps having incidental accidents? With reoccurring abnormalities from those incidents?
     
  11. bountyhunter

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    Steam room is completely different. That is not injecting heat directly into the body.

    Heat is not good for most problems with the body that produce muscle spasms, since most of the time there is an underlying injury and or resulting inflammatory process that is causing the muscle spasm.

    Te best way to control muscle spasms (other than drugs) is to use electric muscle stim (TENS unit) but cold packs also work because they reduce the inflammation.
     
  12. GopherT

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    See :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Münchausen_syndrome
     
  13. wayneh

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    Haha, you must have never been in one. They run at 115-120°F and ~100% humidity, and there is no faster way I'm aware of to safely "inject heat" into the body. Even the hot tub cannot compete except for that first minute when you climb in. A healthy young person cannot usually stay in a steam room more than 20 minutes or so due to the rise in body core temperature.
     
  14. #12

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    Wait until the bell rings, then come out fighting...:mad:

    No...wait...this is about infrared LEDs as a treatment, not steam rooms.
    Please try not to hijack the thread.

    You may now kill the messenger.:D
     
  15. wayneh

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    Heat is good for some things.

    IR LEDs can deliver heat, therefore they are also good.

    An advantage is that an IR source can deliver heat in an effective way, getting some penetration of the heat into tissue as opposed to merely at the skin surface.

    Penetration may be less than thought though.
     
  16. tracecom

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    I have neuropathy in my feet, but I am cheap. So, I ordered 100 Chinese LEDs (940nM), and am going to build some arrays to fit the bottoms of my feet. At the worst, they will warm my feet while I am in the recliner; at the best, they will reduce my neuropathy.

    (As an aside, I believe my neuropathy was precipitated by high doses of simvastatin; my cardiologist agrees.)
     
  17. wayneh

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    I think you'll enjoy the effects, though I wonder if the IR will do any more good than the same overall wattage applied by a heating pad, for instance.

    How do you plan to protect the LEDs from corrosion?
     
  18. tracecom

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    I will increase my foot washing schedule to once per week, and turn my socks inside out after each foot washing.
     
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  19. #12

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    Thanks. I was wondering how corrosive feet must be to destroy plastic LEDs.:D
     
  20. wayneh

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    I run a lot and make sure I care for my feet. My favorite things for foot comfort are the steam room, with liberal application of eucalyptus oil there. (Read about it, it's magic, and a good anesthetic.) The soothing of the heat lasts hours but I suppose the anesthetic wears off fairly quickly. Nice while it lasts.

    Then, get out the heavy wool socks. Not the scratchy kind, the thick comfy kind. They're also magical in their ability to keep the feet nice and warm but DRY. I hate having wet feet and just about every pair of slippers I've ever tried felt like having your feet inside a plastic bag. The wool socks are nice and dry.

    And it's not the plastic on the LEDs that corrodes, it's the metal leads. :p
     
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