Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO
477 Viking Drive Suite 170
Virginia Beach VA 23452
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F
(By Appointment Tu, Sat)
The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions
Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief
Non-Invasive Nerve Testing:
Erchonia Cold Laser
By Dr. Donald Liebell
Since 1993, I've seen countless patients who've had a standard neurological test called needle electromyography (EMG)... consistently have false readings and thus ineffective treatment. I am not a big fan of the EMG; I've seen too many failures of it. The principles of the EMG technology seem sound. However, it is my opinion that interpretation of the data is questionable, and that it is too dependent upon the skill on the part of the examiner. Technical errors are apparently quite common.
For example, I've seen dozens of patients who had needle EMG tests "reveal" that they had carpal tunnel syndrome -- meaning they had compression of a nerve at the wrist (median nerve). Many of these people went on to have wrist surgery, yet their finger numbness, tingling and weakness persisted. Upon my examination I determined that their wrist/hand problems were NOT coming from their wrist at all: it was a NECK problem.
Nevertheless, I still advocate comprehensive medical evaluation, which includes whatever a neurologist or other profession considers appropriate. This is consistent with my integrated health care approach. My patients have had great success with me using the Erchonia Cold Laser as a neuro-diagnostic tool. Combined with standard neurological muscle testing, the laser can quickly and easily be used to find exact areas that need treatment. Also, correlating this data with findings from MRI and x-ray can be highly effective in getting to the cause of symptoms of peripheral nerve entrapment (compression of nerves that exit the spine, branching off the spinal cord: down the arms or legs). The cold laser is best known as a remarkable pain TREATMENT technology, but it also serves as an outstanding piece of diagnostic equipment that can be used at a moment's notice in clinical practice. It is unfortunate that it is not recognized "officially" as a neurological testing tool.
That's okay... I am legally permitted to use it; I just can't bill it to insurance companies as a neurodiagnostic test.
Let's face it: using the Erchonia cold laser only takes a few minutes to perform... it's completely safe and non-invasive... and extremely inexpensive... and therefore a threat to an "established" (and in my opinion, antiquated) method! I've been consistently approached by neurodiagnostic companies to have their technicians come to my office and do their very expensive EMG testing. They tell me that my patients' insurance will cover the cost, and I'll get a nice piece of change for the "professional component" of the testing (I would get a "cut" for giving them the business).
I'm quite proud to use my laser, at no additional cost to my patients, within the context of an office visit... to determine useful information towards helping him or her to get better.
Dr. Donald Liebell
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The Liebell Clinic: 477 Viking Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (757) 631-9799 www.LiebellClinic.com