Why would I need to know about A and C fibers?
You may be asking yourself this question right now: Why would I need to know about A and C fibers? Many people have never heard of these fibers, so #MiCalmare wants to educate and increase awareness about what these fibers are and how MiCalmare can help people suffering from chronic pain – WITHOUT MEDICATIONS!
According to Wikipedia:
An A delta fiber, alpha delta fiber, or Aδ fiber is a type of sensory nerve fiber. Aδ fibers carry cold, pressure and some pain signals. Because Aδ fibers are thinly myelinated, they send impulses faster than unmyelinated C fibers, but more slowly than other, more thickly myelinated “A” class fibers.
Again, why would I want to know about this?
Because these are the fibers under the skin that let your brain know your body has pain. The body lets the brain know about every little thing that may be going wrong (or right) with your body. When you have your finger too close to a hot burner on the stove, your brain receives the message and tells you that you need to move your finger away before it is damaged any further. If a mosquito bites you on the ankle, your brain lets you know so that you can scratch at it to relieve the sensation of itching. If you are injured, your brain lets you know it. The body also lets the brain know about good sensations – like your love holding your hand, or a gentle breeze blowing on the back of your neck on a hot day, etc. These messages may not travel as fast as the speed of light, but they are pretty darn fast!
When there has been an injury to the body, like a broken bone – the injury may heal but the message of pain is still being sent to the brain. This is calledchronic pain. For example, a person breaks a finger by accidentally slamming it in the car door. A message of pain is instantly sent to the brain and that person receives medical treatment to make sure the finger can be splinted for proper healing and maybe taking ibuprofen to relieve the pain. The broken finger is treated and heals. But sometimes, the message of pain is still sent to the brain even after there is no longer an injury. Maybe there is redness in the finger, or swelling, or maybe it sweats suddenly. Maybe it hurts with a breeze over it or a simple touch. This is now considered a chronic condition called RSD/CRPS. For some reason, the message of pain is still being sent to the brain and the body is reacting in a variety of ways to try to relieve that pain. Many doctors, even, are puzzled over this problem and do not know how to treat it so they send you to a physical therapist or prescribe a multitude of medications to try and relieve the pain – which then causes side effects that have to be treated as well, or even cause an addiction to a medication!
In the picture above, you can see the nerve passages that travel underneath the skin.
Now that I know more about A and C fibers – what can I do about it?
MiCalmare has two neuromodulator devices that we use in our office.
- Calmare relieves pain by sending a message of “no pain” along the C-fibers. Electrodes are attached to the skin in a non-painful area and 16 different algorithms (mathematical equations) are sent along the leads to the brain via the spinal cord. This electrical message is received by the brain, interrupting this cycle of “There’s pain.” The brain receives this message and sends back a message to the body area that had pain and lets it know that the pain has now finally gone.
- Enso is a small, wearable device that uses the A and C fibers to send those “no pain” messages to the brain. This device can be used through an app on your phone (Droid and IOS). This device is available to be purchased for home use.
It would be determined by Dr. Ilka which device would be best for your specific type of pain following an initial evaluation. Contact us to set up an appointment and go over the details of treatment options and costs.