By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Laser Away Your Pain!
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 50 million Americans live with chronic pain. And the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that musculoskeletal pain affects 116 million Americans annually at a cost of $635 billion a year in medical bills, lost productivity and missed work or school.
Pain therefore continues to be a problem in this country. It is also complicated because it can be difficult to identify the source, treat it and live with it!
In one recent article, people share their stories about living with chronic pain.
A 28-year-old woman named Jaimie said she has aches in her arm after having ankle surgery.
It may seem like the pain should have been in her ankle because that is where she had the surgery, however, “...chronic pain is actually linked to irregular pain pathways all around the central nervous system (so while one might feel pain in their knee, that may not be where the pain is actually coming from),” the article states.
“She was diagnosed with golfer’s elbow and put on a physical therapy plan. She was given a cortisone shot, ultrasound therapy, massages and acupuncture. Her arm pain didn’t improve and her doctors said there was nothing else they could do.”
The CDC reports that chronic pain is one of the most common reasons why adults seek medical attention. Furthermore, chronic pain is often associated with:
- Restrictions in mobility and daily activities
- Opioid dependence
- Anxiety and depression
- Overall reduced quality of life
We don’t want to just live life. We want to live our healthiest and happiest lives, and living with chronic pain is definitely something that can stand in the way of this. So many people with chronic pain fall into the trap of just “living with it” or rely heavily on opioids (which can lead to addiction).
This is why it is imperative to find alternative methods for managing chronic pain, and we may be able to laser it away!
Introducing Erochonia’s FX 635 Laser.
Back in 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave their stamp of approval of a low level laser called Erchonia® FX 635 to be used for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain (including chronic low back pain and plantar fasciitis (heel pain)). (Eronchia corporation specializes in low level laser technologies).
“Erchonia received FDA clearance after submitting results from double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 255 patients,” according to one source.
“Those treated with the FX 635 documented a 49% average pain reduction post treatment protocol. No other therapies were used in conjunction with the laser treatment.”
How exactly does this low level laser work?
First, it’s important to note that people who undergo laser therapy with FX 635 remain awake throughout the procedure. You should not experience any scarring, burning or downtime after the procedure is done. (Treatments can last from just a few seconds to several minutes). Depending on your type of pain and condition, you may need six to 12 treatments, give or take.
In a nutshell, “[i]t reduces inflammation while promoting bio-stimulation at a cellular level in the musculoskeletal point of the pain’s origination,” reports Erchonia.
Because FX 635 uses a low level laser, this form of therapy falls under low level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as low level light therapy or photobiomodulation, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The effect is photochemical not thermal. The light triggers biochemical changes within cells and can be compared to the process of photosynthesis in plants, where the photons are absorbed by cellular photoreceptors and triggers chemical changes,” reports the NIH.
So to put it simply, this laser therapy involves the application of light. And the type of light used is able to penetrate skin as well as soft and hard tissues. And in clinical trials, this has proven to reduce pain and inflammation and help repair tissue.
Low level light therapy can treat a whole range of conditions such as sprains, post surgical pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and even pain from dental work.
After suffering a yoga injury, Susi Rodd had herniated discs and really bad back pain. A neurosurgeon suggested surgery, and she was prescribed opioids for pain management. Rodd was against taking the opioids and instead turned to the FX 635.
She had fantastic results.
"I'm smiling because I could kind of jump up and click my heels because I feel that great," Rodd said, in one article.
“I would say run, not to the opioids, run to the laser therapy."
One doctor who specializes in podiatry shared how he is a big fan of FX 635, in one report.
He said he uses the laser on a daily basis to treat a variety of conditions, including tendinitis, ligamentous injury, capsulitis and post-op edema.
“This treatment does not cause the degenerative damage that is a high possibility with cortisone injections in the soft tissues in the plantar aspect of the foot,” he said.
(You can learn more about cortisone shots here).
“Using the laser instead of cortisone also allows prevention or at least reduction of future trauma or injury to the foot that can be expected with cortisone.”
You can see how the laser looks and watch a video of how it works here.
As always, seek the advice of your doctor or a competent healthcare professional about undergoing pain management therapy with FX 635 (especially if you are pregnant or have any additional existing health issues aside from chronic pain).
Don’t forget nutrition.
It’s amazing how powerful and healing good nutrition can be. For example, the mineral magnesium has antinociceptive effects, meaning it can keep the nociceptor (a sensory receptor for pain) from overreacting when it talks to your brain about the pain you are experiencing. In a study of hip replacement patients, magnesium plus morphine was more effective than morphine used alone for pain.
So imagine the possibilities of low level laser therapy and magnesium!
There are so many delicious, healthy foods that contain magnesium including leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, salmon, avocados and bananas.
(Click here to educate yourself about several different types of magnesium supplements).
You want to fight inflammation and protect your muscles, joints and bones by eating plenty of healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Natural, whole foods have anti-inflammatory properties and are full of nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and many more, that may help prevent as well as delay the progression of issues such as osteoarthritis and other painful health conditions.
It is also very important to take routine nutrient tests in order to identify any nutritional imbalances or deficiencies you may have. If the test reveals that you do, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and recommend quality supplements if necessary. I also highly recommend implementing vitamin therapy into your proactive healthcare regimen.
Consider CBD (cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants).
CBD products are everywhere right now. You can find it in lotions, oils, tinctures, sprays, candy, dog treats and more. Many scientists and medical professionals believe that the cannabinoid CBD may help fight inflammation and manage a wide variety of health issues such as chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety and even seizure disorders.
To be clear, CBD will not get you high like the better known cannabis molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the one that gets you high when you smoke or ingest marijuana.
This form of cold therapy may do wonders for pain management and help address other health issues you may be experiencing. You can read all about this here.
Also know that a combination of both cold and hot therapy may be the recipe for success when it comes to pain relief.
There are so many things we can do in order to be proactive about pain. Don’t just turn to opioids.
Visit us at our Encinitas location to experience the effects of low level laser therapy as well as cryotherapy and other pain management modalities.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.