Chronic Pain ?
Pain lasting more than twelve weeks can be defined as chronic pain. Acute pain on the other hand is an unpleasant but normal sensation. It’s an alarm, a safety mechanism that alerts our body to possible injury. Chronic pain is persistent, debilitating often lasting for months or years.
Arthritis for instance, causes long term inflammation and damage to the joints, and will hurt as long as the inflammation lasts. This pain has become chronic because the underlying problem does not heal. See our guide to arthritis treatment.
Levels of chronic pain can range from just mild and inconvenient, to completely excruciating for some unfortunate sufferers.
But pain doesn’t just affect individuals, whole families are often involved. The emotional toll on the chronic pain sufferer will inevitably spill over into the psyche of those close to them.
Conventional Pain Management Options
Of course plenty of mainstream options are available for chronic pain treatment.
Colourful, but not very appetising ………..
All drugs have an effect, and that’s why we take them. The undesirable potential side effects are often deep in the small print. They might look pretty, and of course most OTC drugs for pain relief are going to work.
Short, medium or long term use of some of them can have an unfortunate list of well documented health implications.
Oral or topical are the most common treatment methods to combat pain. Pills might include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and in extreme cases opioids.
Topical treatments will generally be ointments, creams or patches. These are the least invasive, and the least efficient but still not problem free.
Pain Management Using Light Therapy
Light therapy is a chemical free, non toxic, non invasive, non addictive form of pain management and rehabilitation.
Of course not just any random light will do. Specific, scientifically proven wavelengths in the red and infrared spectrum are used.
Clinicians often find it to be one of their most rewarding modalities, because the results can sometimes be visible, and often immediate. The effects of light therapy can provide great improvement in quality of patient life.
Not unlike photosynthesis in plants, when the red and infrared lights are applied they are converted to cellular energy. Our body reacts in many positive ways to this application of light. For example nitric oxide is produced, which widens and relaxes blood vessels and arteries. The increased localised circulation to the treatment area, causes a rapid reduction of pain.
The bio-mechanisms of light therapy also help to reduce pain in several other ways. One study found the anti-inflammatory effect of light therapy to be very similar to the pharmacological treatment of pain, but without the obvious potential for unpleasant or even serious adverse effects.
Light therapy reduces oxidative stress, and increases the release of endorphins. Not only does it help to control pain, it is also cited to improve blood vessel formation, promote collagen synthesis and skeletal repair.
SCIENTIFIC STUDIES (Just three of many)
Low power laser in painful osteoarthritis
LLLT for pain from chronic joint disorders
Laser Therapy for Pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Our Recommended Home Devices Reviewed
To help we have written full reviews on what we consider the best light therapy devices aimed at minor pain management, and arthritis treatment at home.
From extensive research into light therapy products the LightStim for Pain stands out as the best all round combination device for both arthritis treatment, and general minor pain management. It offers a combination of scientifically tested therapeutic red and infrared wavelengths.
It is the only device on the market offering two different red light wavelengths, and two infrared. This gives the user a wider wavelength envelope to insure a better treatment outcome.
The DPL Flex offers single red and infrared wave lengths, but allows hand free treatment if you find that important. The DPL Flex can be strapped on, whereas the Lightstim is a hand held corded device. It’s all a matter of how you think they would fit into your lifestyle.
Full Product Reviews
Acknowledgment & Thanks
Brilliant Graphics Provided by Freepik