The presence of pain is an indicator of some imbalance, injury or disease present in the body. It is a message from the body saying: ‘pay attention here!’ While we’ve all experienced pain at some point and have one or more strategies to manage and alleviate pain, chronic pain presents a more challenging situation.
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Chronic pain is classified as any pain that lasts longer than 6 months. Research has indicated that more than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain, and that chronic pain debilitates up to a quarter of all adults in the United States.1 In South Africa, where there are far fewer statistics, it is estimated that back pain costs the country R2 billion annually. Back pain is also the leading cause for disability in South Africa for workers between the age of 19 and 45.2
The current management strategies for chronic pain are causing increasing problems in the world today. A 2006 survey conducted for the American Pain Foundation3 evaluated a selection of chronic pain sufferers who sought care from their physician and were currently using an opioid to treat their pain:
Almost two-thirds (59%) reported an impact on their overall enjoyment of life.
More than three quarters of patients (77%) reported feeling depressed.
70% said they were having trouble concentrating.
74% said their energy level was impacted by their pain.
86% reported an inability to sleep well.
Chronic pain sufferers are finding that using drugs to treat their pain symptoms is becoming less and less of a satisfactory solution. While drugs can be effective for certain patients, such as those suffering from pain in terminal cases, cancers or very severe injuries, opioids can lead to addiction among long-term users and may have strong side effects, including depression, constipation, nausea, drowsiness and breathing problems.
A Safe & Effective Alternative
Fortunately, there is a far less costly and very safe alternative for the management of pain, and this is Low-Level Laser Technology, also known as LLLT or phototherapy. Today, low-level lasers are being recognised for their success in pain management over a wide range of conditions – both acute and chronic. In 2009 a report on treating neck pain was published in The Lancet. It was noted that: “Neck pain is a common and costly condition for which pharmacological management has limited evidence of efficacy and side-effects.” The report concluded that “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.”4
In “Phototherapy and the Peripheral Nervous System” Dr Roberta Chow explains why Low-Level Laser Therapy is effective in treating a wide variety of different types of pain.5 “…phototherapy will affect all the cells and tissues in the irradiated area in addition to having effects on the nerve alone, and this multiplicity of concurrent effects contributes to the overall recovery of the patient.”
Because of its actions on the nerves as well as at a deep cellular level, the types of pain that respond to Low-Level Laser Therapy are varied and range from sporting injuries to migraines, and from burns/skin conditions to back pain.
Of the many testimonials demonstrating the effective management of pain by using coMra therapy, Cheryl’s story is a key example. Cheryl was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999 and experienced a variety of different types of pain for years, including skin pain, localised pain and pain all over her body.
In September 2010 Cheryl started using coMra therapy to treat her pain, as well as her condition. By February 2011 she wrote that her pain was under control, and that she was experiencing many other benefits. These included being able to sleep through the night, being able to work in the garden again, as well as being able to walk without her walking stick.
coMra Pain Treatment Approaches
Below are a few pointers on the effective treatment of chronic pain using coMra therapy:
- Local pain is generally straightforward to treat. Identify the point/s of most severe pain and treat these, as well as 4-5 points within the immediate vicinity.
- Some people experience relief within 1 or 2 applications. Where there is tissue damage or degradation it may take longer to resolve. It is necessary to persist with treatments so that tissue regeneration has the needed support.
- Experiment with the length of treatments, as well as the frequency of treatments. Treat as much as you need to get relief. The different frequencies also have different effects – explore these.
- For more complex types of pain, such as fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy, there is a range of systemic treatments available.
If you’re interested in treating pain or any other condition using coMra please contact us – our consultants are standing by to help you.
1 and 3 www.painmed.org/patient/facts.html
4 The Lancet, Volume 374, Issue 9705, Pages 1897 – 1908, 5 December 2009
5 Photomedicine and Laser Surgery: Volume 29, Number 9, 201; Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Pp. 591–592 DOI: 10.1089/pho.2011.9904