There is no doubt that opioids are effective at dampening short-term severe pain. But it is also widely appreciated that they are extremely addictive and increasingly dangerous with accidental overdoses killing ~ 50,000 people in the US alone each year, and >100,000 worldwide (according to WHO statistics from 2017).
But did you know that opioids can actually make Chronic Pain worse? Unlike light therapy that helps to stimulate the energy within cell mitochondria, opioid drugs give relief by blocking pain receptors. Opioid use encourages the body to respond by increasing the number of pain receptors. This in turn means you need even higher opioid doses to get the same relief as before. And a vicious cycle is created.
Light therapy using either one of our handheld lasers, the PhysioCare, PDCare or DermaCare lasers, or a faster, professional laser such as the DuoCare 904 and Pro Series, puts in place the opposite cycle - one where the body's own healing process is encouraged. Light therapy benefits for chronic pain include
- More energy: Light therapy stimulates the cell mitochondria to produce more energy, known as ATP. This energy is used by cells for healing, growth, proliferation and tissue repair
- Reduced inflammation: Light therapy also stimulates the release of nitric oxide which improves blood flow and circulation, as well as cAMP, a powerful anti-inflammatory, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which reduces oxidative stress.