by Alida Lee
With the opioid crisis reaching epidemic levels, patients and healthcare providers are seeking safer, more natural pain management methods. Phototherapy, also known as low level laser therapy, has been around for decades. It is a safe, non-invasive, thoroughly researched pain relief modality. It was once only available to well-funded organizations such as NASA and the NFL, but now Advantage Therapy Solutions is proud to offer these treatments to patients in eastern North Carolina.
Advantage Therapy Solutions offers two types of phototherapy treatments: a whole body pod treatment and a concentrated handheld laser treatment administered by a certified laser therapist.
The whole body pod is a relaxing 20 minute treatment. Although the pod looks like a tanning bed, it has no UV light. The pod has five wavelengths in three colors: GREEN, RED, and NEAR INFRARED. Each wavelength has different physiological effects and penetrates to different depths in the body. Think of it like a multivitamin for the outside of your body! During this treatment you simply lie in the pod for 20 minutes and let your cells receive healing photo energy. Many patients notice an immediate reduction in pain and a boost of energy after a whole body pod treatment.
A handheld laser treatment is a more concentrated treatment for a specific painful area. A certified laser therapist administers this treatment in a 30 minute appointment. Treatment is safe, painless, and non-invasive. There is no down-time after treatment, so you can go right back to your day as soon as you leave!
Why haven’t I heard of this before?
Some people are understandably skeptical of phototherapy because they have never heard of it and their doctors haven’t told them about it. Complementary and alternative therapies are not part of the routine curriculum in medical school because they do not generate income for hospitals or pharmaceutical companies. Even if doctors are aware of phototherapy, until recently the devices were so expensive that only billionaire biohackers and professional sports teams had access to them. New advances in technology have made these powerful devices much more affordable, which is why you are just now hearing about them.
What is phototherapy?
Phototherapy is the use of light and laser devices to stimulate the production of ATP in the mitochondria, relieve oxidative stress and restore cellular respiration. How does light do all that? Think of your cells as tiny cars. Each car has a programmed destination and function, but it needs a properly functioning engine to get to its destination. If the exhaust gets clogged and oxygen can’t get to the combustion chambers, the car will stop functioning properly and eventually break down. Damaged cells are like cars with a clogged exhaust. When the mitochondria get congested with nitric oxide, oxygen cannot be utilized to make energy (ATP). Photons (light energy) in the red to infrared spectrum stimulate the mitochondria to release nitric oxide from the cell so that oxygen can come in and make ATP. This restores the cell to healthy function so it can do what it’s programmed to do in the body.
How does Phototherapy help pain?
Tissue Repair –Phototherapy restores mitochondrial health and stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms. Nitric oxide floods the blood stream which dilates your blood vessels, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues. This allows tissues to heal faster, an average of half the time as it would normally take. Wes, a patient at Advantage Therapy Solutions, saw this firsthand when his standard 12-month surgical recovery was reduced to 6 months. “I had bicep surgery at the beginning of the year. It was supposed to be a 12-month recovery and 6 months in I’m lifting weights and basically back to normal. I’m 95% back to normal.”
Inflammation Reduction –During phototherapy a chain reaction of metabolic processes leads to a reduction in inflammation. Studies show that patients who were treated with phototherapy lasers had lower inflammatory chemicals prostaglandin E2, interleukin 1ß, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor α in their blood after treatments. Decreasing inflammation is important for pain management because inflammation can cause pain and fuel degenerative conditions like arthritis.
Analgesia (Pain Relief) –Photon stimulation with phototherapy lasers can disrupt transmission of pain signals to the brain. “When I started coming to Advantage Therapy Solutions, I was experiencing severe pain from two herniated discs in my lower back causing pinched sciatic nerve pain down my right leg” says Laura, a grateful patient. “The pain was an 8-9 out of 10. After receiving photobiomodulation therapy, my pain down my right leg is down to a 1 most of the time. My low back pain is around 3-4 most of the time. The treatments have helped tremendously!”
Advantage Therapy Solutions offers a free consultation and a free first treatment to every patient. “I was having a lot of issues with knee pain. I said, why not, I’ll give this a try” said Shane Coltrain, owner of Orthotics & Prosthetics East. “I don’t have to wear a knee brace anymore. I’m able to go without taking Ibuprofen every 4 hours. It was life changing.” There is no excuse to live in pain with this incredible resource right here in Greenville NC.
Advantage Therapy Solutions is located at 212 E. Arlington Boulevard in Greenville, NC. To learn more about phototherapy and make an appointment, call (252) 689-8729 or visit AdvantageTherapySolutions.com