It is not surprising that, “Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States.” But it is surprising that medical doctors throughout the nation have been routinely prescribing opiate medications for almost every condition involving pain. “More than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American patients in 2017…” But due to the risks posed by opioids, should you (or your patients, if you are a health practitioner) use them to alleviate pain, or choose a more natural approach to pain relief and management?
Opioids’ Dangerous Side Effects
The “Opioid Epidemic” in the United States that first began in the 1990s brought awareness of the dangers that these drugs pose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, as well as others, state that the common side effects of opioids, even when taken as directed, are: nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth; sexual issues; dizziness; sleepiness and changes in sleep patterns; mood swings and personality changes; constipation; confusion; depression; itching and sweating; increased sensitivity to pain; slowed breathing; physical dependence (which can bring the discomforts of withdrawal); and tolerance (which can bring the possibility of an unintentional overdose that may cause death). According to the CDC, “Opioids were involved in 49,860 overdose deaths in 2019 (70.6% of all drug overdose deaths).” This equates to approximately 136 deaths per day. The Mayo Clinic’s website reveals that, “Studies suggest that up to one-third of people who take opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and more than 10 percent become addicted over time.” So are opioids really worth this amount of risk?
New Opioid Guidelines
A new study states that opioids should not be used to treat chronic non-cancer pain. According to Pat Anson of Pain News Network, a new position paper by the European Pain Federation (EFIC) put out in 2021 “released new guidelines that strongly recommend against using opioids to treat fibromyalgia, low back pain, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome and other types of chronic non-cancer pain. The new recommendations advise that opioids should not be prescribed for people with chronic primary pain as they do not work for these patients. However, the guideline states that low doses of opiods may be suitable for treating ‘secondary pain syndromes’ caused by surgery, trauma, disease or nerve damage…”
Opioids for pain relief may offer more harm than help. And opioids never actually heal the source of the pain — putting the patient on an endless treadmill of prescriptions. But what if there was a way to get the human body to release its own natural chemicals for pain relief with no negative side effects? And what if these naturally released chemicals not only provided quick and effective pain relief, but also accelerated the body’s own innate healing processes? Red Light Therapy is the answer both of these life changing questions!
The Better Choice - Red Light Therapy!
Red Light Therapy is a non-addictive, non-risky means of achieving pain relief and accelerating healing. Red Light Therapy is non-invasive; painless; fast-acting; dependable; extremely easy to administer; and, best of all, has no known harmful side effects.
Red Light Therapy is also known as “photobiomodulation” (PBM) and “Low level Light Therapy” (LLLT).” Contrary to opioids, Red Light Therapy can be administered without worries because, “PBM has an almost complete lack of reported adverse effects...” A 2015 study concluded that, “LLLT is beneficial for pain relief and can accelerate the body’s ability to heal itself.”
And unlike opioids, Red Light Therapy provides effective pain relief plus stimulates the body’s own healing processes. Thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies have proven that Red Light Therapy is a very effective and dependable healing modality. A 2017 study affirmed that “…Low doses of light have demonstrated the ability to heal skin, nerves, tendons, cartilage and bones.”
In Conclusion – Red Light = No Risks!
Say “no” to opiates. If you suffer from acute or chronic pain, consider purchasing a Red Light Therapy system for your home use that can bring you and your family effective and dependable pain relief and accelerate your body’s own healing processes without the threat of any harmful side effects.
And if you are a medical doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist or massage therapist, consider adding Red Light Therapy to your treatment menu. Purchasing even a small Red Light Therapy system for your clinic can provide a big boost to your practice in at least three significant ways: (1) expand your treatment menu and, as a result, your potential earnings; (2) make a significant positive impact on the well being and quality of life of your patients — and their resulting satisfaction with your practice, and (3) make your clinic stand out above the competition. There are no downsides or risks to Red Light Therapy for both patients and practitioners!
 Cotler, Howard B. et al. The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain. MOJ Orthop Rheumatol. 2015 ; 2(5): . doi:10.15406/mojor.2015.02.00068, p. 1. [This study analyzes data from over 85 studies on LLLT.]
 https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/prescribed.Opioid Overdose: When the Prescription Becomes a Problem. Accessed 25 March 2021.
 https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.Drug Overdose Deaths Remain High. Accessed 25 March 2021.
 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/in-depth/how-to-tell-if-a-loved-one-is-abusing-opioids/art-20386038.How To Tell If a Loved One is Abusing Opioids. Accessed 25 March 2021.
 Anson, Pat. “New European Guideline Says Opioids ‘Do Not Work’ for Many Types of Chronic Pain.” Pain News Network website, 4 March 2021. Accessed 25 March 2021.
 Hamblin, Michael R. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.” AIMS biophysics vol. 4,3 (2017): 337-361. doi:10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337, p. 14.
 Ibid., p. 7.
 Ibid., p. 4.
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While prescription opioid use and consumption continues to fall in the United States, the number of U.S. drug overdose deaths are reaching record levels. This is due to illicit fentanyl and other drugs, not from pain medication. To read more about what IQVIA researchers learned about opioid use, click the full article here. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some additional temporary decline in use, levels have returned to normal since the economy reopened. Overall, the management of opioid medication is progressing well.
Overdoses Continue to Rise
The drug overdose epidemic is worsening and is at the highest rate ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life and has hit those with substance use disorders hard. Another report warns thousands of Medicaid patients are being prescribed too many opioids. Prescribers with unusual prescription patterns are also being monitored to address the crisis. To read the full article, click here.
A Possible Solution or Alternative
It is possible that the addition of light therapy could also help patients with chronic pain. NIR therapy has no known side effects, is non-invasive, and easy to administer. Light therapy can help relieve musculoskeletal pain of any cause. It works by increasing ATP synthesis in cells and triggering other biochemical and biophysical reactions in living tissue which promote healing. The light also triggers the release of nitric oxide in the body which increases blood flow, relieving pain in that way.
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