How laser therapy can provide significant pain reduction for fibromyalgia patients
Local company, Multi Radiance Medical, pioneered the use of light to ease patients suffering.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A new therapy is giving hope and relief to chronic pain sufferers, the likes of which they’ve never seen, delivering a 50% reduction in pain.
This technology that’s helping fibromyalgia patients was developed right here in Northeast Ohio.
“A lot of people describe it as having the flu and falling down the stairs, others say they got hit by a truck,” said Donna Penner.
She has been suffering from chronic pain for more than two decades.
“It changes every day. It changes where the pain is, the severity of the pain,” she said.
When she described her symptoms, a doctor quickly diagnosed her with fibromyalgia.
“He prescribed various medications for me, none of which helped,” said Penner.
“In our mind there is a lot of misdiagnoses of fibromyalgia and a lot of concern where patients are just being prescribed medications,” said Tom Kelly, Global President of Multi Radiance Medical.
“A lot of times they weren’t even meant for fibromyalgia, it was just that they were effective with relief in 10 to 25% of the patients,” Kelly said.
He says their laser therapy technology was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pain management and accelerated healing.
“We’ve done very well in the sports market where we have 200 lasers in major pro-sports teams and major colleges. Most pro-sports champs have all used our lasers,” he said.
Dr. Timothy Demchak, an athletic trainer, was using Multi-Radiance laser treatment in his clinic when he had an idea.
“I had a patient come in with fibromyalgia and I started laser work with her pain,” he said. “She had a huge decrease in pain, tender points started dropping off, activity levels up. I thought, this is really cool.”
He had more fibromyalgia patients come in, who experienced similar successes in reducing tender points and pain levels, significantly.
That kicked off a decade of research and case studies that were equally encouraging, followed by FDA approval for the fibrolux.
“What the lights doing is, it’s causing basil dilation, increasing blood flow and inhibiting those nerves from sending a signal to the brain,” said Dr. Demchak.
The patients don’t feel a thing.
“Their pain decreases almost immediately so they’ll have a pain level 8 of 10 at their tender spots, when we’re done it drops to a 4. When you’re talking about 14 tender spots...they’re like, wow,” said Dr. Demchak.
The intense decrease in pain is allowing these fibromyalgia patients to finally be active again.
“And what we’ve found is it’s a combination of both laser and the ability to exercise that is really beneficial,” Dr. Demchak said.
Most of them just stopped their medications because they didn’t need them anymore.
“I’m a skeptic. But I’ve noticed the pain and the tenderness is much less,” said Donna.
She’s is ready to get moving again, with much less pain.
“When you feel better, you do more. I’m really excited about this for everyone else who has it. Up until this there isn’t anything else to relieve fibromyalgia,” she said.
The price of a fibrolux session will depend on where you go to get the treatments, and insurance reimbursement is still a question mark.
But as long as the light therapy has been prescribed, it can be done at a clinic or office visit at most physicians’, chiropractors, athletic trainer or physical therapists’.
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