Canadians are said to be suffering through a chronic pain epidemic. Pain is a major concern for seniors, many of whom are already coping with health problems associated with age including cognitive issues, a decline in mobility, and other chronic conditions. Approximately 27% of seniors living at home and 38% of seniors in health care institutions suffer some form of chronic pain.1 Pain is an issue which transcends age, not only affecting older Canadians. A Canadian Community Health Survey found that around 1 in 10 Canadians aged 12 to 44 – approximately 1.5 million people – experience some form of chronic pain.2
There are three main types of pain, classified based on where it originates:
Somatic pain is caused when receptors in the body surface or musculoskeletal tissues are activated. Pain usually takes the form of a dull ache and is often exacerbated by activity
Neuropathic pain originates in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves as a result of a malfunction or injury, and manifests as a stinging, tingling, burning, or “pins and needles” sensation
Visceral pain, the most common form of pain, is caused by damage or injury to internal organs. Visceral pain is often described as deep squeezing, dull, or diffuse which can make it hard to localize
Pain from all three types can be either acute or chronic depending on duration. We all suffer acute pain from time to time; pain becomes chronic when it lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 months or if it persists after an injury has fully healed.
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition which affects many aspects of people’s lives. As anyone who has suffered from the condition can tell you, it often prevents sufferers from performing their regular activities. Patients with chronic pain were also more likely than those without pain to respond negatively to measurements for well-being, including anxiety and other mood disorders.3
Modern medicine has given us many pharmaceutical options to mask the effects of chronic pain by blocking signals to the brain. However, as each type of pain uses a different biological mechanism, no one medication can be effective for all patients. A growing body of research conducted over the past fifteen years shows that Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) produces anti-inflammatory effects which contribute to pain relief.4 The bio-modulative mechanisms of LLLT address all three known cellular pathways, which means that when the dosage is properly adjusted it can mitigate all types of chronic pain.
Theralase LLLT systems are a unique, drug-free, non-invasive and non-immunosuppressive therapeutic modality which reduces pain and inflammation right at the source. The bio-stimulating effects of Theralase laser therapy also cause an increase in tissue regeneration and accelerated healing. To find out more about how Theralase non-thermal laser therapy can help your patients suffering from chronic pain, request a free demo today.
For patients wanting to find out more about how Theralase non-thermal laser therapy can help, visit www.theralase.com/clinic-locator to find a practitioner near you.
Chronic pain in Canadian seniors. (2008). Ramage-Morin. Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/2008/pain.pdf
Chronic pain at ages 12 to 44. (2008). Ramage-Morin & Gilmour. Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2010004/article/11389-eng.htm#a4.
Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials. (2009). http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961522-1/abstract