Alternative ways to treat pain and manage stress are sweeping the nation as millions of Americans are turning away from traditional medications.
This week, 9 On Your Side Morning Edition’s Maria Satira is taking a look at different therapies across Eastern North Carolina. One of those is concentrated laser therapy at Advantage Therapy Solutions in Greenville.
“Concentrated laser therapy is basically getting photons into a specific area of injury at a more concentrated dose,” said laser technician, Alida Lee.
A red light is helping to heal the body on a cellular level. It’s formulated to help a variety of conditions.
“When someone has arthritis or an injury of some kind we use the laser on that specific area for tissue repair and healing,” said Lee. “And then we also have an inhibitory dose which helps with pain relief. So we do both at the same time.”
After years of pain, Carl Hardy decided he would try something new to help ease his arthritis.
“I had pain in my thumb. I had to wear a splint and I was taking two medications for it,” said Hardy. After a few months, he noticed a big difference. “It’s a blessing really. You’re not limited to doing anything anymore. And the best thing is, I’m not having to take prescription drugs.”
It’s a similar experience for Shane Coltrain. As a teenager, his right leg was amputated above the knee. Over the past few years, he’s noticed pain, soreness, and early signs of arthritis in his left leg.
“Being an amputee for 28 years and overcoming that and then having to deal with my good leg giving me problems was very frustrating,” said Coltrain. “At the end of the day, I was having to go home and sit and just relax. I was taking NSAIDs and having a lot of issues with pain. So I said why not, I’ll give this a try.”
He started off with concentrated laser therapy and it didn’t take long for him to start seeing changes.
“I don’t have to wear a knee brace anymore. I’m able to go without taking ibuprofen every four hours. I’m able to work all day and when I get home I’m able to do stuff,” said Coltrain. “It was life-changing for me to have that benefit and to have that in Greenville was amazing.”
When it comes to a timeline of relief, it depends on the condition. Technicians say for some acute injuries, patients can feel a difference almost immediately. Meanwhile, for chronic conditions, it often takes a little longer to target the area.
The Alternative Therapy series continues Thursday at 5:00 pm only on WNCT 9 On Your Side.