Laser Treatments Show Promise For Fibromyalgia Patients - News, Weather & Sports

Laser Treatments Show Promise For Fibromyalgia Patients

By Lori Lyle

(LOUISVILLE) -- Most of us do everything we can to avoid getting the flu just one time a year, but some people feel like they're suffering from its symptoms every day of the year. That's how many fibromyalgia patients say they feel despite taking several prescription medications. But now there's at least one specialist in Louisville offering treatment with no drugs required. As as WAVE 3 Medical Reporter Lori Lyle reports, it's getting results.

Becky Glenn's biggest joy in life has always been singing, especially the uplifting hymns she sang at church. But when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 15 years ago, her life changed, and she has spent the last 14 years fighting it and looking for relief.

Fibromyalgia made her feel "stiff, sore all the time. Like I had the flu."

She suffered in continuous pain through work days, even considering applying for disability. When it finally robbed her of the strength to even climb the stairs to her church, she thought it had finally defeated her.

But it wasn't something she wanted to accept. "I don't want to be bedridden," she said. "I don't want to miss life.... I was to the point where I didn't think I would ever feel good again."

But a new treatment called laser, or low-light therapy, changed her life. It's being offered by Randy Wheeler, owner of Westport Chiropractic at 9423 Westport Road in Louisville.

As Wheeler explains, the laser sends a photon of light into the tissues that stimulates the tissue to produce ATP, which is energy. And that speeds up metabolic activity and speeds up healing."

Wheeler says he has been turning fibro patients away for years, saying there's nothing he could do. He started offering the new laser therapy six months ago, and says patients have reported encouraging results.

In fact, Wheeler says he has had "80 to 85 percent success rate with fibro patients." And he adds there are 1,500 clinical trial studies that say the treatment works.

Becky was of course skeptical after 15 years of finding nothing that worked, but she says Wheeler told her "if you don't see any relief in a couple of weeks, I can't do anything for you, so don't think I'm going to keep you coming back."

The protocol is three treatments a week for four to six weeks. Each treatment lasts from three to nine minutes a session.

And after the first two weeks, Becky says "I was very pleased." She says relief came gradually, but as her energy increased, the pain decreased.

"The pain that was at a level 10 for so long is now at a 2 or 3 most of the time," Becky says. "I can handle 2 or 3."

Now she's climbing steps again, and has resumed her favorite pastime: singing songs of praise and thanks.

Proof, she says, that there is hope. "Through all of this, all these years, I'd prayed so hard for something. I really think this was an answer to prayer."

After six weeks of treatments, Wheeler says most patients stop coming because they no longer need it. And he says most insurance carriers are covering the cost.

For more information on the laser treatment, contact Wheeler at Westport Chiropractic. The number is 502-326-5000.

Online Reporter: Lori Lyle

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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