FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Chronic pain affects one third of Americans or about 133 million people. Often patients are prescribed powerful opiate drugs that can lead to addiction. But now new therapies are paving the way for a pain-free life without meds.
Terri White is reading from her journal for the first time in years. Headaches and a back injury have kept her in chronic pain.
"I was pretty much a train wreck," White told ABC30.
White became addicted to opiate pain pills and her life spun out of control.
White told ABC30, "I was sleeping 15 to 18 hours a day."
Angela Dolder knows what it's like. She fell two stories and broke her back more than a decade ago.
Dolder told ABC30, "The surgeon told me before I went into surgery that I had a 50/50 shot of ever walking again."
She would walk, but prescription pain killers became a crutch. Dolder took 12 a day, over 350 a month.
Dolder told ABC30, "You're preoccupied with when you can take that next pill."
It's a familiar story to James Flowers, PhD, LPC-S, who is the Director at PaRC Memorial Hermann.
"Many of our patients come to us taking 180 to 300 OxyContin a month," Flowers told ABC30.
The center uses a holistic approach to therapy that includes neurolumen.
"It's really one of the most phenomenal advances in pain treatment that I've ever seen," Flowers told ABC30.
The FDA-approved device combines electrical stimulation, LED lights and lasers.
Flowers told ABC30, "We see pain levels going from eight, nine, and 10 all the way down to zero and one."
Patients control the stimulation.
"The higher the level that you take that, the more oxygen, the more blood, the less swelling you're going to have and the quicker your body is going to heal," Flowers told ABC30.
Both Dolder and White went through the program.
"Luckily I didn't have to lose my family," Dolder told ABC30.
White told ABC30, "I feel better now than I have in my entire life. Seriously."
Both are now drug free.
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Alex Rodriguez Loessin
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