Come In Out of the Pain

posted by Curtis Turchin, MA, DC on Friday, April 17, 2015

For chronic pain sufferers, their pain is bad enough without feeling as though they have no control over their pain.

But pain patients don’t have to simply “pop a pill” and wait—or wait for an appointment for therapy, chiropractic or other treatments. Many treatments available in a clinic setting are now widely available—and very affordable—for patients to use at home.

When introduced by doctors, chiropractors, therapists and other health care practitioners in clinic, at-home pain management products can help calm patients’ anxiety and feelings of loss of control and provide welcome pain relief when they need it, without additional medications.

Apollo Class IV Cold Laser Therapy System

Cold laser therapy is an investment ($3,995 for a handheld system), but the research over the last 40 years has demonstrated that cold laser therapy not only effectively manages pain but also stimulates healing in all kinds of tissues, including bone, cartilage, spinal discs and muscles.

Cold laser also compares favorably against other electrotherapy modalities such as e-stim or ultrasound. While these treatments have value and are also analgesic, research has demonstrated that laser has a superior ability in stimulating tissue healing.

The therapy is also very easy for patients to use since it offers few side effects and it would be very difficult for patients to overtreat themselves (compared to e-stim or ultrasound, which can sometimes cause shocks and burns).   

Patients who visit a therapist two or three times a week for treatment can incorporate laser into home care up to two or three times a day. Patients do not have to apply a contact gel as they would with ultrasound, or worry about placing pads in the correct area—they simply point the laser probe at the affected area for one to five minutes.


Anyone who’s watched the Olympics or is a football fan has seen athletes sporting multiple patterns and colors of tape on their bodies.

It’s not just a fashion statement. Taping is used commonly to help stabilize joints and improve circulation for patients with pain due to an acute or chronic injury—and help protect patients from further injury while they stay active.

While there are specific ways that tape should be used, it’s fairly easy for therapists to teach patients how to apply the tape in specific directions depending on the type of injury.

Cold laser therapy and taping are often used in conjunction, as the laser’s ability to stimulate healing can help injuries heal more rapidly and provide further pain relief.

Patients can find tape at most sporting good retailers or online, at costs ranging from $5 up to $25 a roll.

Next Steps

Providing patients with the tools and techniques to manage their pain at home can be a very effective adjunct to in-office treatment. It’s important to note that for greatest efficacy, clinicians should demonstrate these techniques with their patients and practice with them until they are comfortable. It can also be helpful for your practice to have these tools available for purchase right in your clinic, which will help patients further comply with these therapies. 


About Author

Dr. Curtis Turchin, MA, DC is an internationally known expert in the field of laser therapy for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. He has used laser treatment for nearly 30 years and serves as director of clinical sciences for Apollo Lasers.

Turchin is a ... read more