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Pain relief without drugs

New therapy combines electrical stimulation, low-level laser and LED lights

A back injury kept Terri White in chronic pain. She became addicted to pain pills and quickly found her life spinning out of control.

"I was pretty much a train wreck," she said.

Angela Dolder also knows what it's like to suffer from chronic pain. She broke her back in a fall more than a decade ago.

"The surgeon told me before I went into surgery that I had a 50/50 shot of ever walking again," she said.

Dolder did walk again, but prescription pain killers became a crutch. She took 12 a day and more than 350 a month.

"You're preoccupied with when you can take that next pill."

Theirs is a familiar story to Dr. James Flowers, director of the Pain Recovery Program at the Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center in Houston.

"Many of our patients come to us taking 180 to 300 OxyContin a month," said Flowers.

He uses a holistic approach to therapy that includes Neurolumen, an FDA approved device that combines electrical stimulation, LED lights and a low-level laser.

"It's really one of the most phenomenal advances in pain treatment that I've ever seen," he said.

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," said Flowers.

Both White and Dolder had positive results.

Patients typically do three sessions for 30 minutes at a time each week to help control pain.

A home version of the Neurolumen costs about $900.

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