In Pain? Just Turn on the Light

If you're like me, and your back acts up (thanks to a rear-end collision 25 years ago), some days you'd do anything to stop the pain and be able to move around like a human being again.  What if just by flicking a light switch, you could do that? reports today that just such a solution is in the works.  Researchers believe that using controlled lighting "can reduce pain by stimulating a patient’s mood, sleep patterns and activity levels." Currently they're testing this theory "using a collection of LED and fluorescent bulbs that shine 'intensive light' that reaches the patient’s lower retina, an area of the eye that stimulates brain functions," the Web site notes.

Now, I don't mean to make light of pain.  There are many, many people who suffer far worse than an occasional backache (which, I must disclose, isn't helped by running) and these are the people German researchers are hoping to help.

“As a psychologist and neurologist, I have often been confronted with the question of whether light could influence the mental state," references Prof. Thomas Tolle, director Munich’s Center for Interdisciplinary Pain Therapy, who gave an interview to lighting supplier Osram. "My conviction has always been that the use of light could influence sleep, mood and hence also quality of life."

 And the result? Patients have so far reported initial surprise at the intensity of the light, but have said that their activity levels have increased once they’ve adjusted to it.

According to, chronic pain afflicts more than 116 million Americans every year.  Wouldn't it be great if turning on a light could solve this problem for all of them?


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Did You Know Emojis Could Do THAT?