A New NHS Fibromyalgia Study Proves The Effectiveness of PBM Therapy
How East Devon Physical Therapy’s PBM Treatment Offers Fibromyalgia Sufferers A Way Forward
Fibromyalgia is a long-term health condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue as well as sleep and mood problems. A particularly debilitating medical issue, it affects approximately 2.5 million people in the UK.
Although the cause of Fibromyalgia remains unknown, it’s thought that unusual levels of specific chemicals in the brain, and changes in how the central nervous system processes pain signals may be at the root of the condition. However, what causes these changes in the first place remains a mystery, with scientists suspecting that genetic factors play a significant role.
With the condition often triggered by physical or mental trauma – injury, infection, and stress, for example – it’s a condition that any number of people can suffer from and for which there is currently no cure.
That said, treatment for Fibromyalgia and the pain it causes has recently taken a dramatic step forward.

Light As A Solution

Fibromyalgia treatments have traditionally centred around lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques as well as the use of cognitive behavioural therapy and antidepressants.
Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, however, is a treatment that involves the application of light – normally a low-powered laser or LED. Although PBM therapy has been used successfully for years to stimulate tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and reduce pain, therapists have recently been applying the technique to combat the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
While there’s been much favourable discussion about PMB’s effectiveness as a Fibromyalgia therapy, a recent NHS clinical trial produced a truly impressive set of results.
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The NHS Trial

The trial was conducted by researchers at the Department of Pain Management at the Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust who successfully used a NovoTHOR Whole Body PBM Therapy Light Bed to alleviate a wide number of Fibromyalgia symptoms.
The trial lasted 8 months (from January to August 2022) and involved a test group that was 70% female and 30% male (as the majority of Fibromyalgia sufferers are female). The ages of the test subjects ranged from 28 to 66 years old, with the average age being 47, reflecting the preponderance of menopausal or perimenopausal women who suffer from the condition.
Further to this, the average amount of time that each participant had been living with Fibromyalgia was 15 years, meaning that every test subject had been living with the condition and its debilitating symptoms for a significant length of time.
The specific treatment engaged in the trial involved the use of a NovoTHOR Whole Body PBM Therapy Light Bed and was made up of three 20-minute sessions per week for 6 weeks (18 sessions in total).
The results were impressive, to say the least.

The Proof In The Numbers

The NHS trial delivered spectacular results showing that NovoTHOR Whole Body PBM Therapy reduced pain levels by 44% while improving the test subjects’ quality of life by 33% – and all during a 6-week period.
In order to assess the treatment’s performance, researchers employed the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR) which asks test subjects a number of questions about their pain and fatigue levels, how acutely there’re experiencing depression, poor sleep, and memory loss, as well as several other variables that impact a patient’s ability to go about their daily life.
This FIQR data was taken from the test subjects at three separate time points: at the beginning of the trial, after 6 weeks of therapy, and after 24 weeks (to see how long any benefits would last). With scores rated from 100 to 0 – 100 being the worst and 0 being the best – the test results were as follows:
Conclusive findings, indeed.
What’s more, a sizable number of the test subjects were able to stop or profoundly reduce the amount of medication they were taking for Fibromyalgia as a result of the therapy.
With 14 of the test subjects regularly taking 17 opioid-based medications, 64.3% of them were able to either completely stop or significantly reduce their medication consumption by Week 6 of the trial. Of the 4 subjects who were taking antidepressants, half of them were able to stop completely – with one of them cutting to zero from a daily dosage of 120 mgs!

The PBM Solution

The safety of PBM therapy – and the NovoTHOR Whole Body PBM Therapy Light Bed, in particular – has long been accepted, and this new NHS trial found no evidence to question that.
The conclusion reached by the researchers stated that “There appears to be a clear advantage in supporting the use of whole-body PBMT in the Fibromyalgia population.’

PBM at East Devon Physical Therapy

When it comes to the technicalities of PBM therapy, it’s important to understand that it’s not a thermal therapy. The NovoTHOR Whole Body PBM Therapy Light Bed operates in the red and near-infrared spectrum and can be compared more accurately to photosynthesis as opposed to heat therapy.
If you’re suffering from Fibromyalgia and would like to explore PBM treatment, East Devon Physical Therapy is the only practice in the South West of England that offers PBM therapy with the NovoTHOR system.
With the spectacular results of the NHS trial having given credence to the NovoTHOR system when it comes to Fibromyalgia, our red light therapy (as it’s also known) has also proven its effectiveness when it comes to:
Get in touch with East Devon Physical Therapy today and start your journey towards a better and more pain-free life.
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