This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
Chronic pain is plaguing the country, and today we delve into some lesser-known methods to prevent, manage, and reverse pain in the body. From harvesting your exosome cells to boosting your stem cell production and hacks like pulsed electromagnetic frequency, light technology, and more.
Chronic Pain Management: What is the Source of Your Pain?
Dealing with pain can be a rather complex issue since pain is physical and mental (psychosomatic). We anticipate pain, which can worsen it. We identify with the pain, which can perpetuate it. Whether your pain is coming from your mind or body, both sources influence the other, and at the end of the day: perceived pain becomes a real pain.1,2
Acute vs. Chronic Pain
There are two overarching types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain typically lasts three to six months (or less) and is the direct result of an injury. For example, you may experience soft tissue damage due to a rolled ankle, which results in acute ankle pain for two months. Acute pain could also be as simple as the sting that lasts 20 minutes following a paper cut.
Chronic pain is ongoing pain that typically lasts longer than six months, resulting from a wide range of situations, either known or unknown. For example, it could be the lingering pain after an injury has healed. It could be caused by chronic inflammation in the body or the result of dysfunctional nerves. Chronic pain is pain that persists longer than the typical healing time.
Pain and Healing
Believe it or not, pain serves a purpose in the body. For starters, it creates an automatic response to make you aware that something is wrong and that you need to stop doing what you are doing. It also helps create a neural pathway to remind you that the situation you were in caused the pain is dangerous. For example, the pain of a burn on your hand will create an automatic withdrawal from the stovetop. It will also leave an imprint on your subconscious to be more careful and vigilant around a hot stovetop.
In time, the pain lessens as your body heals and regains the ability to operate in the world again. During that healing period, it’s important to feel pain, as it keeps you mindful and vigilant not to over-exert or use the injured site.
Acute inflammation does a similar job of protecting the injured site from further injury. When it comes in its acute (short-term) form, inflammation creates a cushion around the injury site so that you can heal.
However, problems arise when our acute pains (which are cause and effect) turn into chronic, long-term, and persistent pain. Living with chronic pain is so common, but it is neither normal nor healthy. Let’s explore some of the top ways to bio-hack your pain so you can finally live pain-free.
Chronic Pain Management: Inflammation
To start, let’s talk about inflammation. Before using any of the biohacks mentioned in this article, it’s important to go completely upstream to examine the root cause of many instances of chronic inflammation. When we go back to the root, cellular toxicity is often a significant cause of inflammation (and pain) in the body, which is caused by these major groups:
- Diet: get rid of inflammatory agents like refined sugars, refined grains, refined oils (especially vegetable oils), and alcohol.
- Heavy metals: silver (with 50% mercury) amalgam fillings, inherited in utero, old school lead-based paint, make-up.
- BPAs and other plastic-based chemicals: from the lining of canned food, plastic containers, and bottles.
- Water: contaminated from old pipes or the added neurotoxic chemicals introduced into city tap water.
- Mold: especially black mold, caused by damp areas or water damage in homes and workspaces.
- Hidden infections: including Lymes disease, oral cavitations, root canals, and parasites.
Without addressing the root cause, nothing will be a permanent solution unless you address cellular healing. Now let’s examine some of the ways to support pain prevention, management, and healing.
Stem cells are the type of ‘blank canvas’ human cells that can develop into many different types of cells in the body. For example, they can become a muscle cell or a brain cell, and this potentiality makes stem cells extremely important in the role of healing.
Stem cell therapy is becoming more well-known in the world of health and longevity. It is a procedure whereby stem cells are extracted from the fat and/ or bone and re-injected in the body, especially in areas experiencing pain or injury, to radically promote healing.3
Stem cell surgeries are still relatively expensive, although the results are truly baffling. Some areas of the world, like Mexico, offer cheaper procedures, but getting treated only at a highly reputable clinic is imperative. Like any medical procedure, there are dangers when it comes to cutting costs too heavily. The procedure, however, is legal and profoundly healing when done properly.
You can also make your stem cells by fasting. When we fast, the body produces many stem cells once the food is re-introduced into the diet. Ideally, you want to do a 5-day water fast to maximize the benefits of fasting and stem cell production.4
Exosomes are essentially extracellular vesicles or small bubbles released from cells, especially stem cells. They act as shuttles for certain genetic information and proteins to other cells. Exosomes can be harvested from younger cells. Generally, they are harvested from donated embryonic cords.
Some people do not benefit highly from stem cell therapy, generally because their stem cells are no longer highly viable enough for deep healing. Cellular healing is as powerful as the quality of the cell itself. If you can access exosomes from the embryonic cord of a newborn baby or harvest from a younger donor, these cells are very clean, with incredible healing properties.5
One of the easiest ways to harvest them is by using the cord of your own children or family members. Exosomes are injected as a whole-body procedure or specifically in problem areas like injury sites or joints. Exosomes may help turn off auto-immune symptoms and downregulate systemic inflammation and symptoms of various illnesses, including Crohn’s, diabetes, colitis, and IBS. Exosomes profoundly reset your immune system.5-8
Chronic Pain Management: Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Frequency (PEMF)
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy is a safe and non-invasive way to reduce pain and inflammation. PEMF emits bursts of low-level electromagnetic radiation to charge up your cells. The frequencies help heal damaged tissues and bone, alleviate body pain, and even stimulate organs in the name of preventative health.9-13
Studies highlight the ability of PEMF machines to reduce pain, help regenerate organs, reduce and eliminate arthritis, boost immune function, improve deep sleep, alleviate depression, promote blood circulation, and improve bone density and healing.9-13
The electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) emitted by PEMF machines are extremely low and safe. They mimic the frequencies our bodies experience in nature, in around the 5-30 Hz range.
Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy
Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a simple and non-invasive treatment that delivers wavelengths of red and near-infrared (NIR) light to the skin and cells.
Red and near-infrared light therapy is an increasingly accessible way to reduce inflammation in the body.14 It supplies your cells with the type of light needed to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), fuel for your cells.
Red light mimics the type of near-infrared light emitted by the sun in the early morning and late afternoon. It produces a very mild amount of stress that activates a protective mechanism in the cells. It essentially encourages the cells to work more efficiently, which allows for more anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants to promote healing in the body.15-17
Chronic Pain Management: Summary
We experience pain as a part of the human experience, and acute pain is essential in keeping us alive and aware of the danger. Chronic pain, however, takes a toll on our mental and physical health; despite being common, it is not normal. Healing from chronic pain requires an ‘upstream’ approach that examines inflammation’s root causes, generally cellular toxicity.
While addressing the root cause, other biohacks can help speed up the healing process; they include stem cell or exosome therapy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMF), and red and near-infrared light therapy.
This article is based on the opinions of The Cell Health team. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended to share knowledge and information from the research and experience of the Cell Health News team.
- Hansen, George R., and Jon Streltzer. “The Psychology of Pain.” Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, vol. 23, no. 2, 2005, pp. 339–348., doi:10.1016/j.emc.2004.12.005.
- Rankin, Lissa. Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. HAY House UK LTD, 2020.
- Han, Yong Hee et al. “Stem cell therapy in pain medicine.” The Korean journal of pain vol. 32,4 (2019): 245-255. doi:10.3344/kjp.2019.32.4.245
- Anne Trafton | MIT News Office. “Fasting Boosts Stem Cells’ Regenerative Capacity.” MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, news.mit.edu/2018/fasting-boosts-stem-cells-regenerative-capacity-0503.
- Mcdonald, Marguerite K., et al. “Functional Significance of Macrophage-Derived Exosomes in Inflammation and Pain.” Pain, vol. 155, no. 8, 2014, pp. 1527–1539., doi:10.1016/j.pain.2014.04.029.
- Yanfang Chen, Yaoliang Tang, Weiwen Long, Chunxiang Zhang, “Stem Cell-Released Microvesicles and Exosomes as Novel Biomarkers and Treatments of Diseases”, Stem Cells International, vol. 2016, Article ID 2417268, 2 pages, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/2417268
- Liu, Chao et al. “Extracellular vesicles for acute kidney injury in preclinical rodent models: a meta-analysis.” Stem cell research & therapy vol. 11,1 11. 3 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1186/s13287-019-1530-4
- Thomas JM, Cunningham CJ, Lawrence CB, et al. Therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles in preclinical stroke models: a systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ Open Science 2020;4:e100047. doi: 10.1136/bmjos-2019-100047
- Thomas, Alex W et al. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain.” Pain research & management vol. 12,4 (2007): 249-58. doi:10.1155/2007/626072
- Hug, Kerstin, and Martin Röösli. “Therapeutic effects of whole-body devices applying pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF): a systematic literature review.” Bioelectromagnetics vol. 33,2 (2012): 95-105. doi:10.1002/bem.20703
- Bagnato, Gian Luca et al. “Pulsed electromagnetic fields in knee osteoarthritis: a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.” Rheumatology (Oxford, England) vol. 55,4 (2016): 755-62. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kev426
- Sutbeyaz ST, Sezer N, Koseoglu F, Kibar S. Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in fibromyalgia: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical study. Clin J Pain. 2009 Oct;25(8):722-8. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181a68a6c. PMID: 19920724.
- Shupak, N M et al. “Exposure to a specific pulsed low-frequency magnetic field: a double-blind placebo-controlled study of effects on pain ratings in rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia patients.” Pain research & management vol. 11,2 (2006): 85-90. doi:10.1155/2006/842162
- Hamblin, Michael R. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.” AIMS biophysics vol. 4,3 (2017): 337-361. doi:10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337
- Servetto N, Cremonezzi D, et al. Evaluation of inflammatory biomarkers associated with oxidative stress and histological assessment of low-level laser therapy in experimental myopathy. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 2010 Aug.
- Lee JH, Chiang MH, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of low-level laser therapy on human periodontal ligament cells: in vitro study. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Apr.
- Douris P, Southard V, et al. Effect of Phototherapy on delayed onset muscle soreness. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2006 June.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based on the opinions of The Cell Health team. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended to share knowledge and information from the research and experience of the Cell Health team. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD, for the accuracy of the information provided. Still, we encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.