Health Advice



Green-lighting an innovative pain-reduction technique

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

The Green Lantern, aka Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds), is a force for good in the universe, dimming the pain inflicted by Parallax. Turns out that green is a good color choice for a superhero dedicated to easing hurt -- at least that's what researchers at Duke University Medical Center found in a preliminary study.

Presented at this year's American Society of Anesthesiologists' meeting, the researchers said that they had fibromyalgia sufferers with chronic pain wear green-tinted glasses for four hours a day for two weeks. It resulted in the participants' use of fewer opioids and seemed to reduce pain-related anxiety!

How does it work? The study found that certain wavelengths of green light stimulate the pathways in the brain that help manage pain. That conclusion is supported by earlier research out of Banner-University Medical Center and the University of Arizona in Tucson. There, a small study indicated that green LED exposure was associated with reduced pain intensity in folks with fibromyalgia and with fewer headache days for those with migraines. The Arizona researchers speculate that if the participants in the Duke study had worn the green-tinted glasses for eight to 12 weeks, instead of just two, the relief would have been significantly greater.

For 50.2 million American adults who report pain on most or every day, discovering a potentially new, non-drug related therapy is joyous news. Green LED lights are available and you can talk with your eye doctor about finding green-tinted glasses (not lime, not bright). Go slow to see how you react -- hope it helps!



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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