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Trigeminal Neuralgia

Can low reactive-level laser therapy be used in the treatment of neurogenic facial pain? a double-blind, placebo controlled investigation of patients with trigeminal neuralgia

Arne Eckerdal and and Lehmann Bastian Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
Addressee for Correspondence: Arne Eckerdal DDS DOS Consultant, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery & Oral Medicine, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000 Odense' Denmark. 12/96 Rep. US X 8-10-12
LASER THERAPY, 1996:: 8: 247-252

Neurogenic facial pain has been one of the more difficult conditions to treat, but the introduction of laser therapy now permits a residual group of patients hitherto untreatable to achieve a life free from or with less pain. The present investigation was designed as a double-blind, placebo controlled study to determine whether low reactive-level laser therapy (LLLT) is effective for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Two groups of patients (14 and 16) were treated with two probes. Neither the patients nor the dental surgeon wereaware of which was the laser probe until the investigation had been completed. Each patient was treated weekly for five weeks. The results demonstrate that of 16 patients treated with the laser probe, 10 were free from pain after completing treatment and 2 had noticeably less pain, while in 4 there was little or no change. After a one year follow-up, 6 patients were still entirely free from pain. In the group treated with the placebo system, i.e. the non-laser probe, one was free from pain, 4 had less pain, and the remaining 9 patients had little or no recovery. After one year only one patient was still completely free from pain. The use of analgesics was recorded and the figures confirmed the fact that LLLT is effective in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. It is concluded that the present study clearly shows that LLLT treatment, given as described, is an effective method and an excellent supplement to conventional therapies used in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

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