Thursday, February 5, 2015

How Laser May Help Reduce Facial Pain - My Experience

Several of our Facebook friends have asked about laser for facial pain, and one of my blog readers recommended Carmen Care Laser Therapy in South Florida, specifically, so I paid them a visit (THANK YOU!).  This is not a sponsored ad, but an unbiased review - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I have undergone 4 treatments in the past 7 days. What it feels like: it's just a warm feeling on the skin, as she moves the laser wand around the head, mouth, and neck. Treatments take about 20 minutes each, and a minimum of 14 are recommended to see any significant improvement.

So far, my pain has actually slightly increased, but I'm told this is normal; as the nerves begin the process of self-repair, it is not unusual to feel worse before feeling better. In fact, I should expect to continue improving for several weeks after we complete the treatments.

My tongue and ear now feel more burning and tingling, much like they did about 2 years ago, which is little comfort, but I have been promised that things will improve.

Leslie Carmen is the owner of Carmen Care. She trained in laser treatments after her daughter came down with Trigeminal Neuralgia and they traveled to a laser treatment center in North Carolina, because there was none nearby.

After 14 laser treatments, her daughter fully recovered. FULLY. RECOVERED. There is no residual pain. The typical treatments for TN are drugs and surgery - but after laser therapy, she required none of these. Carmen has also used laser to help repair bad knees which were supposed to require orthopedic surgery, as well as back pain, arthritis, and other aches. Laser therapy was cleared by the FDA for use in the United States in 2003.

My own injury is now in its 5th year. I feel that I have plateaued in my recovery, so I am skeptical, yet also excited, about the possibility of finding relief with laser therapy.

Lasers are classified by their power output; Carmen uses Class IV, which is anything over 500 milliwatts/0.5 watts. (For comparison, Class 3a, a maximum of 5 milliwatts of power is what is used for a standard laser pointer.) Unfortunately, most American insurance companies, like Aetna, still consider laser therapy such as this "investigational" and refuse to cover it, so plan on paying out of pocket.

Carmen realized she was tremendously overcharged when her daughter needed laser therapy, so she charges a fraction of that amount in her own practice, to make it more affordable for more pain suffererers. If it works, it will be worth it, since there is no known cure for the lingering pain that occurs with approximately 15% of lingual nerve injuries.

Here is a list of conditions laser can be used for:

Spinal Stenosis and Sciatica Pain - Herniated Discs - Cervical Pain
Muscle Spasms - Myofascial Pain - Fibromyalgia
TMJ Syndrome - Migraine Headache - Cervicogenic Headache
Neuropathic Pain - Trigeminal Neuralgia - Facial Pain
Arthritis - ALL Joint Pain - Knee Pain - Hip Pain - Ankle Pain
Bursitis - Tendonitis - Carpal Tunnel - Plantar Fasciitis

I will be reporting further as treatments continue over the coming week. I am scheduled for 3 more visits. And then...we'll see...

Have you had laser treatments for facial or any other kind of pain? What were your results? How much did it cost? Would you recommend to others?