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?


  1. Jane, I hadn't heard about laser surgery in helping facial pain. Do many oral surgeons recommend or perform this type of surgery? My sister-in-law has facial pain & thinks it may be from a cavity. She's thinking about speaking to and oral surgeon about a root canal. I'm wondering if laser surgery could fix something like what she has.

    1. Sam, I apologize if this was not clear, but it's not actually laser surgery but "cold" laser - almost like a small heat lamp on a wand that they hold over the areas of pain. TBH, I did not see much of a change, but then again, I was only able to go for 50% of the recommended treatments before I moved and once I left the area, I was unable to see if it would have helped more.

  2. Jane, I just found this blog and you could be my doppelganger (down to the fact that I'm in my late 40's, live in Florida and am a marketing professional)! I am 2 years in dealing with chronic pain from an inferior alveolar nerve injury caused by a botched root canal -- sealant expressed beyond the proper length into the nerve canal. Recently had surgery to try to correct. Have much to share; couldn't find you on FB -- anyway else to connect? I am on FB (Kristin Dye Hurst) if you want to friend me. Our experience is almost identical...

    1. Nice to meet my twin, Kristin, and sorry for the delay replying. I am very interested in hearing your story. I will look for your FB page. Or, you can always comment here.

  3. Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.
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  4. Thanks for these great tips! Any recommendations for a good

  5. Hi.
    I am new to this whole numb thing as I just had my final wisdom tooth extracted a week ago on my 48th bday.


    To make matters worse, my mouth erupted in canker sores.
    Omgosh, I'm dying here.

    Please, since my pain and damage is so early in the game, what should I be doing for the best possible outcome?
    If I end up permanently damaged I'll likely lose my mind, and I sure don't want gone duo addicted to pain killers.
    This burning thing has got to stop.
    Please help.
    Ever thanks.
    God bless.

    1. Priscilla, So sorry to hear about your suffering. Hopefully by now you've had time to check out some of my earlier posts where I discuss what I tried. Some things have been more successful than others. I basically never go anywhere without bottled water and Halls Breezes lozenges in hand, just in case. There are stronger remedies - check out earlier posts and best of luck. Feel better :) jf

    2. Hi to anonymous...I too three months ago had a root canal and suffered lingual nerve injury. The end of my tongue burns and stings with my taste being distorted. You are the first person who stated was breaking out with canker sores afterwards. I never before my root canal had any sores in my mouth. It is now in a constant state of sores for months. My regular dentist who did not do the root canal could not believe how messed up the inside of my mouth was.

  6. WOW! I'm one of the lucky ones! I've had so much dental work done and this past week experienced, for the first time, searing "white lightning" pain shoot from the novocain injection site to my eye. Thank God I do not think I have any permanent nerve damage, but have to go back next week for the permanent crown. I will not get novocain again. I will NEVER again think that people with chronic pain are just drug seeking, weak, or crazy! Please forgive me and thank you for educating me about nerve injury!

    1. Susan - thanks for writing, and for what you said about no longer judging chronic pain sufferers! I probably felt exactly like you did, before I was one myself! Take care, and keep us posted on your progress. - jf

  7. I'm sure there is a wrong action when starting surgery and the first mistake of it is that, there is no surgery of facial pain. Among of my knowledge in facial pain is, it should be consulted to the doctor first so that they will provide you an exact treatment for your pain and they totally know the cause and effect about facial pain as well as when applying treatment.

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