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Pain management for postherpetic neuralgia with laser energy

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:52 pm
by Nick Balgowan

Osamu Kemmotsu, Kenichi Sato, Hitoshi Furumido, Koji Harada, Chizuko Takigawa, Sigeo Kaseno, Sho Yokota, Yukari Hanaoka and Takeyasu Yamamura

Department of Anaesthesiology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, N-15, W-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060, Japan

The efficacy of low reactive-level laser therapy (LLLT) for pain attenuation in patients with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) was evaluated in 63 patients (25 males, 38 females with an average age of 69 years) managed at our pain clinic over the past 4 years. A double blind assessment of LLLT was also performed in 12 PHN patients. The LLLT system is a gallium aluminium arsenide (GaAlAs) diode laser (830 nm, 60 mW continuous wave) Pain scores (PS) were obtained using a linear analog scale (0 to 10) before and after LLLT. The immediate effect after the initial LLLT was very good (PS: 0-3) in 26, and good (PS: 7-4) in 30 patients. The long-term effect at the end of LLLT (the average number of treatments 36 +/- 12) resulted in no pain (PS: 0) in 12 patients and slight pain (PS: 1-4) in 46 patients. No complications attributable to LLLT occurred. Although a placebo effect was observed, decreases in pain scores and increases of the body surface temperature by LLLT were significantly greater than those that occurred with the placebo treatment. Our results indicate that LLLT is a useful modality for pain attenuation in PHN patients and because LLLT is a non invasive, painless and safe method of therapy, it is well acceptable by patients.

0898-5901/91/020071-05$05.00 Ì 1991 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.