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Physiological responses in chronic pain patients LLLT protocol

Scott D. Fender and David Diffee. Pain Research Group, Arvada, Colorado, U.S.A.

Use of Low Reactive Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) utilizing helium-neon lasers has increased lately especially in pain control. New protocols are being developed aimed at a complex of primary and secondary symptomologies. One of these protocols, Stellate Ganglion Stimulation, has shown in our research a unique set of developments.

Targeting the area of the stellate ganglion is showing great promise in the rehabilitation of patients with a history of chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes, but several patients with preexisting psychological symptomology have exacerbated during the initial stages of the utilization of this protocol. Patients with a history of psychological diagnosis for dysthymia, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or minor diffuse brain injury have shown exacerbation of these symptomologies during the initial phases of stimulation treatment.

Overall, response to this form of therapy seems to be positive but some patients require dermatomal and/or site-specific therapy to maximize outcome. With specific psychological treatment combined with a more conservative amount of stimulation initially, the increase in these symptoms shows a tendency to remit with the pain response.

Our continued research is currently focusing on the mechanisms for this type of response as well as protocol refinement to maximize its effectiveness.