Dr. Filner Writes on His Experience Practicing Pain Management with Low Level Laser Therapy
Abstracts From “Low Level Laser Therapy – A Clinician’s View”
By Bernard E. Filner, MD, Guest Editorial in Practical Pain Management October 2006
In his comprehensive and informative article in Practical Pain Management, Dr. Filner explains his status as a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and how and why he digressed into pain management by establishing the Chronic Pain Treatment Center in Rockville, Maryland.
Dr. Filner also explains how – in 2003 – he became familiar with MicroLight’s ML830® when he read an article in the Washington Post about the New England Patriots football team’s use of the ML830® during and before the team’s appearance in the Super Bowl. Becoming curious, Dr. Filner then downloaded all the research he found on MicroLight’s website and called Mike Barbour, MicroLight’s president, to arrange for a demonstration of how to perform laser therapy on seven patients Dr. Filner “recruited,” plus himself. (It seems that he had “extensive” trigger points in his neck and upper back in need of attention.)
Dr. Filner describes how he uses the ML830® for inactivating trigger points to reduce or eliminate pain, and how using the laser has changed the methodology of his practice, explaining three important findings in his evaluation of the ML830® for trigger point therapy.
He notes first that, although the laser is non-invasive and therefore involves no risk, the same skills that are necessary for traditional trigger point injection are required when using the laser because the laser beam follows a straight line (just like a needle) which must be aimed properly at each problematic trigger point. Second, the laser can introduce some longer-lasting effects than those obtained from traditional trigger point injections because certain unique local and systemic values are added when the laser is used. Third, unless the clinician is willing to take the time to do the job completely, including the time it takes to obtain a good patient history, do a proper physical examination, and test to find the problem, results from selecting the laser to treat a particular patient’s condition may not be as good as the clinician and the patient hope to have.
As of the time he wrote his article – in late 2006 – Dr. Filner had treated more than 11,000 trigger points in his patients, successfully inactivating all but four of them. He sees six to eight patients a day who have had painful conditions they have suffered from during the past six months and up to forty years.
Dr. Filner recommends the use of low-level laser therapy as a part of the proper “armamentarium” of every clinician who would successfully treat chronic pain.