Case report: use of high-intensity laser therapy for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia

Pain Manag. 2023 Dec;13(12):709-716. doi: 10.2217/pmt-2023-0112. Epub 2024 Jan 8.


Trigeminal neuralgia represents a form of chronic facial pain that is characterized by its incapacitating nature. The current therapeutic approaches encompass pharmacological agents with carbamazepine or non-pharmacologic options including utilization of percutaneous rhizotomy, Gamma knife radiosurgery or microvascular decompression may be indicated in certain cases. While the interventions may be effective, medications have negative side effects and procedures are invasive which can pose challenges for patients with various comorbidities. High-intensity laser therapy (HILT) has demonstrated safety and efficacy for many types of chronic pain such as musculoskeletal, autoimmune and neuropathic. Herein, we demonstrate the benefits of HILT therapy in the management of trigeminal neuralgia in a 72 year-old patient with a complex history of facial surgery and radiation who had failed pharmacological treatments and denied any invasive procedures.

Plain language summary

Trigeminal neuralgia causes severe facial pain, often requiring medications or invasive procedures. High-intensity laser therapy (HILT), known for treating many chronic pains, was explored for a 72 year-old patient with a complex medical history. Previous treatments had failed, and alternatives carried risks. HILT, a safe approach improving blood flow, was given for 3 days, targeting the painful area in the face. The patient experienced improved tissue oxygen supply and pain relief. The follow-up visit at 4 weeks showed sustained relief, enhanced jaw movement and no side effects. Although promising, further research is needed to confirm HILT's effectiveness for trigeminal neuralgia on a larger scale.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia* / surgery