LLLT Research Paper Watch: Acute Low Back Pain with Radiculopathy

Date Posted:22 January 2013 

Interesting paper that supports the second most documented laser wavelength - the 904nm, this is the same as the Handy-Cure infrared pulsed laser however the one in this study is a more powerful laser device.

Acute Low Back Pain with Radiculopathy:

A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Abstract
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in patients with acute low back pain (LBP) with radiculopathy. Background Data: Acute LBP with radiculopathy is associated with pain and disability and the important pathogenic role of inflammation. LLLT has shown significant antiinflammatory effects in many studies.

Materials and Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed on 546 patients. Group A (182 patients) was treated with nimesulide 200mg=day and additionally with active LLLT; group B (182 patients) was treated only with nimesulide; and group C (182 patients) was treated with nimesulide and placebo LLLT. LLLT was applied behind the involved spine segment using a stationary skin-contact method. Patients were treated 5 times weekly, for a total of 15 treatments, with the following parameters: wavelength 904 nm; frequency 5000 Hz; 100-mW average diode power; power density of 20mW=cm2 and dose of 3 J=cm2; treatment time 150 sec at whole doses of 12 J=cm2. The outcomes were pain intensity measured with a visual analog scale (VAS); lumbar movement, with a modified Schober test; pain
disability, with Oswestry disability score; and quality of life, with a 12-item short-form health survey questionnaire (SF-12). Subjects were evaluated before and after treatment. Statistical analyses were done with SPSS 11.5.

Results: Statistically significant differences were found in all outcomes measured ( p<0.001), but were larger in group A than in B ( p<0.0005) and C ( p<0.0005). The results in group C were better than in group B ( p<0.0005).
Conclusions: The results of this study show better improvement in acute LBP treated with LLLT used as additional therapy.