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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2006 Mar;118(3-4):95-9.

Adjuvant laser acupuncture in the treatment of whiplash injuries: a prospective, randomized placebo-controlled trial.

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Department of Orthopedics 1, Speising Orthopedic Hospital, Vienna, Austria.


Following introduction of the compulsory use of seat belts in cars, whiplash injuries of the cervical spine have become common in everyday practice. Current treatment approaches lead to resolution of the symptoms within a short time in most cases but cannot prevent a small proportion of patients developing persistent health problems. The effects of adjuvant treatment with laser acupuncture on the acute symptoms and the results one year after the injury were studied in this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled single-blind study. One group of patients (n = 23) were treated with laser acupuncture (5 mW HeNe laser on 22 acupuncture points for 15 s each) plus cervical collar and a combination of paracetamol and chlormezanone; a second group (n = 22) received the same treatments but with the use of a placebo laser. The treatment was given three times per week until the patient was asymptomatic. No statistically significant advantage of the laser acupuncture treatment was found in the acute phase (mobility in all three planes, duration of pain and duration of use of a cervical collar) or the chronic phase (drug use and the incidences of chronic recurrent problems such as myofascial pain, headaches, vertigo and tinnitus).


Adjuvant laser acupuncture with a 5 mW HeNe laser and an irradiation time of 15 s appears to be ineffective in the management of whiplash injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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