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Acupunct Med. 2014 Apr;32(2):116-23. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010456. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Low-dose laser acupuncture for non-specific chronic low back pain: a double-blind randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care, University of Western Australia, , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if infrared laser acupuncture (LA) may have a specific effect in reducing pain and disability in treatment of chronic low back pain (LBP).

METHODS:

This was a double-blind sham laser controlled trial performed in general practices in Perth, Western Australia. The participants were 144 adults with chronic non-specific LBP. They were randomised to receive eight once-weekly treatments. Laser machines (20 mW, 840 nm diode, power density 0.1 W/cm(2)) stimulated points in three treatment groups: sham (0 joules/point), low dose (0.2 J/point) and high dose (0.8 joules/point). Participants were followed-up at 1 and 6 weeks, and 6 and 12 months post treatment. Primary outcomes were pain (Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS)) and disability (Oswestry Disability Inventory (ODI)) at 6 weeks post treatment. Secondary outcomes included numerical rating scale for limitation of activity, global assessment of improvement, analgesic usage and adverse effects after treatment.

RESULTS:

The analysis showed no difference between sham and the laser groups at 6 weeks for pain or disability. There was a significant reduction in mean pain and disability in all groups at 6 weeks (p<0.005); NPRS: sham (-1.5 (95% CI -2.1 to -0.8)), low dose (-1.3 (-2.0 to -0.8)), high dose (-1.1 (-1.7 to -0.5)). ODI: sham (-4.0 (-7.1 to -1.0)), low dose (-4.1, (-6.7 to -1.5)), high dose (-2.6 (-5.7 to 0.5)). All secondary outcomes also showed clinical improvement over time but with no differences between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

LA using energy density range (0-4 J/cm(2)) for the treatment of chronic non-specific LBP resulted in clinical improvement unrelated to laser stimulation.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

http://www.anzctr.org.au ACTRN12610000043033.

PMID:
24280948
PMCID:
PMC3995277
DOI:
10.1136/acupmed-2013-010456
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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