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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990 Jan;71(1):34-7.

Low-energy laser treatment and exercise for chronic low back pain: double-blind controlled trial.

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Department of Medical Orthopedics, Sansum Medical Clinic, Santa Barbara, CA 93102.


Twenty patients with chronic low back pain were enrolled in a randomized double-blind trial to test the efficacy of low-energy laser biostimulation combined with exercise. Ten patients received low-energy gallium-arsenide laser treatment, and ten received placebo laser treatment. Both groups were also placed on an active exercise program. Visual analogue and disability pain scores were assessed pretreatment and one month posttreatment and showed significant (p less than .02) improvements in both groups, but no relative advantage was found for either group. Objective parameters using computerized triaxial measurements of range of motion, isometric torque, and isodynamic velocity were also performed before and after treatment. There were significant improvements in objective parameters in both the laser and placebo groups, but no relative advantage accrued to either group. Under the conditions of this study, low-energy laser stimulation plus exercise did not provide a significant advantage over exercise alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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