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Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for discogenic back pain
  1. N Malliaropoulos1,2,
  2. A Akritidou2,
  3. I Tsifountoudis3,
  4. K Tsitas1
  1. 1National Track & Field Centre, Sports Injury Clinic, Sports Medicine Clinic of S.E.G.A.S., Thessaloniki, Greece
  2. 2Thessaloniki SPORTS Medicine Clinic, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  3. 3Department of Radiology, AHEPA Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on low back pain documented by history, clinical examination, MRI findings of the Lumbar Spine and patients' pain scores. 39 individuals with diagnosis of low back pain were enrolled in randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, but 32 participants completed the therapeutic protocol. After enrolment, symptomatic individuals were randomly assigned to receive LLLT, or identical placebo, for 6 weeks. MRI was performed at baseline of therapy. The subjective low back pain was recorded at baseline and after treatment on a visual analogue scale. After LLLT, low back pain in both groups showed significant change over the experimental period and there was a significant difference (before treatment and after treatment) in discogenic back pain between the two groups. Pain estimation on the visual analogue scale had improved significantly in all test situations (after night rest, daily activities) after LLLT when compared with that of the placebo group. Additionally when the difference in pain scores was compared between the two groups the change was statistically significant. In summary, while MRI findings are able to depict the morphologic changes related to discogenic back pain, 905 nm gallium-arsenide infrared laser may contribute to healing and pain reduction in discogenic low back pain.

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