The effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for nonspecific chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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2015-12-15

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In recent decades, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been widely used to relieve pain caused by different musculoskeletal disorders. Though widely used, its reported therapeutic outcomes are varied and conflicting. Results similarly conflict regarding its usage in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP). This study investigated the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for the treatment of NSCLBP by a systematic literature search with meta-analyses on selected studies. METHOD: MEDLINE, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science and Cochrane Library were systematically searched from January 2000 to November 2014. Included studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) written in English that compared LLLT with placebo treatment in NSCLBP patients. The efficacy effect size was estimated by the weighted mean difference (WMD). Standard random-effects meta-analysis was used, and inconsistency was evaluated by the I-squared index (I(2)). RESULTS: Of 221 studies, seven RCTs (one triple-blind, four double-blind, one single-blind, one not mentioning blinding, totaling 394 patients) met the criteria for inclusion. Based on five studies, the WMD in visual analog scale (VAS) pain outcome score after treatment was significantly lower in the LLLT group compared with placebo (WMD = -13.57 [95 % CI = -17.42, -9.72], I(2) = 0 %). No significant treatment effect was identified for disability scores or spinal range of motion outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that LLLT is an effective method for relieving pain in NSCLBP patients. However, there is still a lack of evidence supporting its effect on function.

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10.1186/s13075-015-0882-0

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Huang, ZeYu, Jun Ma, Jing Chen, Bin Shen, FuXing Pei and Virginia Byers Kraus (2015). The effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for nonspecific chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arthritis Res Ther, 17. p. 360. 10.1186/s13075-015-0882-0 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11582.

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Kraus

Virginia Byers Kraus

Mary Bernheim Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, is the Mary Bernheim Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Pathology and a faculty member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute in the Duke University School of Medicine. She is a practicing Rheumatologist with over 30 years’ experience in translational musculoskeletal research focusing on osteoarthritis, the most common of all arthritides. She trained at Brown University (ScB 1979), Duke University (MD 1982, PhD 1993) and the Duke University School of Medicine (Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Rheumatology). Her career has focused on elucidating osteoarthritis pathogenesis and translational research into the discovery and validation of biomarkers for early osteoarthritis detection, prediction of progression, monitoring of disease status, and facilitation of therapeutic developments. She is co-PI of the Foundation for NIH Biomarkers Consortium Osteoarthritis project. Trained as a molecular biologist and a Rheumatologist, she endeavors to study disease from bedside to bench.


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