Low level laser therapy for patients with cervical disk hernia

Laser Ther. 2012 Sep 30;21(3):193-7. doi: 10.5978/islsm.12-OR-10.


Background and aims: In previous studies we have reported the benefits of low level laser therapy (LLLT) for chronic shoulder joint pain, elbow, hand and finger pain, and low back pain. The present study is a report on the effects of LLLT for chronic neck pain.

Materials and methods: Over a 3 year period, 26 rehabilitation department outpatients with chronic neck pain, diagnosed as being caused by cervical disk hernia, underwent treatment applied to the painful area with a 1000 mW semi-conductor laser device delivering at 830 nm in continuous wave, 20.1 J/cm(2)/point, and three shots were given per session (1 treatment) with twice a week for 4 weeks.

Results: 1. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to determine the effects of LLLT for chronic pain and after the end of the treatment regimen a significant improvement was observed (p<0.001). 2. After treatment, no significant differences in cervical spine range of motion were observed. 3. Discussions with the patients revealed that in order to receive continued benefits from treatment, it was important for them to be taught how to avoid postures that would cause them neck pain in everyday life.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that LLLT was an effective form of treatment for neck and back pain caused by cervical disk hernia, reinforced by postural training.

Keywords: Cervical Disk Hernia; Chronic Pain; Low Level Laser Therapy; Postural training during Activities of Daily Living.