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Low intensity laser and LED therapies associated with lateral decubitus position and flexion exercises of the lower limbs in patients with lumbar disk herniation: clinical randomized trial.

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Low intensity laser and LED therapies associated with lateral decubitus position and flexion exercises of the lower limbs in patients with lumbar disk herniation: clinical randomized trial.

Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Sep;31(7):1455-63

Authors: de Carvalho ME, de Carvalho RM, Marques AP, de Carvalho Lucio LM, de Oliveira AC, Neto OP, Villaverde AB, de Lima CJ

Abstract
UNLABELLED: The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of laser and LED therapies, associated with lateral decubitus position and flexion exercises of the lower limbs in patients with lumbar disk herniation (LDH). It is a randomized blinded clinical trial. Fifty-four subjects with LDH L4-L5 and L5-S1 were selected and randomly allocated into groups: laser 904 nm, placebo, and LED 945 nm. The numbers of subjects for each group that completed the treatment were 18, 13, and 18, respectively. Twelve points over the lumbar spine region (L2 to S1) and eight points on the injured thigh in the path of the lumbar roots L5 and S1 were irradiated. Irradiation parameters for each point were as follows: laser wavelength 904?±?10 nm, average power 0.038?±?20 % W, irradiated area 0.16 cm(2), energy per point 4 J, and treatment time per point 104 s; LED wavelength 945?±?15 nm, power 0.1 W, irradiated area 1.0cm(2), energy per point 4 J, and treatment time per point 40 s. Lateral decubitus opposite to the side of the radicular was the standard position for all patients. After phototherapy and laser placebo sessions, the subjects performed sequences of flexion exercises of the lower limbs (ten per session) for 15 daily sessions.
VARIABLES STUDIED: pain intensity assessed by visual analog scale (VAS), degree of flexion of the affected hip measured by the universal goniometer and functional capacity assessed by the Oswestry Disability Index. The three groups had statistically significant improvement in lumbar and radicular pain, in hip mobility, and in the functional disability index (p???0.001). There was a statistically significant difference (p?=?0.024) in radicular pain between the groups, gait claudication and Oswestry Disability Index. We can conclude that in the treatment of L4-L5 and L5-S1 LDH with radiculopathy, LED, associated with lateral decubitus position and flexion exercises of the lower limbs, showed better therapeutic performance for radicular pain, gait claudication, and functional disability.

PMID: 27379776 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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