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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE
Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici
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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2011 September;47(3):367-73
Short-term effects of high-intensity laser therapy versus ultrasound therapy in the treatment of low back pain: a randomized controlled trial
Fiore P. 1, Panza F. 2, Cassatella G. 1, Russo A. 1, Frisardi V. 3, Solfrizzi V. 3, Ranieri M. 4, Di Teo L. 5, Santamato A. 1 ✉
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy;
2 Geriatric Unit and, Gerontology-Geriatric Research Laboratory, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy;
3 Department of Geriatrics, Center for Aging Brain, Memory Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy;
4 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy;
5 OSMAIRM Rehabilitation Center, Laterza, Taranto, Italy
BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) is a common musculoskeletal disorder that is highly prevalent in the general population. Management of this pathology includes numerous interventions depending on pain severity: analgesic, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections. However, the effect size and duration of symptom relief are limited. Physical therapy (ultrasound [US], laser therapy, manual therapy, interferential current therapy, Back School, aerobic work, therapeutic aquatic exercise acupuncture) have been reported often with mixed results. AIM: To evaluate the short-term effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) versus ultrasound (US) therapy in the treatment of LBP. DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial. SETTING: University hospital. POPULATION: Thirty patients with LBP were randomly assigned to a HILT group or a US therapy group.
METHODS:Study participants received fifteen treatment sessions of HILT or US therapy over a period of three consecutive weeks (five days/week).
RESULTS: For the 30 study participants there were no between-group differences at baseline in Visual Analogic Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (OLBPDQ) scores. At the end of the 3-week intervention, participants in the HILT group showed a significantly greater decrease in pain (measured by the VAS) and an improvement of related disability (measured by the OLBPDQ) compared with the group treated with US therapy.
CONCLUSION:Our findings obtained after 15 treatment sessions with the experimental protocol suggested greater effectiveness of HILT than of US therapy in the treatment of LBP, proposing HILT as a promising new therapeutic option into the rehabilitation of LBP.