LLLT for the management of patients with ankylosing spondylitis
Papadopoulos, Konstantinos D.
Stergioulas, Apostolos Thomas
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This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of the combined low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and passive stretching with combined placebo LLLT laser and the same passive stretching exercises in patients suffering from Αnkylosing spondylitis. Forty-eight patients suffering from Αnkylosing spondylitis participated in the study and were randomized into two groups. Group A (n = 24) was treated with a λ = 820 Ga-Al-As laser CW, with power intensity = 60 mW/cm2, energy per point in each session = 4.5 J, total energy per session = 27.0 J, in contact with specific points technique, plus passive stretching exercises. Group B (n = 24), received placebo laser plus the same passive stretching exercises. Both groups received 12 sessions of laser or placebo within 8 weeks; two sessions per week (weeks 1–4) and one session per week (weeks 5–8). Pain and function scales were completed before the treatment, at the end of the fourth and eighth week of treatment, and 8 weeks after the end of treatment (follow-up). Group A revealed a significant improvement after 8 weeks of treatment in all pain and function scales. At 8-week follow-up, the improvement remained only for the pain, while for all other function outcomes the differences were not statistically significant. The results suggested that after an 8-week treatment and after a follow-up, the combination of LLLT and passive stretching exercises decreased pain more effectively than placebo LLLT along with the same passive stretching exercises in patients with Αnkylosing spondylitis. Future studies are needed to establish the relative and absolute effectiveness of the above protocol.