Efficacy of low-level laser therapy applied at acupuncture points in knee osteoarthritis: a randomised double-blind comparative trial.
To evaluate the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) applied to acupuncture points on the knee joint in combination with exercise and advice in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Randomised, double-blind, comparative clinical trial.
Forty-nine patients with knee osteoarthritis were assigned at random into two groups: active laser group (n=26) and placebo laser group (n=23).
Using a gallium aluminium arsenide laser device, patients received either active or placebo LLLT at five acupuncture points on the affected knee during nine sessions.
Patients were assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Saudi Knee Function Scale (SKFS) at baseline, the fifth treatment session, the last treatment session, 6 weeks post intervention and 6 months post intervention.
VAS scores showed a significant improvement in the active laser group compared with the placebo laser group at 6 weeks post intervention [mean difference -1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) of the difference -2.4 to -0.3; P=0.014] and 6 months post intervention (mean difference -1.8, 95% CI of the difference -3.0 to -0.7; P=0.003) using the independent samples test. SKFS scores also showed a significant improvement in the active laser group compared with the placebo laser group at the last treatment session (median difference -15, 95% CI of the difference -27 to -2; P=0.035) and 6 months post intervention (median difference -21, 95% CI of the difference -34 to -7; P=0.006) using the Mann-Whitney U test.
The results demonstrate that short-term application of LLLT to specific acupuncture points in association with exercise and advice is effective in reducing pain and improving quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Acupuncture for knee joint, Laser acupuncture, Laser therapy, Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), Osteoarthritis of knee, Phototherapy
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