• The effectiveness of laser therapy on the management of chronic low back pain

      Carus, Catherine; Poon, Tsz Hin (2016)
      Background/Aim: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a global musculoskeletal challenge, resulting in pain and disability on individuals. Laser therapy can be used to treat CLBP. This review evaluates the effectiveness of laser therapy including high level laser therapy (HLLT) and low level laser therapy (LLLT) on CLBP in relation to pain or functional disability. Methods: The authors conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and searched the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CINAHL, AMED and PEDro from their start to June 2015. All studies that met predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria were appraised with The Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Tools in June, 2015. Findings: Six RCTs met the inclusion criteria: two RCTs reported significant improvement in pain and functional disability with the use of HLLT but with small sample size (n=103); one RCTs (n=61) reported significant improvement and three RCTs (n=215) reported insignificant improvement in pain and functional disability with the use of LLLT. Conclusion: On the strength of the evidence available HLLT and LLLT are not currently recommended to be replaced or be offered in addition to conventional treatment. Further rigorous research is required to confirm the potential use of laser therapy on individuals presenting with CLBP.