Clinical efficiency of high-intensity laser therapy in patients with cervical radiculopathy: a 12-week follow-up, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

S. Ince, N. Eyvaz, Ü. Dündar, H. Toktaş, H. Yeşil, S. Eroglu, S. Adar
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, May 01, 2023

Objective: The purpose of this study was to research the clinical effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) combined with exercise (EX) on pain, quality of life, and disability in patients with cervical radiculopathy (CR) and compared it with that of placebo (PL) and EX alone.

Design: Ninety participants with CR were randomized into three groups: HILT + EX (n = 30), PL + EX (n = 30), and EX only (n = 30). Pain, cervical range of motion (ROM), disability, and quality of life (SF-36 short form) were assessed at baseline and weeks 4 and 12.

Results: The mean age of the patients (66.7% female) was 48.9 ± 9.3 years. Pain intensity in the arm and neck, neuropathic and radicular pain levels, disability, and several parameters of SF-36 showed an improvement in the short and medium-term in all three groups. These improvements were greater in the HILT + EX group than in the other two groups.

Conclusion: HILT + EX was much more effective in improving medium-term radicular pain, quality of life, and functionality in patients with CR. Thus, HILT should be considered for the management of CR.