A comparison of laser acupuncture versus placebo in radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndromes as recorded by subjective responses of patients.
In a prospective randomized single blind cross over study the analgesic effects of laser irradiation on acupuncture points and a mock laser treatment (placebo) were compared in a sample of 21 patients suffering from radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndromes. Subjective pain levels were recorded on a visual verbal analogue pain rating scale before and after laser treatment and placebo along with the duration of any effects on pain observed. Mean pain levels after laser treatment were statistically significantly lower than after placebo (p less than 0.001, t-test). In the cross over section laser treatment was more effective than placebo in 20 out of 21 patients and pain relief lasted longer after laser treatment in 18 out of 21 patients.