Effect of High-Power Laser Therapy on Pain and Electrophysiological Study in Cervical Radiculopathy Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type : Original Article


The Department of Physical Therapy for Neurology, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University* and Clinical Neurophysiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University**


Abstract Background: Cervical radiculopathy (CR) is a disabling condition that has a significant negative impact on the mental health, physical functioning, and social participation. Aim of Study: To determine the effect of high-power laser therapy (HPLT) on pain and electrophysiological study in patients with cervical Radiculopathy. Patients and Methods: Twenty patients with cervical radiculopathy caused by disc prolapse at the level of C5-C6 or C6-C7 from both genders participated in this study after signing a consent form. The patients were randomly assigned into two equal groups; group A (study group) consisted of ten patients who received high power laser therapy (HPLT) for eight minutes in addition to selected physical therapy program (hot pack, US for 5min, exercise for 20min), group B (control group) consisted of ten patients who received the same selected physical therapy program only for eight sessions. All patients attended the physical therapy clinic two times weekly for four weeks. The evaluation for pain intensity was done by visual analogue scale (VAS). Sensory and motor nerve conduction studies and F wave for median and ulnar nerves of the affected upper extremity was recorded. Needle electromyography (EMG) for biceps brachii, triceps and first dorsal interosseus muscles was performed. All measurements were performed before and after the treatment. Results: The results revealed that there was significant decline in VAS after treatment compared to pre-treatment results in both study and control group (p=0.005 & p=0.017; respectively). The study group showed a statistically significant lower values of VAS after treatment in comparison to the control group (p=0.010). However, there were no significant changes of the motor distal latency, distal motor amplitude, proximal motor amplitude, motor NCS, sensory distal latency, sensory distal amplitude and sensory NCS of both median and ulnar nerves after treatment when compared to pre-treatmentin both study and control group (p>0.05). Also, the results of F wave latency of both median and ulnar nerves and EMG of biceps, triceps and first dorsal interosseous muscles showed that, there was no significant difference after treatment when compared to pre-treatment results in both study and control group (p>0.05). Conclusion: It can be concluded that HPLT is an effective noninvasive physical therapy modality inreducing pain in patients with cervical radiculopathy, However, The HPLT has no significant effect on the findings of electrophysiological studies.