Feasibility study of a LED light irradiation device for the treatment of chronic neck with shoulder muscle pain/stiffness.

man suffers from neck pain, while waking up in the morning

Keiichi Odagiri ,Katsuya Yamauchi,Masahiro Toda,Ayako Uchida,Hiromi Tsubota,Kazuyoshi Zenba,Hiroaki Okawai,Hideo Eda,Seiichiro Mizuno,Hiroaki Yokota

Abstract: Neck with shoulder muscle stiffness/pain is a common disorder. Commonly used physical therapy, pharmacotherapy, acupuncture, and moxibustion only temporarily alleviate the disorder in most cases, thus the disorder often recurs. Low power laser therapy is often used for neck and shoulder stiffness/pain and has been effective in clinical trials. In this study, we evaluated the safety and effectiveness of a newly developed self-care device for disorders including neck with shoulder muscle stiffness/pain. The device incorporates light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are safer than lasers, as its light source. Ten adults with neck with shoulder muscle stiffness/pain were subject to LED irradiation (wavelength 780 nm ± 15 nm, output 750 mW, power density 3.8 W/cm2, energy density 5.7×102 J/cm2) for 3 minutes on the affected shoulder at a standard acupuncture point (GB21, Jianjing).

Key points:

  • Immediately after irradiation, the subjective symptoms of the neck with shoulder muscle stiffness and pain evaluated by a visual analog scale were improved from 58.3 mm ± 18.7 mm to 45.5 mm ± 21.5 mm and from 45.8 mm ± 23.3 mm to 39.4 mm ± 21.8 mm, respectively. The symptoms further improved after 15 minutes of irradiation.
  • The skin temperature at the irradiated point increased from 34.3°C ± 1.1°C to 41.0°C ± 0.7°C. The increase in skin temperature was observed within approximately 5 cm of the irradiated area.
  • There was no effect on the heart rate variability, a measure of the autonomic nervous system; however, the baroreflex sensitivity was slightly increased.
  • No irradiation-related adverse skin events were observed.
  • Our LED irradiation device was found to be safe, and it improved the subjective symptoms of muscle stiff neck with shoulders.

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