Photobiomodulation therapy combined with static magnetic field reduces pain in patients with chronic nonspecific neck and/or shoulder pain: a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

a woman holds her neck in pain while sitting on the couch in her living room

by Adeilson Matias Teixeira, Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal-Junior, Heliodora Leão Casalechi, Adriane Aver Vanin, Paulo Roberto Vicente de Paiva, Fernando Hess Câmara Melo, Douglas Scott Johnson and Shaiane Silva Tomazoni

Abstract: Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) has been used to treat patients with chronic neck and/or shoulder pain. However, it is unknown whether the concurrent use of PBMT and static magnetic field (PBMT-sMF) also has positive effects in these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of PBMT-sMF versus placebo on pain intensity, range of motion (ROM) and treatment satisfaction in patients with chronic nonspecific neck and/or shoulder pain.

Key points:

  • A randomized controlled trial, with blinded assessors, therapists and patients was carried out.
  • Seventy-two patients with chronic nonspecific neck and/or shoulder pain were randomized to either active PBMT-sMF (n = 36) or placebo PBMT-sMF (n = 36).
  • Patients were treated twice weekly, over 3 weeks.
  • Primary outcome was pain intensity, measured 15 min after the last treatment session and at 24-, 48-, 72-h, and 7-days after the last treatment.
  • Secondary outcomes were ROM, patient’ treatment satisfaction, and adverse effects.
  • PBMT-sMF was able to reduce pain intensity in all time points tested compared to placebo (p < 0.05). There was no difference between groups in the secondary outcomes (p > 0.05). Our results suggest that PBMT-sMF is better than placebo to reduce pain in patients with chronic nonspecific neck and/or shoulder pain at short-term.

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