The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT), on its own or combined with exercise, in the treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP). In all, seventy-two male patients participated in this study, with a mean (SD) age of 32.81 (4.48) years. The participants were placed at random three groups and treated with HILT plus exercise (HILT + EX), placebo laser plus exercise (PL + EX), and HILT alone in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The outcomes measured were lumbar range of motion (ROM), pain level by visual analog scale (VAS), and functional disability by both the Roland Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) and the Modified Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (MODQ). The authors conducted statistical analyses to compare the differences between baseline and post-treatment measurements. The level of statistical significance was set as P < 0.05. ROM significantly increased after 4 weeks of treatment in all groups, then significantly decreased after 12 weeks of follow-up, but was still substantially higher than the baseline value in groups 1 and 2. VAS, RDQ, and MODQ results showed significant decrease post-treatment in all groups, although the RDQ and MODQ results were not significantly different between groups 2 and 3.
The results of the study show that HILT combined with exercise seems to be more effective in patients with CLBP than either HLLT alone or placebo laser with exercise.