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Issue 29 Synovium (Spring 2010)
Neck pain is a pain in the neck. It is common, often persistent, and responds poorly to medication. So it is encouraging to read that a relatively novel, non-invasive treatment shows evidence of effectiveness. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 randomised controlled trials of low-level laser therapy (LLLT)1 yielded 820 patients, for whom data was pooled. LLLT was found to reduce pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain. Low-level laser – or cold laser – is yet to be established as a medical treatment but, according to Wikipedia, papers are appearing at the rate of around 25 per month, mainly investigating treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. We will be watching.