Diode Laser in Cervical Myofascial Pain: A Double-Blind Study versus Placebo

* F. Ceccherelli, * L. Altafini, * G. Lo Castro, * A. Avila, *F. Ambrosio, and * G. P. Giron

*Institute of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Padua, and the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca e, l'Aggiornamento Scientif co, Padua, Italy

Summary: We present a double-blind trial in which a pulsed infrared beam was compared with a placebo in the treatment of myofascial pain in the cervical region. The patients were submitted to 12 sessions on alternate days to a total energy dose of 5 J each. At each session, the four most painful muscular trigger points and five bilateral homometameric acupuncture points were irradiated. Those in the placebo group submitted to the same number of sessions following an identical procedure, the only difference being that the laser apparatus was nonoperational. Pain was monitored using the Italian version of the McGill pain questionnaire and the ScottHuskisson visual analogue scale. The results show a pain attenuation in the treated group and a statistically significant difference between the two groups of patients, both at the end of therapy and at the 3-month follow-up examination.

Key Words: Laser&emdash;Infrared laser beam&emdash;Pain&emdash;Chronic pain&emdash;Placebo&emdash;Double blind study.

Address correspondence and repent requests to Dr. F. Ceccherelli at the Istituto di Anestesiologiae Rianimazione, via C. Battisti 267, 35121 Padova, Italia.

The Clinical journal of Pain 5:301-304 copyright 1989 Raven Press, Ltd., New York



Energy Density

Power Density

Energy per point



5mW av (25Wpeak)

(not given)

(not given

1 J

1KHz x 200nS


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