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Laser Treatment on Acupuncture Points Improves Pain and Wrist Functionality in Patients Undergoing Rehabilitation Therapy after Wrist Bone Fracture. A Randomized, Controlled, Blinded Study

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The objective of this study was to determine whether application of laser beam on acupuncture points has a positive effect on the rehabilitation of patients with a diagnosis of distal radius fracture (1.5 inches proximal to distal articular surface of the radius) when applied with active conventional physical therapy exercises. Patients with a distal radius fracture treated with closed reduction, percutaneous pinning, and a short cast for six weeks was included and were assigned to one of two study groups. The control group was given simulated laser acupuncture with the laser off, while the experimental group received laser beam on acupuncture points. A low power infrared 980 nm, 50 mW laser (Diller & Diller Laser Performance) electric energy, was used; each acupuncture point was irradiated for 30 seconds at 8,000 Hz at each therapy session. In both groups, treatment was applied to the following points: Ipsilateral- Yanggu (SI5), Yangchi (SJ4), Waiguan (SJ15), Yangxi (LI5), Daling (PC7); Bilateral- Hegu (LI4); Contralateral- Shenmail (VL62), Kulun (V60), Taixi (KID3). All of the patients underwent a total of 10 sessions, at a frequency of three times per week. They were evaluated using the VAS, the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE), and wrist mobility ranges at the beginning of treatment, at the end of the fifth session, at the 10th session, and a week after the 10th session. The patients treated with laser beam exposure on acupuncture points showed 44% reduction in pain and 33% of improvement in the functional status of the wrist compared with the control group. Application of laser beam on acupuncture points combined with active rehabilitation exercises show benefits in the rehabilitation of patients with a distal radius fracture managed with percutaneous pinning and a short cast.
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Keywords: DISTAL RADIUS FRACTURE; LASER ACUPUNCTURE; OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY; PAIN CONTROL; REHABILITATION MEDICINE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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