Effects of photobiomodulation therapy on inflammatory mediators in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain: Protocol for a randomized placebo-controlled trial
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is ranked as one of the most prevalent health conditions. It is likely that some inflammatory mediators could be associated with pain and disability in these patients. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) is a non-pharmacological therapy often used in patients with LBP and one of the possible mechanisms of action of therapy is modulate inflammatory mediators. However, to date there are no studies that evaluated the effects of PBMT on the levels of inflammatory mediators in patients with LBP. The aim of this study is to evaluate the acute effects of PBMT on systemic levels of inflammatory mediators and pain intensity in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain. Methods and analysis: This is a prospectively registered, two-arm randomized placebo-controlled trial with blinded patients, assessors and therapists. Eighteen patients with chronic non-specific LBP will be randomized into 2 groups: placebo or active PBMT. The treatment will be provided in a single session. The primary outcome will be levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). The secondary outcomes will be levels of necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and pain intensity. Biochemical and clinical outcomes will be measured at baseline and 15 minutes after the single treatment session. Discussion: Despite PBMT be used in musculoskeletal disorders such as LBP, to the best of our knowledge this is the first study that will investigate a possible biological mechanism behind the positive clinical effects of PBMT on non-specific chronic low back pain. Ethics and dissemination: The study was approved by the Regional Research Ethics Committee. The results will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed international journal and conferences.