Chiropractic Adjustments and Low-Level Laser Therapy in the Management of Cervical Facet Dysfunction: A Randomized Controlled Study 

 April 16, 2011

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.



Here’s a copy of a post at “The Recovery Blog” by Dr. Rick Rosa. At Stover Chiropractic P.C. I’ve used “cold laser” or “low level laser” for nearly two years now. I’ve found it a wonderful help when treating fibromyalgia, tendinitis, sciatica, bursitis, and low back pain to name a few. It isn’t limited to just those health problems, but those are common. Many People haven’t heard about low level laser therapy, so I thought a study would be helpful to have on the blog Which shows the efficacy of cold laser therapy.

Purpose The aim of this study was to determine the short-term effect of chiropractic joint manipulation therapy (CMT) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on pain and range of motion in the management of cervical facet dysfunction. Methods Sixty ambulatory women between the ages of 18 and 40 years with cervical facet joint pain of more than 30-day duration and normal neurologic examination were randomized to receive 1 of 3 treatment options: (1) CMT of the cervical spine, (2) LLLT applied to the cervical facet joints, or (3) a combination of CMT and LLLT. Each participant received 6 treatments in 3 weeks.

The main outcome measures were as follows: the Numerical Pain Rating Scale, Neck Disability Index, Cervical Range of Motion Instrument, and Baseline Digital Inclinometer. Measurements were taken during weeks 1 (baseline), 2, 3, and 4. Results No differences existed between the 3 groups at baseline. A significant difference was seen between groups 1 (CMT) and 2 (LLLT) for cervical flexion, between groups 1 (CMT) and 3 (CMT + LLLT) for cervical flexion and rotation, and between groups 2 (LLLT) and 3 (CMT + LLLT) for pain disability in everyday life, lateral flexion, and rotation.

All 3 groups showed improvement in the primary and secondary outcomes. A combination of CMT and LLLT was more effective than either of the 2 on their own. Both therapies are indicated as potentially beneficial treatments for cervical facet dysfunction. Further studies are needed to explore optimal treatment procedures for CMT and LLLT and the possible mechanism of interaction between therapies.

What does this mean for Stover Chiropractic and my patients? Simple, the chiropractic adjustment is primary, but at times the addition of laser will be an important help.

Please find the link to the original post below.


Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

related posts:

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Skip to content