Laser "acupuncture" treatment for arthritis patients

A randomised double-blind clinical trial has been carried out at the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research (IMAR) in collaboration with the Department of Physiotherapy at the Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that could cut the crippling pain of arthritis. The research, published in the journal ‘Physiotherapy’, was conducted by Abdullah Al-Rashoud, a PhD by research student from Saudi Arabia at the Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, under the direct supervision of Mr Carlos Wigderowitz and Professor Rami Abboud.

Data from 49 patients taken from volunteers in Saudi Arabia suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee were collected for analysis. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) was applied on specific acupuncture points around the knee instead of the more traditionally used acupuncture needles and it was found to have a significant reduction in pain and discomfort therefore improving patient quality of life.

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Judi Rhys, of the charity Arthritis Care, said: “We welcome any good news that shows how people might ease the pain of osteoarthritis. This study has a positive outcome but, as always, the challenge is to ensure that once a new treatment has been identified it reaches as many people as possible.”

This international collaborative work will hopefully lead to further studies to enhance arthritic patients’ quality of life and foster further links between University of Dundee and various institutions in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. The success of the project falls largely on the due diligence of Abdullah and his Principal Supervisor, Mr Wigderowitz” said Professor Abboud.

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