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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versão impressa ISSN 1134-8046


ORELLANA MOLINA, A. et al. Infrared laser vs. acupuncture in the treatment of heel spurs. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2010, vol.17, n.2, pp.69-77. ISSN 1134-8046.

Introduction: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Traditional and Natural Medicine are medical specialties that develop measures for the promotion of health, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, using physiotherapy and natural agents, along with acupuncture and therapeutic laser. The heel spur is an osteophyte that grows in the front part of the plantar tuberosity of the heel bone secondary to inflammatory processes of a degenerative cause or of immune origin associated with the spondyloarthropathies. It is mainly diagnosed by clinical examination, x-ray studies and ultrasound. The most important symptom is the pain and the treatment is almost always conservative, although other therapeutic agents can be employed. Objective: We studied the analgesic effect obtained by the application of an infrared laser radiation in patient suffering from heel spur. Methods: The investigation consisted of a comparative, descriptive, and prospective study. Of a total of 62 patients who attended the Department of Traditional and Natural Medicine of the November 30th University Polyclinic, in the period of January 2005 to January 2008, 52 patients were formed into 2 groups of 26. One group had lasertherapy and the other acupuncture treatment. Patients of both sexes and of any race were included, and ages ranged from 20 to 80 years. We excluded pregnant women and patients with cancer. The pain intensity was measured in all of them using the visual analog scale (VAS), before, during and at the end of treatment. Results and conclusions: The majority were in the 51 to 60 years age group and the female sex in both groups. Pain relief was achieved in the laser treatment group in the second session, curing 61.5% of the patients. In acupuncture they had to wait until the fourth session before there was improvement, curing 42.3%. The effectiveness of this method is shown in the laser therapy group, with an average deviation (0.683) which was significantly less than the average of the acupuncture average deviation (0.882). We recommend the use of low-power laser as first line treatment of pain and inflammation associated with heel spur.

Palavras-chave : Heel spur; Low-power laser; Pain.

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