Laser acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy for spastic cerebral palsy in children
Laser acupuncture is widely used as an alternative line of treatment in several chronic pediatric diseases. To investigate whether biostimulation by low-level laser on acupuncture points adds a clinical benefit to conventional physiotherapy in hemiplegic spastic cerebral palsy (CP) children. Forty spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy children by age 1–4 years were chosen from the pediatric outpatient clinic of the National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences (NILES), Cairo University, and Menofyia University hospitals. They were randomly divided into control and study groups; 20 children each. Both groups received physiotherapy for 3 months, while only the study group also received laser acupuncture (low-level laser 650 nm with 50 mW power was applied at each acupoint for 30 s giving an energy density of 1.8 J/cm2). Preassessment and postassessment of muscle tone, the range of motion (ROM), and gross motor function measurements (GMFMs) were obtained, and the results were statistically analyzed. Comparison between posttreatment measures for the control vs. study groups showed significant difference in muscle tone (wrist flexors and plantar flexors) in favor of the study group, while range of motion showed no significant differences. GMFM showed no significant difference in total score while there was a significant difference in goal total score (sum of % scores for each dimension identified as goal area divided by number of goal areas) in favor of the study group. Laser acupuncture has a beneficial effect on reducing spasticity in spastic cerebral palsy and may be helpful in improving their movement.