Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1097–1103 | Cite as

Laser acupuncture versus reflexology therapy in elderly with rheumatoid arthritis

  • Afnan Sedky Adly
  • Aya Sedky AdlyEmail author
  • Mahmoud Sedky Adly
  • Zahra M. H. Serry
Original Article


The purposes of this study are to determine and compare efficacy of laser acupuncture versus reflexology in elderly with rheumatoid arthritis. Thirty elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis aged between 60 and 70 years were classified into two groups, 15 patients each. Group A received laser acupuncture therapy (904 nm, beam area of 1cm2, power 100 mW, power density 100 mW/cm2, energy dosage 4 J, energy density 4 J/cm2, irradiation time 40 s, and frequency 100,000 Hz). The acupuncture points that were exposed to laser radiation are LR3, ST25, ST36, SI3, SI4, LI4, LI11, SP6, SP9, GB25, GB34, and HT7. While group B received reflexology therapy, both offered 12 sessions over 4 weeks. The changes in RAQoL, HAQ, IL-6, MDA, ATP, and ROM at wrist and ankle joints were measured at the beginning and end of treatment. There was significant decrease in RAQoL, HAQ, IL-6, and MDA pre/posttreatment for both groups (p < 0.05); significant increase in ATP pre/posttreatment for both groups (p < 0.05); significant increase in ankle dorsi-flexion, plantar-flexion, wrist flexion, extension, and ulnar deviation ROM pre/posttreatment in group A (p < 0.05); and significant increase in ankle dorsi-flexion and ankle plantar-flexion ROM pre/posttreatment in group B (p < 0.05). Comparison between both groups showed a statistical significant decrease in MDA and a statistical significant increase in ATP in group A than group B. Percent of changes in MDA was 41.82%↓ in group A versus 21.68%↓ in group B; changes in ATP was 226.97%↑ in group A versus 67.02%↑ in group B. Moreover, there was a statistical significant increase in ankle dorsi-flexion, ankle plantar-flexion, wrist flexion, wrist extension, and radial deviation in group A than group B. Laser therapy is associated with significant improvement in MDA and ATP greater than reflexology. In addition, it is associated with significant improvement in ankle dorsi-flexion, ankle plantar-flexion, wrist flexion, wrist extension, and radial deviation greater than reflexology in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


Laser acupuncture Reflexology Rheumatoid arthritis Elderly 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


No funding was received.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of Faculty of Physical Therapy research ethics committee, Cairo University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Afnan Sedky Adly
    • 1
  • Aya Sedky Adly
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mahmoud Sedky Adly
    • 3
  • Zahra M. H. Serry
    • 4
  1. 1.Medical Applications of Laser in Physical Medicine, Physical Therapy for Cardiovascular-Respiratory Disorders and GeriatricsCairo University Kasr El Aini Medical SchoolCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Computer Science, Biomedical InformaticsHelwan University Faculty of Computers and InformationCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Medical Applications of LaserCairo University Faculty of Oral and Dental MedicineCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Physical Therapy for Cardiovascular-Respiratory Disorders and GeriatricsCairo University Faculty of Physical TherapyCairoEgypt

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