The effect of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) as a non-invasive treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) is still under investigation. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of LLLT on neuropathic pain and interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression following SCI in male rats.
46 adult male rats were divided into 5 groups of control, SCI, treatment with methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS), 1-week LLLT and 2-week LLLT. Animals underwent behavioral evaluations for motor behavior, level of allodynia and hyperalgesia every week. At the end, spinal cord was extracted and IL-6 level was assessed by ELISA method.
Treatment with MPSS and 2-week LLLT had led to motor function recovery (df: 24, 145; F=223.5; p <0.001). SCI did not affect mechanical (df: 24, 145; F=0.5; p=0.09), and cold allodynia (df: 24, 145; F=0.3; p=0.17) but significantly increased mechanical (df: 24, 145; F=21.4; p<0.001) and heat hyperalgesia (df: 24, 145; F=16.1; p<0.001). Treatment with MPSS and 1 and 2-weeks LLLT improved mechanical hyperalgesia (p<0.05) and heat hyperalgesia (p<0.01). The increased level of IL-6 following SCI was also compensated by administration of MPSS or LLLT (df: 4, 10; F=8.74; p=0.003).
Findings show that long periods of LLLT have better effects in improving the complication of SCI. In summation, since LLLT does not cause the side effects of MPSS, long-term use of LLLT may be a proper alternative for MPSS in decreasing post SCI side effects.