BMJ snubs LLLT for neck pain again, but gives drugs with no evidence a pass

As reported here in 2013 there are no licensed drugs for non-specific neck pain because “there isn’t much specific research that shows drugs help neck pain”. For LLLT/PBM however, there are at least 16 (mostly positive) RCTs and a positive systematic review  published in The Lancet. Despite this unequivocal evidence, the 2014 revised patient advice leaflet from the BMJ fails to mention LLLT/PBM but states “your doctor may recommend one or more of the following” and goes on to list pain killers, NSAIDs, antidepressants and muscle relaxants”.

Last year I pursued someone at the BMJ, supplied them with the necessary data including controversial papers and rebuttals (5 months ahead of online publication on their own website). I obtained confirmation it was received and passed to “the Best Practice team who have logged it for the next review”, but as you can see, my efforts were unrewarded and LLLT/PBM did not get a mention. Unfortunately my contact there has left the journal so I have to find a new way in to gain an explanation.

The BMJ prides itself on impartiality and evidence based advice, so it is a mystery to me how this can happen. Watch this space for another 8 months!

About James Carroll

Founder and CEO at THOR Photomedicine Ltd. About THOR
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