Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis, is a degenerative condition of the spine that can cause neck pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. It is a common condition, especially in older adults.

There are a number of different treatment options for cervical spondylosis, including physical therapy, medication, and surgery. In recent years, high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) has emerged as a promising non-invasive treatment option for this condition.

HILT is a type of therapy that uses high-powered lasers to penetrate deep into the tissues. The laser light stimulates cellular activity and promotes healing. HILT has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation and improving range of motion in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including cervical spondylosis.

A recent study published in the journal Lasers in Medical Science1 compared the effectiveness of HILT to a combination of ultrasound (US) treatment and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in patients with cervical spondylosis. The study found that HILT was more effective than the US/TENS combination in reducing pain and improving range of motion.

The study involved 84 patients with cervical spondylosis, who were randomly divided into two groups. One group received 12 sessions of HILT plus exercise, while the other group received a combination of US, TENS, and exercise.

At the end of the treatment, the patients in the HILT group had a significantly greater decrease in pain and a significantly better improvement in function than the patients in the US/TENS group.

The study authors concluded that HILT is a safe and effective treatment for cervical spondylosis. They recommended that HILT be considered as a treatment option for patients with this condition.

How does HILT work?

HILT works by stimulating cellular activity and promoting healing. The laser light penetrates deep into the tissues and increases blood flow and oxygen delivery. This helps to reduce inflammation and promote the growth of new tissue.

HILT can also be used to reduce pain by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.2 The laser light stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.3

The infrared laser beam interacts on tissues at a cellular level stimulating the transfer of nutrients through the cell membrane and accelerating the production of ATP (cellular energy). The result is accelerated healing and reduced pain.

What are the benefits of HILT for cervical spondylosis?

HILT has a number of benefits for patients with cervical spondylosis, including:1,2,3

  • Reduces pain and inflammation  
  • Improves range of motion 
  • Promotes healing
  • Is a safe and non-invasive treatment

Who is a good candidate for HILT?

HILT is a good treatment option for most patients with cervical spondylosis. However, it is important to talk to your health practitioner to see if HILT is right for you.

HILT may not be suitable for patients with certain medical conditions, such as pregnancy, cancer, or bleeding disorders.

How is HILT performed?

HILT is typically performed in a health practitioner’s clinic. The treatment is generally painless and only takes a few minutes to complete.

During the treatment, you may be required to lay down or sit depending on the area targeted. It is very comfortable, in fact you may feel a mild warming sensation during the treatment. After the treatment, you can resume your normal activities immediately.

How many HILT treatments are needed?

The number of HILT treatments needed will vary depending on the severity of your condition. Most patients will need 6-12 treatments over a four-week period to achieve the best results.

Are there any side effects of HILT?1

HILT is a generally considered to be a safe and well-tolerated treatment with minimal side effects. The most common side effect is a mild warming sensation during the treatment.

In rare cases, patients may experience skin irritation or redness. Prior to commencing treatment, your health practitioner will thoroughly explain the process and discuss any potential side effects. If you experience any side effects, talk to your health practitioner. 


Studies have shown that HILT is an effective and non-invasive treatment option for patients with cervical spondylosis.1,2,3 It can reduce pain, improve range of motion, and promote healing without the need for medication or surgery.

If you are considering HILT for cervical spondylosis or would like more information, please call us on (07) 5580 5655 or visit our website to make an appointment with one of our friendly chiropractors.


  1. M. Venosa, E. Romanini, R. Padua. S. Cerciello  (2019) Comparison of high-intensity laser therapy and combination of ultrasound treatment and transcutaneous nerve stimulation in patients with cervical spondylosis: a randomized controlled trial. Lasers Med Sci 34(5):947-953.
  2. Bjordal JM, Johnson MI, Iverson V, Aimbire F, Lopes-Martins RAB (2006) Photoradiation in acute pain: a systematic review of possible mechanism of action and clinical effects in randomized placebo controlled trials. Photomed Laser Surg 24:158–168
  3. Samoilova KA, Zhevago NA, Petrishchev NN, Zimin AA (2008) Role of nitric oxide in the visible light-induced rapid increase of human skin microcirculation at the local and systemic levels: II. healthy volunteers. Photomed Laser Surg 26(5):443–449