How Light Therapy is surprising skeptics and gaining converts By Rich Smith Once he saw the light, a 59-year-old Texan became a changed man. Not emotionally or spiritually, but physically. The man was a patient at Park Cities Physical Therapy in Dallas, suffering from right upper extremity reflex sympathetic dystrophy. A diabetic with heart disease, he’d developed complex regional pain syndrome after a surgical procedure that compromised circulation in his forearm and hand.
Low energy laser therapy has been shown — at appropriate dosimetry, wavelength, duration, and site-specific application — to reduce tissue pain/tenderness, normalize circulation patterns in tissue trauma, and increase collagen formation in wounds. by Tiziano Marovino, PT, DPT, MSc, BA, BHSc, BRLS, Dip.PT, FAAPM
Bjordal JM et al University of Bergen, Section of Physiotherapy Science, 5020 Bergen, NORVEGE Physical Therapy Reviews 2001;6:91-99 To investigate whether low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can reduce pain from tendinopathy, we performed a review of randomized placebo-controlled trials with LLLT for tendinopathy. The literature search for trials using LLLT published after 1980 was conducted on Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library, together with a hand-search of physiotherapy journals in English and Scandinavian languages. Validity assessment of each trial was done according to predefined criteria for location-specific dosage and irradiation of the skin directly overlying the affected tendon. The literature search identified 78 randomized controlled trials with LLLT, of which 20 included tendinopathy. Seven trials were excluded for not meeting validity criteria on treatment procedure or trial design. Twelve of the remaining 13 trials investigated the effect of LLLT for patients with subacute and chronic tendinopathy, and provided a pooled mean effect of 21% [95% confidence interval (CI) 5.9-36.1]. If results from only the nine trials adhering to assumed optimal treatment parameters were included, the mean effect over placebo increased to 32% (95% CI: 23.0-41.0). LLLT can reduce pain in subacute and chronic tendinopathy if a valid treatment procedure and […]
– Washington Post, February 17, 2004By Lois Lindstrom The New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII with some help from a little-known form of laser technology that could change the way athletic injuries and chronic pain are treated. The treatment, known as “cold” laser therapy or low-level laser therapy (LLLT), has been used internationally for 18 years to treat soft tissue injuries, cervical neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, tendinitis, hamstring injuries, arthritis and wound healing, among others.The lasers — hand-held, flashlight-like devices that direct a beam of narrow-spectrum (but not hot) light at injured tissue beneath the skin — have been integrated into medical practice in Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, cold laser therapy has become a preferred treatment for “whiplash” injuries, neuralgia and shingles. In Japan, the lasers were approved in 1987 and are in widespread use today.In the United States, the technology received marketing clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful inflammation of the wrists and hands that results from repetitive motion. But the mainstream medical establishment still considers the cold laser’s benefits unproven. Most U.S. users are athletic […]
Bjordal JM et al Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 49: 107-116 We investigated if low level laser therapy (LLLT) of the joint capsule can reduce pain in chronic joint disorders. A literature search identified 88 randomised controlled trials, of which 20 trials included patients with chronic joint disorders. Six trials were excluded for not irradiating the joint capsule. Three trials used doses lower than a dose range nominated a priori for reducing inflammation in the joint capsule. These trials found no significant difference between active and placebo treatments. The remaining 11 trials including 565 patients were of acceptable methodological quality with an average PEDro score of 6.9 (range 5-9). In these trials, LLLT within the suggested dose range was administered to the knee, temporomandibular or zygapophyseal joints. The results showed a mean weighted difference in change of pain on VAS of 29.8 mm (95% CI, 18.9 to 40.7) in favour of the active LLLT groups. Global health status improved for more patients in the active LLLT groups ( relative risk of 0.52; 95% CI 0.36 to 0.76). Low level laser therapy with the suggested dose range significantly reduces pain and improves health status in chronic joint disorders, but the heterogeneity […]