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
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.
– 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 PMID: 18510742 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher] BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 May 29;9(1):75 ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Recent reviews have indicated that low level level laser therapy (LLLT) is ineffective in lateral elbow tendinopathy (LET) without assessing validity of treatment procedures and doses or the influence of prior steroid injections. METHODS: Systematic review with meta-analysis, with primary outcome measures of pain relief and/or global improvement and subgroup analyses of methodological quality, wavelengths and treatment procedures. RESULTS: 18 randomised placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) were identified with 13 RCTs (730 patients) meeting the criteria for meta-analysis. 12 RCTs satisfied half or more of the methodological criteria. Publication bias was detected by EggerA’s graphical test, which showed a negative direction of bias. Ten of the trials included patients with poor prognosis caused by failed steroid injections or other treatment failures, or long symptom duration or severe baseline pain. The weighted mean difference (WMD) for pain relief was 10.2 mm [95% CI: 3.0 to 17.5] and the RR for global improvement was 1.36 [1.16 to 1.60]. Trials which targeted acupuncture points reported negative results, as did trials with wavelengths 820, 830 and 1064 nm. In a subgroup of five trials with […]
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 […]