Research

Achilles Tendinopathy

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Am J Sports Med. 2008 May;36(5):881-7. doi: 10.1177/0363546507312165. Epub 2008 Feb 13.
Effects of low-level laser therapy and eccentric exercises in the treatment of recreational athletes with chronic achilles tendinopathy.
Stergioulas A1, Stergioula M, Aarskog R, Lopes-Martins RA, Bjordal JM.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Eccentric exercises (EEs) are recommended for the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy, but the clinical effect from EE has a slow onset.
HYPOTHESIS:
The addition of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to EE may cause more rapid clinical improvement.
STUDY DESIGN:
Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.
METHODS:
A total of 52 recreational athletes with chronic Achilles tendinopathy symptoms were randomized to groups receiving either EE + LLLT or EE + placebo LLLT over 8 weeks in a blinded manner. Low-level laser therapy (lambda = 820 nm) was administered in 12 sessions by irradiating 6 points along the Achilles tendon with a power density of 60 mW/cm(2) and a total dose of 5.4 J per session.
RESULTS:
The results of the intention-to-treat analysis for the primary outcome, pain intensity during physical activity on the 100-mm visual analog scale, were significantly lower in the LLLT group than in the placebo LLLT group, with 53.6 mm versus 71.5 mm (P = .0003) at 4 weeks, 37.3 mm versus 62.8 mm (P = .0002) at 8 weeks, and 33.0 mm versus 53.0 mm (P = .007) at 12 weeks after randomization. Secondary outcomes of morning stiffness, active dorsiflexion, palpation tenderness, and crepitation showed the same pattern in favor of the LLLT group.
CONCLUSION:
Low-level laser therapy, with the parameters used in this study, accelerates clinical recovery from chronic Achilles tendinopathy when added to an EE regimen. For the LLLT group, the results at 4 weeks were similar to the placebo LLLT group results after 12 weeks.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Lasers Med Sci. 2014 Mar;29(2):551-7. doi: 10.1007/s10103-012-1253-6. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

The efficacy of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of myogenous temporomandibular joint disorder.
Ahrari F1, Madani AS, Ghafouri ZS, Tunér J.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been commonly used for the treatment of painful musculoskeletal conditions, but the results of previous studies on this subject are controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of LLLT in the management of patients with myogenic temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs). In this randomized, double-blind clinical trial, 20 patients with myogenic TMD were randomly divided into laser and placebo groups. In the laser group, a pulsed 810-nm low-level laser (average power 50 mW, peak power 80 W, 1,500 Hz, 120 s, 6 J, and 3.4 J/cm(2) per point) was used on painful muscles three times a week for 4 weeks. In the placebo group, the treatment was the same as that in the laser group, but without energy output. The patients were evaluated before laser therapy (T1), after six sessions of laser application (T2), at the end of treatment (T3), and 1 month after the last application (T4), and the level of pain and the amount of mouth opening were measured. There was a significant increase in mouth opening and a significant reduction of pain symptoms in the laser group (p < 0.05). A similar improvement was not observed in the placebo group (p > 0.05). Between-group comparisons revealed no significant difference in pain intensity and mouth opening measurement at any of the evaluation time points (p > 0.05). LLLT can produce a significant improvement in pain level and mouth opening in patients affected with myogenic TMD.

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