Cold Laser and Tennis Elbow

Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Jun;28(3):397-403. doi: 10.1089/pho.2009.2555.
Investigation of the effect of GaAs laser therapy on lateral epicondylitis.
Emanet SK, Altan LI, Yurtkuran M.

Uludağ University Medical Faculty, Atatürk Rehabilitation Center, Rheumatic Disease and Hydrotherapy Section, Bursa, Turkey.

There are conflicting reports regarding the efficacy of low energy laser therapy in treatment of lateral epicondylitis (LE). Contradictory results are considered to be due to different joint treatment protocols regarding variables such as dose, duration, and frequency. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of gallium-arsenide (GaAs) laser therapy, which was performed with the dose regimen recommended by the World Association for Laser Therapy, in relieving pain and improving functional activities in patients with LE.

Forty-nine patients (50 elbows) evaluated in our outpatient clinic were included in the study. Elbows were randomized into two groups: laser (n = 25) and placebo laser (n = 25). Either laser or placebo laser therapy was applied to patients for 15 sessions (5 d per week for 3 weeks). Main outcome measures were visual analog scale, tenderness, Disability of the Arm Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire, the Patient-Related Lateral Epicondylitis Evaluation (PRTEE) test, pain-free grip strength, and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) questionnaire. Evaluations were performed before treatment, at the end of 3 weeks of treatment, and after the 12th week of treatment ended.

Upon post-treatment evaluation, a significant improvement in all parameters was observed for both groups (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found when the laser and placebo groups were compared. At the 12 week evaluation, a significant sustained improvement in all parameters was observed. On intergroup evaluation, a significant improvement was observed in favor of the active treatment group regarding pain with resisted extension of the wrist, tenderness with pressure, and for both the total and subgroup scores of the DASH questionnaire and PRTEE test, as well as for the pain subgroup of the NHP questionnaire (p < 0.05).

Although low energy laser therapy had no advantage compared to placebo in patients with LE for the short term, a significant improvement, particularly in functional parameters, was achieved in the long term. Laser, which has relatively no side effects, might be included among long-term treatment options for LE.

Myogeneous TMJ Dysfunction and Low Level Laser

Lasers Med Sci. 2013 Jan 15.

The efficacy of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of myogenous temporomandibular joint disorder.

Ahrari F, Madani AS, Ghafouri ZS, Tunér J.
Dental Research Center, School of Dentistry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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