This review study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials with a total of 820 patients who received either laser therapy or placebo laser therapy for neck pain. This study concludes that laser therapy reduces neck pain in patients with acute and chronic neck pain for up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment.
Chow RT, Johnson MI, Lopes-martins RA, Bjordal JM. Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials. Lancet. 2009;374(9705):1897-908. [Pubmed]
Laser Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis
In this randomized study, patients were either treated with near infrared laser therapy or placebo laser therapy. The laser therapy group showed significant improvement in pain, pressure sensitivity, and flexion, compared to the placebo group.
Hegedus B, Viharos L, Gervain M, Gálfi M. The effect of low-level laser in knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Photomed Laser Surg. 2009;27(4):577-84. [Pubmed]
Laser Therapy vs. Lidocaine Injection for Chronic Lower Back Pain
In this randomized study, patients that received near infrared laser therapy showed similar post-procedure pain reduction as patients that received a lidocaine injection.
Holanda VM, Chavantes MC, Silva DF, et al. Photobiomodulation of the dorsal root ganglion for the treatment of low back pain: A pilot study. Lasers Surg Med. 2016;48(7):653-9. [Pubmed]
Laser Therapy vs Ultrasound for Subacromial Impingement Syndrome
This systematic review by OPTIM found that laser therapy was more effective than ultrasound, interferential current, or placebo for relieving symptoms of subacromial impingement syndrome in patients.
Yu H, Côté P, Shearer HM, et al. Effectiveness of passive physical modalities for shoulder pain: systematic review by the Ontario protocol for traffic injury management collaboration. Phys Ther. 2015;95(3):306-18. [Pubmed]
Laser Therapy for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
In this study 27 patients with TMD received NIR laser therapy once per week for 5 consecutive weeks. The patients treated with laser showed significant improvement in pain score and jaw alignment.
Dostalová T, Hlinakova P, Kasparova M, Rehacek A, Vavrickova L, Navrátil L. Effectiveness of physiotherapy and GaAlAs laser in the management of temporomandibular joint disorders. Photomed Laser Surg. 2012;30(5):275-80. [Pubmed]
Laser Therapy vs Ultrasound for Low Back Pain
This randomized trial enrolled 30 patients suffering from low back pain to compare the effectiveness of laser therapy and ultra sound. Each group received 15 treatments over a 3-week period. The group receiving laser therapy showed a significantly greater decrease in back pain compared to ultrasound.
Fiore P, Panza F, Cassatella G, et al. Short-term effects of high-intensity laser therapy versus ultrasound therapy in the treatment of low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2011;47(3):367-73. [Pubmed]
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