Thermographic study of Low Level Laser Therapy for Acute-Phase Injury
Yoshimi Asagai, M.D.1, Atsuhiro Imakiire, M.D.2, Toshio Ohshiro, M.D.3,
1. Shinano Handicapped Children`s Hospital Shimosuwa, Nagano, Japan
2. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tokyo Medical University Shinjuku,
Tokyo, Japan 3. Japan Medical Laser Laboratory, Shinanomachi, Tokyo,
Acute-phase injury is generally treated by localized cooling of the region,
and rarely by the active use of low level laser therapy (LLLT) in Japan.
Thermographic studies of acute-phase injury revealed that circulatory
disturbances at the site of trauma occurred due to swelling and edema
on the day following the injury, and that skin temperature was high at
the site of the trauma and low at the periphery. Following LLLT, circulatory
disturbances rapidly improved, while temperature in the high temperature
zone around the site of trauma fell by 3 degrees on the average, but at
the periphery the low temperature rose by 3 degrees on the average to
nearly normal skin temperature. Clinically, swelling and edema improved.
LLLT was also useful in treating necrosis of the skin in the wound area
and in accelerating healing of surgical wounds of paralytic feet, which
are prone to delayed, wound healing and also wounds due to spoke injury.
LLLT is useful in treating swelling and edema in acute-phase injury and
in accelerating healing of surgical wounds.
The Biological Effects of Laser Therapy and Other physical Modalities
on Connective Tissue Repair Processes
Chukuka S. Enwemeka, P.T., Ph.D., FACSM, G. Kesava Reddy, Ph.D., Department
of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kansas
Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160-7601, USA
Connective tissue injuries, such as tendon rupture and ligamentous strains,
are common. Unlike most soft tissues that require 7-10 days to heal, primary
healing of tendons and other dense connective tissues take as much as
6 - 8 weeks during which they are inevitably protected in immobilization
casts to avoid re-injury. Such long periods of immobilization impair functional
rehabilitation and predispose a multitude of complications that could
be minimized if healing is quickened and the duration of cast immobilization
reduced. In separate studies, we tested the hypothesis that early function,
ultrasound, 632.8 nm He-Ne laser, and 904 nm Ga-As laser, when used singly
or in combination, promote healing of experimentally severed and repaired
rabbit Achilles tendons as evidenced by biochemical, biomechanical, and
morphological indices of healing. Our results demonstrate that: (1) appropriate
doses of each modality, i.e., early functional activities, ultrasound,
He-Ne and Ga-As laser therapy augment collagen synthesis, modulate maturation
of newly synthesized collagen, and overall, enhance the biomechanical
characteristics of the repaired tendons. (2) Combinations of either of
the two lasers with early function and either ultrasound or electrical
stimulation further promote collagen synthesis when compared to functional
activities alone. However, the biomechanical effects measured in tendons
receiving the multi-therapy were similar, i.e., not better than the earlier
single modality trials. Although tissue repair processes in humans may
differ from that of rabbits, these findings suggest that human cases of
connective tissue injuries, e.g., Achilles tendon rupture, may benefit
from appropriate doses of He-Ne laser, Ga-As laser, and other therapeutic
modalities, when used singly or in combination. Our recent metaanalysis
of the laser therapy literature further corroborate these findings.
Effects of visible NIR low intensity laser on implant osseointegration
in vivo. Laser Med Surg Abstract issue, 2002: 11.
Blay A, Blay C C, Groth E B et al.
The effects of 680 and 830 nm lasers on osseointegration was studied by
Blay. 30 adult rats were divided into three groups; two laser groups and
one control. The rats in the two laser groups had pure titanium Frialit-2
implants implanted into each proximal metaphysis of their respective tibias,
inserted with a 40 Ncm torque. The initial stability was monitored by
means of a resonance frequency analyzer. Ten irradiations were performed,
48 hours apart, 4 J/cm2 on two points, starting immediately after surgery.
Resonance frequency analysis indicated a significant difference between
frequency values at 3 and 6 weeks, as compared to control. At 6 weeks
the removal torque in the laser groups was much higher than in the control
Low-energy laser irradiation promotes the survival and cell cycle entry
of skeletal muscle satellite cells. J Cell Science. 2002; 115: 1461-1469.
Shefer G, Partridge T A, Heslop L et al.
Shefer has demonstrated that HeNe laser can stimulate cell cycle entry
and the accumulation of satellite cells around isolated single fibers,
grown under serum-free conditions. It is demonstrated that laser therapy
promotes the survival of muscle fibers and their adjacent cells, as well
as cultured myogenic cells, under serum-free conditions that normally
lead to apoptosis.
The Japanese Experience in Sumo Wrestling
Toshio Ohshiro (1), Katsumi Sasaki (2), Shouhei Yasuda (2), Shunji Fujii
(3), Takafumi Ohshiro (3), Takeo Touno (4), Shigeru Matsumoto (4) 1)
Japan Medical Laser Laboratory , 2) Oshiro Clinic, 3) Keio University
Dept. of Plast. and Reconst. Surgery, 4) Nihon Sport Science University.
Sumo Wrestling is the only national endorsed sport in Japan. Professional
Sumo Wrestlers belong to the Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Japan Sumo Wrestling Association).
Sumo Wrestling meets bimonthly, 6 times a year. Each Sumo sessions has
15 days where the Wrestlers must wrestle for 15 consecutive days against
15 different opponents. This national sport is popular and there are many
Sumo Wrestling Teams for all ages. The strongest person from these teams
are recruited to the Nihon Sumo Kyokai and become professional. Most Sumo
Wrestlers have some symptoms such a pain due to prior injuries and their
hard training. We recently had the opportunity to perform Laser Therapy
on 6 Sumo Wrestlers who were complaining of various symptoms. We would
like to explain about the removal of those symptoms by LLLT, and how Laser
therapy affected their performance. All 6 performed better both subjectively
and objectively while their symptoms were alleviated by Laser and their
winning rate increased following treatment. We will discuss major and
common injuries associated with Sumo Wrestling and the treatment thereof.
We would like to comment on treatment methodology and statistical analysis.
Laser and Sports Medicine in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Junichiro Kubota M.D. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,
Kyorin University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Flap survival with diode laser therapy: Skin flap or graft surgery are
major procedures in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Skin flap necrosis
has been a problem for us. The author reported on the enhanced blood flow
following the low reactive laser therapy in skin flaps. The 830 nm diode
laser (20 - 60 mw) irradiated flaps showed a greater perfusion, a greater
number of blood vessels, and a higher rate of survival areas than the
control flaps in the rat models and clinical cases. Improvement of wound
healing with diode laser therapy: The diode laser therapy was indicated
for traumatic skin ulcers received from sport activities and traffic accidents
which had proved resistant to conservative treatment. The diode laser
system has a wavelength of 830 nm. and output power of 150or 1000mw in
continuous wave. The diode laser was applied with the non-contact method
to the area on the wound for one minute once a day every day during the
treatment period. The diode laser was used successfully for the rapid
enhanced healing of traumatic skin ulcers in clinical cases
Discussion: The majority of patients hope to avoid undergoing a surgical
operation, trying instead with conservative treatments for injuries. The
diode laser therapy improved the flap circulation and wound healing of
severe skin ulcers. And this therapy has been applied for temporomandibular
joint pain and we have obtained favorable results. The diode laser therapy
has proved to be particularly effective for pain attenuation. The diode
laser therapy may well offer an additional convenient, safe and side-effect
free method. On the other hand, the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser system applied
to the traumatic tattoos, achieving consistently good results concomitant
with easy and safe operation, successfully achieving excellent lightening
of the target lesions.
BIOMODULATORY EFFECTS OF LLLT ON BONE REGENERATION
Antonio L.B. Pinheiro1, Marilia G. Oliveira2,
Pedro Paulo M. Martins3, Luciana Maria Pedreira Ramalho4, Marcos A. Matos de
Novaes Júnior and Renata Amadei Nicolau 1 School of Dentistry,
Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutics, Universidade Federal da Bahia,
Salvador, BA, 40110-150,Brazil; 2 School of Dentistry, Post-Graduate
Program on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pontifícia Universidade
Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil;
3School of Dentistry, University of Pernambuco, Camaragibe, 50000-000,Brazil;
4School of Dentistry, Laser Center, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador,
BA, 40110-150,Brazil; 5Lecture, Institute of Research and Development
(IP&D) Universidade Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP) - São José dos
Campos,SP, 12244-000, Brazil
Tissue healing is a complex process that involves local and systemic responses.
The use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for wound healing has been shown
to be effective in modulating both local and systemic response. Usually
the healing process of bone is slower than that of soft tissues. The effects
of LLLT on bone are still controversial as previous reports show different
results. This paper reports recent observations on the effect of LLLT
on bone healing. The amount of newly formed bone after 830nm laser irradiation
of surgical wounds created in the femur of rats was evaluated morphometricaly.
Forty Wistar rats were divided into four groups: group A (12 sessions,
4.8J/cm2 per session, 28 days); group C (three sessions, 4.8J/cm2 per
session, seven days). Groups B and D acted as non-irradiated controls.
Forty-eight hours after the surgery, the defects of the laser groups were
irradiated transcutaneously with a CW 40mW 830nm diode laser, (f~1mm)
with a total dose of 4.8J/cm2. Irradiation was performed three times a
week. Computerized morphometry showed a statistically significant difference
between the areas of mineralized bone in groups C and D (p=0.017). There
was no significant difference between groups A and B (28 days) (p=0.383).
In a second investigation, we determined the effects of LLLT on bone healing
after the insertion of implants. It is known that dental implants need
four and six months period for fixation on the maxillae and on the mandible
before receiving loading. Ten male and female dogs were divided into two
groups of five animals that received the implant. Two animals of each
group acted as controls. The animals were sacrificed 45 and 60 days after
surgery. The animals were irradiated three times a week for two weeks
in a contact mode with a CW 40mW 830nm diode laser, (f ~1mm) with a total
dose per session of 4.8J/cm2 and a dose per point of 1.2J/cm2. The results
of the SEM study showed better bone healing after irradiation with the
830nm diode laser. These findings suggest that, under the experimental
conditions of the investigation, the use of LLLT at 830nm significantly
improves bone healing at early stages. It is concluded that LLLT may increase
bone repair at early stages of healing.
ADVANCES IN LASER THERAPY FOR BONE REPAIR
A. Barber 1, JE. Luger 1, A. Karpf 1 , Kh. Salame 2 , B. Shlomi 3, G.
Kogan 3, M. Nissan 4, M. Alon 5, and S. Rochkind 2,6.
1Foot & Ankle Unit, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery "B",
Departments of 2Neurosurgery, 3Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and 5Rehabilitation,
6Division of Peripheral Nerve Reconstruction, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical
Center, Tel Aviv University; 4Ben Gurion University, Israel. During the
last decade, it was discovered that low-power laser irradiation has stimulatory
effects on bone cell proliferation and gene expression. The purposes of
this review are to analyze the effects of low- power laser irradiation
on bone cells and bone fracture repair, to examine what has been done
so far, and to explore the additional works needed in this area. The studies
reviewed show how laser therapy can be used to enhance bone repair at
cell and tissue levels. As noted by researchers, laser properties, the
combinations of wavelength and energy dose need to be carefully chosen
so as to yield bone stimulation.
A comparative study of the effects of low laser radiation on mast cells
in inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia colored or not colored by the toluidine
blue. Laser Surg Med. Abstract issue 2002, abstract 301
Sawazaki I, Ribeiro
M S, Mizuno L T et al. A
The effect of toluidine blue and laser in combination has been studied
by Sawazaki. Eight patients with inflammatory fibrous
hyperplasias caused by ill-fitting dentures were selected for the study.
Each hyperplasia was randomly divided into three areas. One was surgically
removed without any treatment; one was treated by a 670 nm laser, 15 mW,
8 J/cm2 and then removed. The third part was dyed with TBO, and laser
treated in the same way as part two. Mast cell degranulation in the control
specimens was average 49´%, in the laser specimens 87% and in the
combined TBO/laser specimens 88%. With these parameters the TBO did not
have any additional effect.
Low level laser therapy
for tendinopathy. Evidence of a dose-response pattern. Physical Therapy
Reviews. 2001; 6: 91-99.
Bjordal J M, Couppé C,
To investigate whether low-level laser therapy can reduce pain from tendinopathy,
the authors performed a review of randomized placebo-controlled trials
with laser therapy for tendinopathy. Validity assessment of each trial
was done acc. to predefined criteria for location-specific dosage and
irradiation of the skin directly overlying the affected tendon. The literature
search identified 78 randomized control trials of which 20 included tendinopathy.
Seven trails were excluded for not meeting the validity criteria on treatment
procedure and trial design. 12 of the remaining 13 trials investigated
the effect of laser therapy for patients with subacute and chronic tendinopathy
and provided a pooled mean effect of 21%. If results from only the nine
trials adhering to assumed optimal treatment parameters were included,
the mean effect over placebo increased to 32%. Laser therapy can reduce
pain in subacute and chronic tendinopathy if a valid treatment procedure
and location-specific dose is used.
TREATMENT OF MEDIAL AND
LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS - TENNIS AND GOLFER¨S
ELBOW - WITH LOW
LEVEL LASER THERAPY: A MILTICENTER, DOUBLE - BLIND, PLACEBO - CONTROLLED
CLINICAL STUDY ON 324 PATIENTS.
Zlatko Simunovic, M.D. F.M.H. (1), Tatjana
Trobonjaca, M.D. (2), Zlatko Trobonjaca, M.D. (3). (1) Pain Clinic, Laser
Center, Locarno, Switzerland; (2) Laser Center, Opatija, Croatia; (3)
Department of Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University
of Rijeka, Croatia.
Among the other treatment modalities of medial and lateral epicondylitis,
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has been promoted as highly successful
method. The aim of this clinical study was to determine the efficacy of
LLLT on medial and lateral epicondylitis using Trigger Points (TPs) and
scanning application technique under placebo - controlled conditions in
two independent Laser Centers located at Locarno, Switzerland and Opatija,
Croatia. Unilateral cases of either type of epicondylitis (n=283) were
randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups according to the LLLT
technique applied: (1) TPs; (2) scanning; (3) combination of TPs and scanning.
Bilateral cases of either type of epicondylitis (n=41) were subject to
crossover, placebo-controlled conditions. Laser devices used in all groups
of patients were infrared diode laser (GaAlAs) 830 nm continuous wave
for treatment of TPs and HeNe 632,8 nm combined with infrared diode laser
904 nm. Pulsed wave for scanning technique. Treatment outcome was observed
and measured according to the following methods: (1) short form McGill's
Pain Questionnaire; (2) Visual Analogue Scales; (3) Verbal Rating Scales;
(4) Patient's pain diary; and (5) hand dynamometer. The result have demonstrated
that total relief of pain with consequently improved functional ability
was achieved in 82% of chronic cases all of which were treated by combination
of TPs and scanning technique. The current clinical study provides further
evidence of the efficacy of LLLT in the management of lateral and medial
LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY OF SOFT TISSUE INJURIES UPON SPORT ACTIVITIES
ACCIDENTS: A MULTICENTER, DOUBLE-BLIND, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED CLINICAL STUDY
ON 132 PATIENTS.
Zlatko Simunovic, M.D., F.M.H. (1), Tatjana Trobonjaca, M.D. (2) (1) Pain
Clinic-Laser Center, Locarno, Switzerland; (2) 2 Laser Center, Opatija,
The aim of current multicenter clinical study was to assess to efficacy
of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the treatment of sport- and traffic-related
soft tissue injuries compared to the placebo and classical physiotherapeutic
procedures. This study was conducted in two centers located in Locarno,
Switzerland (n=94) and Opatija, Croatia (n=38). Two types of irradiation
techniques were used: (1) direct, skin contact technique for treatment
of Trigger Points (TPs) where infrared diode laser (GaAIAs) 830 nm continuous
wave was applied; and (2) scanning technique for irradiation of larger
surface area with use of Helium Neon (HeNe) laser 632.8 nm combined with
infrared diode laser 904 nm pulsed wave. Control group of patients was
treated with classical physiotherapeutic procedures. Results were evaluated
according to the clinical parameters like: hematoma, edema, heat, pain
and loss of function. All findings were scored and statistically analyzed
according to the chi-square test. The results have demonstrated that the
recovery process was accelerated (35-50%) in 85% of patients treated with
LLLT compared to the control group of patients, what is especially important
by professional athletes. The advantages of LLLT observed in this study
appear to be efficient withdrawal of all clinical symptoms, functional
recovery, no risks or side effects, painlessness, good toleration by any
age and sex, cost benefit, etc. The results and advantages obtained proved
once again the efficacy of LLLT as new as successful way in the treatment
of soft tissue injuries.
Biostimulation of human chondrocytes with Ga-Al-As diode laser: 'In vitro'
research. Artificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Immobilization Biotechnology.
2000; 28(2):193-201. Morrone G, Guzzardella G A, Tigani D et al.
The aim of the study was to verify the effects of lllt performed with
GaAlAs (780 nm, 2500 mW) on human cartilage cells in vitro. The cartilage
sample used for the biostimulation treatment was taken from the right
knee of a 19-year-old patient. After the chondrocytes were isolated and
suspended for cultivation, the cultures were incubated for 10 days. The
cultures were divided into four groups. Groups I, II, III were subject
to biostimulation with the following laser parameters: 300J, 1W, 100Hz,10
min. exposure, pulsating emission; 300J, 1W, 300Hz, 10 min. exposure,
pulsating emission; and 300J, 1W, 500Hz, 10 min. exposure, pulsating emission,
respectively. Group IV did not receive any treatment. The laser biostimulation
was conducted for five consecutive days. The data showed good results
in terms of cell viability and levels of Ca and Alkaline Phosphate in
the groups treated with laser compared to the untreated group. The results
obtained confirm our previous positive in vitro results that the GaAlAs
Laser provides biostimulation without cell damage.
LEVEL LASER THERAPY IN TENDON INJURIES? - A REVIEW OF IN VITRO AND IN
J.M. Bjordal, C. Couppe University of Bergen, Dept. Physiotherapy Science,
Purpose: To investigate the effect of different laser treatment parameters
on fibroblast inflammation and production of collagen fibers.
Material : Controlled in vitro or in vivo trials with low level laser
therapy (LLLT) Method : Literature search for trials published after 1980
using LLLT on Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library and handsearch of physiotherapy
journals in English and Scandinavian languages. Optimal treatment parameters
regarding timing, treatment frequency, dose and power density at target
tissue were synthesized.
Results : The literature search identified 31 controlled trials with LLLT
on collagen tissue. Three in vitro trials were performed on stretch-induced
and inflammation in fibroblast cultures and five in vitro trials were
performed on collagen production. Optimal dose and power density for inhibition
of prostaglandin PGE2 and interleukin 1- beta production was found to
be 3.2-6.3 J/cm2 and 5.3 mW/cm2 measured at the target fibroblast cells
after 5 days of irradiation. Data on upper range limits for anti-inflammatory
treatment were inconclusive. Optimal dose and power density for collagen
production was found to be in the range 0.2-2.0 J/cm2 and 2 –20
mW/cm2 measured at the target fibroblast cells. Daily treatment for 2
weeks with optimal parameters yielded a maximum increase in collagen production
of 37%. The results from three in vivo trials showed similar increase
in collagen production. Doses in excess of 4.5 J/cm2 and power densities
higher than 30 mW/cm2 inhibited fibroblast metabolism and decreased collagen
Conclusion : There is evidence of a dose-response pattern for LLLT in
the treatment of tendon injuries during the proliferative phase of regeneration.
LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY CAN BE EFFECTIVE FOR TENDINITIS: A META-ANALYSIS
J.M. Bjordal, C. Couppe University of Bergen, Dept. Physiotherapy Science,
Purpose: To investigate if low level laser therapy (LLLT) with previously
defined optimal treatment parameters can be effective for tendinitis.
Material : Randomized controlled trials with LLLT for tendinitis. Method
: Literature search for trials published after 1980 using LLLT on Medline,
Embase, Cochrane Library and handsearch of physiotherapy journals in English
and Scandinavian languages. Only trials that compared laser exposure of
the skin directly over the injured tendon with optimal treatment parameters
with identical placebo treatment were included.
Results: The literature search identified 77 randomized controlled trials
with LLLT, of which 18 included tendinitis. Three trials were excluded
for lack of placebo control, of which one trial was comparative; another
lacked patients with tendinitis in the treatment group, while the last
unwittingly gave the placebo group active treatment. Four trials used
too high power density or dose, and three trials did not expose the skin
directly overlying the injured tendon. The remaining eight trials were
included in a statistical pooling, where the mean effect of LLLT over
placebo in tendinitis was calculated to 32% [25.0-39.0, 95% CI].
Conclusion: Low level laser therapy with optimal treatment procedure/parameters
can be effective in the treatment of tendinitis.
THE USE OF LASER THERAPY AND ADDITIONAL THERAPEUTIC MODALITIES AFTER ARTHROSCOPY
OF THE KNEE AT ALPINE SKI TEAM
Lilic Alen, physiotherapist; 2Kozlevcar
_ivec Maja, dr. med. spec.fiz.reh.med.; 3Marcan Radoslav, dr.med., spec.ortop
1FIZIO, Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenija, 2Iskra Medical, Ljubljana, Slovenija,
3Ortopedska bolni_nica Valdoltra, Slovenija In the present article we
will review different kind of injuries in the alpine ski sport and we
will concentrate on the injuries of the ligamentar part of the knees
and meniscs in slovenian ski team. After the description of the injuries
follows detailed presentation of the rehabilitational procedures from
the first day of the injury till the return in to the competition arena.
We will try to explain the modalities of the rehabilitational procedures
and their influence in the tissues, their main and side effects. Our
main attention will be focused to the use of the biostimulative laser
of higher power - 1,2 W and wave length of 830 nm and it's influence
on the velocity of recovery in the patients and their success in following
WOUND HEALING IN ANIMALS AND HUMANS WITH USE OF LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY-TREATMENT
OF OPERATED SPORT AND TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INJURIES:
A Randomized Clinical Study.
1Zlatko Simunovic, M.D., F.M.H., 2Anthony
D. Ivankovich, M.D., 3Arsen Depolo, M.D., Ph.D
1Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Unit, La Caritá Medical
Center, Laser Center, Locarno, Switzerland 2Department of Anesthesiology,
Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA 3Department
of Surgery, Medical School, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia
Background and Objective: The main objective of current animal and clinical
studies was to assess the efficacy of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) on
wound healing in rabbits and humans.
Study Design/Materials and Methods: A randomized controlled study in rabbits
initially evaluated the effects of laser irradiation on the healing of
surgical wounds. The application of LLLT to human tissues is comparable
to animal tissues of similar physiological structure, so a clinical evaluation
was subsequently conducted. After surgical therapy for injuries involving
the ankle and knee bilaterally, Achilles tendon, epicondylus, shoulder,
wrist, or interphalangeal joints of hands unilaterally, LLLT was used
in 74 patients for 18 days. Infrared diode laser (GaAlAs) 830 nm continuos
wave was used for treatment of Trigger Point (TP) and HeNe 632.8 nm combined
with diode laser 904 nm pulsed wave laser for scanning procedures, both
applied as monotherapy during the current clinical study. The presence
of redness, heat, pain, swelling and loss of function were assessed.
Results: Wound healing was significantly accelerated (25-35%) in the group
of patients treated with LLLT. Pain relief and functional recovery of
patients treated with LLLT were significantly improved comparing to untreated
Conclusion: In addition to accelerated wound healing, main advantages
of LLLT of postoperative sport- and traffic- related injuries are reduced
exposure to side effects of drugs, significantly accelerated functional
recovery, earlier return to work, training and sport competition, with
cost benefit compared to control patients.
Asagai reports on the use of GaAlAs (100 mW) laser treatment in a group
of 1000 patients with cerebral palsy.
The laser reduces muscle spasm and increases the mobility of the muscles.
Although the duration of the LLLT effect was limited to one to several
hours, it can be applied in conjunction with conventional functional therapies,
thereby enhancing the effects of the latter. Asagai Y et al. Application
of low reactive-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the functional training
of cerebral palsy patients. Proc. 2nd Congress World Assn for Laser Therapy,
Kansas City, September 1998; p. 99-100.
Bjordal J M. Low level laser therapy can be effective for tendinitis:
A literature search identified 77 randomized clinical trials with LLLT,
of which 18 included tendinitis. Three trials were excluded for lack of
placebo control, of which one was comparative, another lacked patients
with tendinitis in the treatment group, while the last unwittingly gave
the placebo group active treatment. Four trials used too high power density
or dose, and three did not expose the skin directly overlying the injured
tendon. The remaining eight trials were included in a statistical pooling,
where the mean effect of LLLT over placebo in tendinitis was calculated
to 29.5% (19.5-39.0). LLLT with optimal treatment procedure/parameters
can be effective in the treatment of tendinitis.
Laser's effect on bone and cartilage change induced by joint immobilization:
an experiment with animal model.
Akai M, Usuba M, Maeshima T, Shirasaki
Y, Yasuoka S. Lasers Surg Med. 1997. 21(5): 480-4.
The influence of low-level (810 nm)) laser on bone and cartilage during
joint immobilization was examined with rats' knee model. The hind limbs
of 42 young Wistar rats were operated on in order to immobilize the knee
joint. They were assigned to three groups 1 wk after operation; irradiance
3.9 W/cm2, 5.8 W/cm2, and sham treatment. After 6 times of treatment for
another 2 wk both hind legs were prepared for 1) indentation of the articular
surface of the knee (stiffness and loss tangent), and for 2) dual energy
X-ray absorptiometry (bone mineral density) of the focused regions. The
indentation test revealed preservation of articular cartilage stiffness
with 3.9 and 5.8 W/cm2 therapy. Soft laser treatment may possibly prevent
biomechanical changes by immobilization.
LLLT is as well documented as NSAIDs and steroid injections for shoulder
tendinitis/bursitis and epicondylaglia.
The Norwegian physiotherapist Jan M Bjordal published his thesis “Low
level laser therapy in shoulder tendinitis/bursitis, epicondylalgia and
ankle sprain” in 1997, at the Division of Physiotherapy Science,
University of Bergen. It has also been published in Physical Therapy Reviews.
1998; 3: 121-132.
Here is the Conclusion of the thesis: “A systematic review has been
performed on the effect of LLLT for three diagnoses. LLLT was evaluated
on similar criteria for methodological assessments of trials as previously
established for medical interventions. No evidence was found to indicate
that randomized controlled trials on LLLT for tendinitis/bursitis of the
shoulder, lateral epicondylalgia and ankle sprains were methodologically
inferior to RCTs on medical interventions. The clinical effects of LLLT
were found to be supported by scientific evidence regarding short (0-4
weeks) and medium term (<3 months) efficacy for subacute or chronic
lateral epicondylitis, and short term efficacy (>3 months) for subacute
or chronic lateral epicondylitis, and short term efficacy (> 3 months)
for subacute or chronic shoulder tendinitis/bursitis. The evidence of
effect from LLLT for acute ankle sprain in inconclusive, although there
seems to be a slight tendency in favor of LLLT. Adverse effects of LLLT
are rarely seen and only in minor forms (nausea, headache) compared to
medication, where more serious gastrointestinal discomfort or ulcers are
not uncommon. It has also been shown that trials in favor of active treatment
had more treatments per week than the trials showing no difference in
effect. In short one could say that LLLT should be used much in the same
way as NSAID are used for short periods of time. Most trials showing significant
effects used an IR 904 nm laser, but some results in favor of IR lasers
with wavelengths of 780, 820 and 830 nm were also observed. Clinical effects
of LLLT were best in subacute conditions. In chronic conditions a higher
dosage and more treatments seem to be needed. The results of the high
quality LLLT trials were all in favor of treatment with confidence intervals
not including zero, and the trials came from several different research
groups. Evidence was found to be at the highest or the second highest
level depending on what level of clinical significance is decided according
to the classification of Oxman (1994) and McQuay (1997). The review found
little support for the alleged large placebo effects of LLLT. In chronic
cases the placebo effect is probably less that 10%, after the natural
history of the complaints is taken into account.”
In the “Summary of discussion on clinical effect estimates for
LLLT” the author writes:
“The majority of the included LLLT-trials found significant clinical
effect from LLLT. Seven of the eleven LLLT-trials with acceptable methods
included calculations of 95% confidence limits above zero, and one LLLT-trial
on ankle sprain included zero (Axelsen & Bjerno 1993). The clinical
effect estimates from LLLT-trials for shoulder tendinitis/bursitis are
similar or higher than for NSAID or steroid injections. For lateral epicondylalgia
estimates for short term clinical effects are similar or lower for LLLT
than for steroid injections, but medium clinical effect estimates are
similar or higher for LLLT. Recurrence of symptoms in lateral epicondylalgia
is less likely after LLLT than after steroid injections. Evidence of clinical
effects from ankle sprain is inconclusive. Adverse effects from LLLT are
seldom seen and they appear less serious than for patients treated with
NSAID and steroid injections.”