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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, Japan
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 group.

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.

Antonio L.B. Pinheiro1, Marilia G. Oliveira2, Pedro Paulo M. Martins3, Luciana Maria Pedreira Ramalho4, Marcos A. Matos de Oliveira5, Aurelício 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.

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, Ljunggren E.
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.


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 epicondylitis.


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, Croatia. (3)
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.

J.M. Bjordal, C. Couppe University of Bergen, Dept. Physiotherapy Science, Bergen, Norway
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 production.
Conclusion : There is evidence of a dose-response pattern for LLLT in the treatment of tendon injuries during the proliferative phase of regeneration.

J.M. Bjordal, C. Couppe University of Bergen, Dept. Physiotherapy Science, Bergen, Norway
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.


Lilic Alen, physiotherapist; 2Kozlevcar _ivec Maja, dr. med.; 3Marcan Radoslav,, 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 competitions.

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 patients.
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 meta-analysis.
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.”