The research clearly demonstrates that laser is an effective treatment modality. Ultrasound has been in use for a long time and has obvious, proven benefits. However, how do the modalities compare? There is more research coming out all the time to answer this question. The following two studies help clarify the similarities and differences:

In a randomized blinded trial, 63 patients with chronic Myofascial pain were treated and assessed for pain before and after treatment.

Laser provided significantly more improvement both during activity and at rest when compared to ultrasound (p<0.05). This study concludes that laser and ultrasound are both effective. But, on all parameters, laser provided more relief and was described as as “the preferred treatment(s) of myofascial pain syndrome in (the) shoulder.”

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2011 Sep;47(3):381-9.Comparison of the effects of low energy laser and ultrasound in treatment of shoulder myofascial pain syndrome: a randomized single-blinded clinical trial. Rayegani S, et al.