A Call for High-Quality Research

posted by Apollo Lasers on Friday, July 24, 2015

Clinicians using low-level laser therapy have an opportunity to add to the body of evidence supporting this treatment modality. That's according to a recent Cochrane review of randomized and controlled clinical trials looking at physical therapy interventions for shoulder pain. 

The researchers call for more high-quality research into low-level laser therapy, even as LLLT stands out among other electrotherapy interventions. According to this recent review, LLLT may be "an effective adjunct" to exercise in relieving pain for up to four weeks and increasing function for up to four months. 

Nineteen trials including 1,249 participants were reviewed, but because of design flaws, trial were downgraded to low or very low quality. This is why researchers are calling for more research into LLLT and other modalities, especially studies that examine the long-term effects of these treatments. 

Although authors provided plenty of qualifications to their findings, they did acknowledge low- to moderate-quality support for the use of LLLT in a few ways: it may be slightly better than placebo "in terms of global treatment" at 6 days; and it may be "an effective adjunct" to exercise in reduction of pain up to 4 weeks, and increase in function up to 4 months.

In the article, authors call for further high-quality research that compares various electrotherapy modalities, evaluates effectiveness versus placebo, and analyzes their use in combination with manual therapy and exercise. Authors also point out a need for studies that examine long-term effects of the modalities, citing the fact that most of the trials they studied "have only assessed outcomes during treatment or in the weeks following cessation."

This article excerpt, by PT in Motion News, originally appeared here: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2014/10/3/LaserTherapyCapsulitis/.


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Apollo Lasers are powerful, state-of-the-art portable or desktop lasers that reduce pain, inflammation and stimulate healing. The low-level laser technology safely penetrates the skin one to two inches, effectively stimulating regeneration of damaged cells and tissues. This process brings rapid h ... read more