Tumilty S, Munn J, McDonough S, Hurley DA, Basford JR, Baxter GD
The objective of this study was to assess the clinical effectiveness of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the treatment of tendinopathy. Secondary objectives were to determine the relevance of irradiation parameters to outcomes, and the validity of current dosage recommendations for the treatment of tendinopathy. Twenty-five controlled clinical trials met the inclusion criteria. There were conflicting findings from multiple trials: 12 showed positive effects and 13 were inconclusive or showed no effect. Dosages used in the 12 positive studies would support the existence of an effective dosage window that closely resembled current recommended guidelines. In two instances where pooling of data was possible, LLLT showed a positive effect size; in studies of lateral epicondylitis that scored >/=6 on the PEDro scale, participants' grip strength was 9.59 kg higher than that of the control group; for participants with Achilles tendinopathy, the effect was 13.6 mm less pain on a 100 mm visual analogue scale.
LLLT can potentially be effective in treating tendinopathy when recommended dosages are used. The 12 positive studies provide strong evidence that positive outcomes are associated with the use of current dosage recommendations for the treatment of tendinopathy.
Photomed Laser Surg. 2009 Aug 26, online ahead of print