Low level laser therapy can be effective for tendinitis: A meta-analysis
J.M. Bjordal, C. Couppe
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 percent [25.0-39.0, 95 percent CI].
Conclusion: Low level laser therapy with optimal treatment procedure/parameters can be effective in the treatment of tendinitis.