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Low-power laser treatment for shoulder pain
Bingol U, Altan L, Yurtkuran M
Photomedicine and Laser Surgery 2005 Oct;23(5):459-464
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of low-power gallium-arsenide laser treatment on the patients with shoulder pain. BACKGROUND DATA: Low-energy laser therapy has recently been popularized in the treatment of various rheumatologic, neurologic, and musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendinitis, and chronic back pain syndromes. METHODS: A total of 40 patients who applied to our clinic with shoulder pain and complied with the selection criteria were included in the study. The patients were randomly assigned into group I (n = 20, laser treatment) and group II (n = 20, control). In group I, patients were given laser treatment and an exercise protocol for 10 sessions during a period of 2 weeks. Laser was applied over tuberculum majus and minus, bicipital groove, and anterior and posterior faces of the capsule, regardless of the existence of sensitivity, for 1 min at each location at each session with a frequency of 2000 Hz using a GaAs diode laser instrument (Roland Serie Elettronica Pagani, wavelength 904 nm, frequency range of 5 to 7000 Hz, and maximum peak power of 27W, 50W, or 27x4 W). In group II, placebo laser and the same exercise protocol was given for the same period. Patients were evaluated according to the parameters of pain, palpation sensitivity, algometric sensitivity, and shoulder joint range of motion before and after treatment. RESULTS: Analysis of measurement results within each group showed a significant posttreatment improvement for some active and passive movements in both groups, and also for algometric sensitivity in group I (p < 0.05 to 0.01). Posttreatment palpation sensitivity values showed improvement in 17 patients (85%) for group I and six patients (30%) for group II. Comparison between two groups showed superior results (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001) in group I for the parameters of passive extension and palpation sensitivity but no significant difference for other parameters. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study have shown better results in palpation sensitivity and passive extension, but no significant improvement in pain, active range, and algometric sensitivity in laser treatment group compared to the control group in the patients with shoulder pain.

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