Original Article

Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 1815-1819

First online:

Low-level laser therapy to treat fibromyalgia

  • J. A. RuaroAffiliated withPhysical Therapy Department, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste (UNICENTRO)Institute of Research and Development (IP&D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP) Email author 
  • , A. R. FrézAffiliated withPhysical Therapy Department, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste (UNICENTRO)
  • , M. B. RuaroAffiliated withPhysical Therapy Department, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN)
  • , R. A. NicolauAffiliated withInstitute of Research and Development (IP&D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP)

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Abstract

Several clinical treatments have been proposed to manage symptoms of fibromyalgia. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) may be a useful tool to treat this dysfunction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of LLLT in patients with fibromyalgia. A placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial was carried out with 20 patients divided randomly into either an LLLT group (n = 10) or a placebo group (n = 10). The LLLT group was treated with a GaAlAs laser (670 nm, 4 J/cm2 on 18 tender points) three times a week over 4 weeks. Before and after treatment, patients were evaluated with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), McGill Pain Questionnaire, and visual analog scale (VAS). Data from the FIQ and McGill questionnaire for the treated and control groups were analyzed by paired t tests, and Wilcoxon tests were used to analyze data from the VAS. After LLLT or sham treatment, the number of tender points was significantly reduced in both groups (LLLT, p < 0.0001; placebo, p = 0.0001). However, all other fibromyalgia symptoms showed significant improvements after LLLT compared to placebo (FIQ, p = 0.0003; McGill, p = 0.0078; and VAS, p = 0.0020). LLLT provided relief from fibromyalgia symptoms in patients and should be further investigated as a therapeutic tool for management in fibromyalgia.

Keywords

Fibromyalgia Low-level laser therapy Physical therapy modalities