Low-power laser therapy in rheumatoid arthritis


Thirty-five patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were allocated at random to treatment with either a low-power laser (3.58 J cm−2, continuous wave 820 nm) or a placebo in a 4-week, double-blind study. Eight finger joints (2nd–5th metacarpo- and proximal interphalangeal joints) of the most affected hand were treated. In the laser group the grip strength and finger flexibility improved, the swelling of the joints declined, the morning stiffness and pain decreased. The sedimentation rate and the number of leukocytes showed a fall with a significant trend. In the placebo group there were no changes in these parameters except for the registration of pain, where a significant, less than with the laser, effect was observed. Thus, low-power laser therapy, at the chosen wavelength and energy dose, appears to be effective against the classical complaints from rheumatoid arthritis.

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Correspondence to Dr. Hans C. Colov.

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Palmgren, N., Jensen, G.F., Kaae, K. et al. Low-power laser therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Laser Med Sci 4, 193–196 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02032435

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Key words

  • Low-power laser
  • Rheumatoid arthritis