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Efficacy of high-intensity laser therapy in patients with adhesive capsulitis: a sham-controlled randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Adhesive capsulitis is an idiopathic condition characterized by painful shoulder stiffness, impairs quality of life, and causes disability. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effects of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) on pain, disability, and quality of life in patients with adhesive capsulitis. The study was designed as a prospective, double-blinded, and sham-controlled randomized trial. Thirty-six patients diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis were randomized into HILT plus therapeutic exercises, sham-laser plus therapeutic exercises, and control-therapeutic exercises only groups. All groups received 25 min of exercises to the shoulder joint supervised by a physiotherapist. Patients in both the HILT and the sham-laser group were blinded to their group randomization. The interventions were performed five times a week for 3 weeks (a total of 15 sessions). The primary outcome measure was the visual analogue scale for pain (Visual Analog Scale for pain (VAS)-pain). The secondary outcome measures were shoulder pain and disability index (SPADI), short-form health survey-36 (SF-36), and range of motion (ROM) of the shoulder joint. Assessments were performed at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 12-week follow-up by an investigator who was blinded. Thirty-one participants completed the study. HILT plus therapeutic exercises showed significant differences in VAS-pain, SPADI-pain, and SF-36 (subgroups of energy/fatigue, pain, and general health) scores (all P < 0.05). All groups provided comparable improvements in SPADI-disability and ROM of shoulder joint after the interventions and during the follow-up (all P < 0.05). Fifteen sessions of HILT are superior to improve pain and quality of life but not superior in terms of disability or function in patients with adhesive capsulitis. Clinical trial registration number: The study was registered at the US National Institutes of Health (ClinicalTrials.gov) (NCT03929276) and available at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03929276?term=tu%C4%9Fba+atan&draw=2&rank=3

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all the participants of this study.

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Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Tuğba Atan and Yeliz Bahar-Ozdemir. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Tuğba Atan, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Conceptualization: Tuğba Atan; Methodology: Tuğba Atan; formal analysis and investigation: Tuğba Atan and Yeliz Bahar-Ozdemir; Writing—original draft preparation: Tuğba Atan; writing—review and editing: Tuğba Atan and Yeliz Bahar-Ozdemir.

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Correspondence to Tuğba Atan.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University Faculty of Medicine (Approval number: 19-KAEK-061).

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Atan, T., Bahar-Ozdemir, Y. Efficacy of high-intensity laser therapy in patients with adhesive capsulitis: a sham-controlled randomized controlled trial. Lasers Med Sci 36, 207–217 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-020-03121-z

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Keywords

  • High-intensity laser therapy
  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Pain
  • Quality of life