Efficacy of low level laser therapy in myofascial pain syndrome: an algometric and thermographic evaluation

Lasers Surg Med. 2003;33(5):339-43. doi: 10.1002/lsm.10241.


Background and objectives: The efficacy of low level laser therapy (LLLT) in myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) seems controversial. Our aim was to clarify the effect of LLLT in MPS by using algometry and thermography.

Study design/materials and methods: Sixty-two patients with MPS having an active trigger point in the neck or upper back region were randomly divided into two equal groups according to therapy applied (group 1: LLLT + stretching exercises, group 2: stretching exercises alone). The outcome measures were pain measured with visual analogue scale (VAS), algometry on the trigger point, algometric difference, thermographic difference, and thermal asymmetry. Comparison was made within and between the groups pre- and post-therapeutically and 3 weeks after therapy.

Results: Mean pain values decreased more significantly in group 1 from baseline to 3 weeks follow up (7.54-3.06) while these values were 7.03-5.19 in group 2 (P < 0.05). Group comparisons revealed significant favorable differences in group 1 patients in terms of all other parameters at the first and the second evaluation post therapeutically (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: LLLT seemed to be beneficial for pain in MPS by using algometry and thermography.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / radiotherapy*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Thermography / methods
  • Treatment Outcome