Low level laser versus placebo in the treatment of tennis elbow

Scand J Rehabil Med. 1992;24(1):37-42.


The effect of low level laser (GaAs) on lateral epicondylitis was investigated in a double-blind, randomized, controlled study. Thirty patients were assigned equally to a laser (n = 15) or a placebo laser (n = 15) group. All patients received eight treatments and were evaluated subjectively and objectively before, at the end of, and four weeks after treatment. Patients also completed a follow-up questionnaire on an average of five to six months after treatment. A significant improvement in the laser compared to the placebo group was found on visual analog scale (p = 0.02) and grip strength (p = 0.03) tests four weeks after treatment. In this study low level laser therapy was shown to have an effect over placebo; however, as a sole treatment for lateral epicondylitis it is of limited value. Further studies are needed to evaluate the reliability of our findings and to compare laser to other established treatment methods.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management
  • Placebos
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*


  • Placebos