The effectiveness of low-level laser therapy on shoulder function in subacromial impingement syndrome

Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(11):935-40. doi: 10.1080/09638280802377985.


Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in addition to exercise programme on shoulder function in subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS).

Method: Sixty-seven patients with SAIS were randomly assigned to either a group that received laser (n = 34) or a group that received placebo Laser (n = 26). Pain, functional assessment, disability and muscle strength of shoulder were assessed before and after a 3-week rehabilitation programme. Besides Laser or placebo Laser, superficial cold and progressive exercise programme were administered to both groups, 5 days a week, for 3 weeks. A progressive exercise programme that was done daily twice under supervision in clinic and at home was given to the patients.

Results: After the treatment, all outcome measurements had shown significant improvement except muscle strength in both the groups. When the parameters of the improvement were compared, there were no significant differences between the two groups after treatment.

Conclusion: We concluded that there is no fundamental difference between LLLT and placebo LLLT when they are supplementing an exercise programme for rehabilitation of patients with shoulder impingement syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength
  • Pain Measurement
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / therapy*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome