Analgesic effect of high intensity laser therapy in knee osteoarthritis

Coll Antropol. 2011 Sep;35 Suppl 2:183-5.


Knee osteoarthritis (KOA), the most common type of osteoarthritis (OA), is associated with pain and inflammation of the joint capsule, impaired muscular stabilization, reduced range of motion and functional disability. High-intensity laser therapy (HILT) involves higher-intensity laser radiation and causes minor and slow light absorption by chromophores. Light stimulation of the deep structures, due to high intensity laser therapy, activates cell metabolism through photochemical effect. The transmissions of pain stimulus are slowed down and result in a quick achievement of pain relief. The aim of our research was to investigate the prompt analgesic effect of HILT on patients with KOA. Knee radiographs were performed on all patients and consequently graded using the Kellgren-Lawrence grading scale (K/L). A group of 96 patients (75 female, 21 male, mean age 59.2) with K/L 2 and 3 were submitted to HILT therapy. Pain intensity was evaluated with visual analogue scale (VAS) before and after the treatment. HILT consisted in one daily application, over a period of ten days, using protocol wavelength, frequency and duration. The results showed statistically significant decrease in VAS after the treatment (p < 0.001). Considering these results, HILT enables prompt analgesic effects in KOA treatment. Therefore HILT is a reliable option in KOA physical therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Arthralgia / etiology*
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications*
  • Treatment Outcome