Evaluation of low level laser therapy in reducing diabetic polyneuropathy related pain and sensorimotor disorders

Acta Med Iran. 2013 Sep 9;51(8):543-7.


Over the past three decades physicians have used light level laser therapy (LLLT) for the management and the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and have obtained results that calls for further investigations. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of LLLT in treatment of pain symptoms in patients with diabetic polyneuropathy. In this study 60 patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy were matched based on their sex, age, BMI, type of diabetes, duration of diabetes, and duration of pain, and randomized to case and control groups based on their established scores on the visual analog scale (VAS) and the Toronto clinical scoring system (TCSS). Cases received laser therapy with wavelength of 78 nm and 2.5 j/cm2 two times a week, each time for 5 min, for one month. During the same period, controls received sham laser therapy. Comparing the differences between the two groups' VAS and TCSS mean scores before the intervention with that of the 2 weeks and 4 weeks after the intervention we were able to see a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P<0.05). On the other hand, when we compared their VAS and TCSS mean scores 4 weeks and 2 weeks after the intervention we did not find any statistically significant difference between the two groups. We achieved the same results when we examined cases' and controls' pre and post VAS and TCSS scores independent from each other; no improvement in the assessment based on their 2 and 4 weeks comparisons tests. Laser therapy resulted in improved neuropathy outcomes in diabetic patients who received it relative to the group that received sham therapy, evaluating before and after LLLT assessments. Further studies are needed to test types of lasers, as well as different dosage and exposure levels required in different phase of neuropathic care, so as to obtain reproducible results.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies