Background and aims: Chronic knee joint pain is one of the most frequent complaints which is seen in the outpatient clinic in our medical institute. In previous studies we have reported the benefits of low level laser therapy (LLLT) for chronic pain in the shoulder joints, elbow, hand, finger and the lower back. The present study is a report on the effects of LLLT for chronic knee joint pain.
Materials and methods: Over the past 5 years, 35 subjects visited the outpatient clinic with complaints of chronic knee joint pain caused by the knee osteoarthritis-induced degenerative meniscal tear. They received low level laser therapy. A 1000 mW semi-conductor laser device was used to deliver 20.1 J/cm(2) per point in continuous wave at 830nm, and four points were irradiated per session (1 treatment) twice a week for 4 weeks.
Results: A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to determine the effects of LLLT for the chronic pain and after the end of the treatment regimen a significant improvement was observed (p<0.001). After treatment, no significant differences were observed in the knee joint range of motion. Discussions with the patients revealed that it was important for them to learn how to avoid postures that would cause them knee pain in everyday life in order to have continuous benefits from the treatment.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that 830 nm LLLT was an effective form of treatment for chronic knee pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. Patients were advised to undertake training involving gentle flexion and extension of the knee.
Keywords: Low Level Laser Therapy; activities of daily living; chronic knee joint pain, meniscal tear; knee osteoarthritis; posture education.