Effect of Modified Laser Transcutaneous Irradiation on Pain and Quality of Life in Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2020 Mar;38(3):138-144. doi: 10.1089/photob.2019.4714.


Background: Diabetic neuropathy (DN) is one of the major complications developed by individuals with diabetes mellitus. DN is responsible for a high morbidity and mortality rate and impacts the public health and medical assistance resources. Intradermic laser irradiation on blood (ILIB) consists of the application of light beams on the radial arterial, providing anti-inflammatory and vasodilator effects, antiarrhythmic action, reduction of glucose, and stabilization of the hormonal and immunological systems. These effects help to maintain the physiological dynamics of the body. Objective: The goal of this research was to evaluate the effects of ILIB to relieve pain and improve the quality of life in DN patients. The sample comprised 30 diabetic volunteers with DN, randomly distributed into 3 groups: Control-conventional treatment; ILIB-100 mW, 660 ± 10 nm, 30 applications in total, divided into 3 stages of 10 applications, 30 min each, daily, with a 20-day interval between each stage; SILIB-same protocol described for ILIB, with the equipment switched off. Before and after the application of the therapeutic protocols, all volunteers were evaluated by the following instruments: Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), visual analog scale, Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS), and PAIN DETECT scale. Collected data were statistically analyzed with a 95% confidence interval, p < 0.05. Results: The ILIB group presented significantly lower pain levels and a better quality of life compared with the control and SILIB groups. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that ILIB therapy was effective in reducing pain and improving quality of life in patients with DN.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; diabetic neuropathies; pain; photobiomodulation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Neuralgia / radiotherapy*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*