Rapid LLLT protocol for myofascial pain and mouth opening limitation treatment in the clinical practice: An RCT

Cranio. 2022 Jul;40(4):334-340. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2020.1773660. Epub 2020 Jun 3.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of a rapid treatment protocol of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in patients with myofascial pain and mouth opening limitation.

Methods: Twenty patients were randomly allocated into the laser group (LG) (n = 10) and the placebo group (PG) (n = 10). Two LLLT sessions or placebo were performed. They were applied to the pain points upon palpation, with a 48-hr interval. Patients were evaluated for spontaneous pain sensitivity during mandibular movements and for oral health-related quality of life, which was assessed using the Oral Health Impact Profile for Temporomandibular Disorders (OHIP/TMD) questionnaire.

Results: Two patients from the placebo group were lost during the study. A significant increase in the maximum mouth opening (p = 0.04) and improvement in OHIP/TMD scores (p = 0.003) were observed in the LG after 30 days.

Conclusion: Spontaneous pain was reduced in both groups with low-level laser therapy.

Keywords: Facial pain; low-level light therapy; placebo; quality of life; randomized controlled trial; temporomandibular joint disorders.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy* / methods
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes* / therapy
  • Pain
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / radiotherapy
  • Treatment Outcome