A Review of Laser Therapy and Low-Intensity Ultrasound for Chronic Pain States

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2022 Jan;26(1):57-63. doi: 10.1007/s11916-022-01003-3. Epub 2022 Feb 8.


Purpose of review: Chronic pain management therapies have expanded quickly over the past decade. In particular, the use of laser therapy and ultrasound in the management of chronic pain has risen in recent years. Understanding the uses of these types of therapies can better equip chronic pain specialists for managing complicated chronic pain syndromes. The purpose of this review was to summarize the current literature regarding laser radiation and ultrasound therapy used for managing chronic pain syndromes.

Recent findings: In summary, there is stronger evidence supporting the usage of laser therapy for managing chronic pain states compared to low-intensity ultrasound therapies. As a monotherapy, laser therapy has proven to be beneficial in managing chronic pain in patients with a variety of pain syndromes. On the other hand, LIUS has less clear benefits as a monotherapy with an uncertain, optimal delivery method established. Both laser therapy and low-intensity ultrasound have proven beneficial in managing various pain syndromes and can be effective interventions, in particular, when utilized in combination therapy.

Keywords: Chronic pain management; Laser therapy; Low-intensity ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Pain Management
  • Ultrasonic Therapy*
  • Ultrasonography