Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and tenderness. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), an emerging nonpharmacological treatment, has been used for relieving musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain. The objective of this review and meta-analysis was to determine the efficacy of LLLT on patients with fibromyalgia.
Asystematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs evaluating the effect of LLLT on patients with fibromyalgia was performed. The primary outcomes were the total scores on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), pain severity, and number of tender points. The secondary outcomes were changes in fatigue, stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Standardized mean difference (SMD), 95% confidence intervals (CI), and P values were calculated for outcome analysis. When compared with the standardized exercise program alone, LLLT plus the standardized exercise program provided no extra advantage in the relief of symptoms. On the other hand, the results of the only RCT using combined LLLT/LED phototherapy showed significant improvement in most outcomes except for depression when compared to placebo. When compared with pure exercise therapy, combined LLLT/LED phototherapy plus exercise therapy had additional benefits in reducing the severity of pain, number of tender points, and fatigue.
Conclusions. Our results provided the most up-to-date and relevant evidence regarding the effects of LLLT in fibromyalgia. LLLT is an effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment for fibromyalgia.
Yeh SW, Hong CH, Shih MC, Tam KW, Huang YH, Kuan YC. Low-Level Laser Therapy for Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pain Physician. 2019 May;22(3):241-254. PMID: 31151332.