Objectives The aim of the study was to investigate the efficacy of low-energy laser therapy versus placebo in treatment of patients with fibromyalgia.
Methods We followed 36 female patients (age from 31 to 51 years, mean age 41.94 years) with fibromyalgia according to latest American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for diagnosis. The first group of 18 patients was treated with low-energy laser 10 times every other day by scanning each of tender points with single therapy doze of 40 J. Identical procedure was preformed in the second group of 18 patients, but low-energy laser diode was switched-off. All patients from both groups took similar drugs – NSAIDs and benzodiazepines, also had similar low-impact and stretching exercises. We measured the count of tender points, pain intensity with four-scale questionnaire; also sleep disturbance and malaise with similar four-scale questionnaire, before and after therapy procedure. Results were statistically analysed with Wilcoxon matched pairs test within groups of patients and with Mann-Whitney U test between groups.
Results In both groups we found statistically significant lowering of count of tender points (p < 0.001), pain intensity (p < 0.001), sleep disturbance (p < 0.001) and malaise (p < 0.001 in the first group and p < 0.05 in the second) after therapy procedure. Between groups we found that lowering of all followed disease parameters was more clearly in the first group and all differences were statistically significant (p < 0.0001 for all parameters).
Conclusion Treatment of patients with fibromyalgia with low-energy laser therapy improves symptoms of disease more than placebo. This statement suggests that low-energy laser therapy have prominent place in up to date treatment of patients with fibromyalgia, especially because of patient’s tolerance, no contraindications and simple applicability.
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