Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for lateral elbow tendinopathy
Johnson, Mark I.
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Objective: Our aim was to determine the effectiveness of low-lever laser therapy (LLLT) in the management of lateral elbow tendinopathy (LET) and to provide recommendations based on this evidence. Background data: LET is a common clinical condition, and a wide array of physiotherapy treatments is used for treating LET. Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified by a search strategy in six databases were used in combination with reference checking. RCTs that included LLLT, patients with LET, and at least one of the clinically relevant outcome measure were selected. A qualitative analysis of the selected studies was conducted using the Chalmers' technique. Results: Nine RCTs fulfilled the criteria and were included in the review. Although these studies had satisfactory methodology, shortcomings were not absent; poor results were revealed as to the effectiveness of LLLT for LET management. Conclusions: LLLT need not be ruled out for LET as it is a dose-response modality, and the optimal treatment dose has obviously not yet have been discovered. Further research with well-designed RCTs is needed to establish the absolute and relative effectiveness of this intervention for LET. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.