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Laser therapy in the treatment of achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial
AIP Conference Proceedings
  • Steve Tumilty, University of Otago
  • Joanne Munn, University of Otago
  • J Haxby Abbott, University of Otago
  • Suzanne McDonough, University of Ulster
  • Deidre A Hurley, University College Dublin
  • Jeffrey R Basford, The Mayo Clinic
  • G David Baxter, University of Otago
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Background: Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has emerged as a possible treatment modality for tendinopathies. Human studies have investigated LLLT for Achilles Tendinopathy and the effectiveness remains contentious. Purpose: To assess the clinical effectiveness of Low‐Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the management of Achilles Tendinopathy. Method: Forty patients were randomised into an active laser or placebo group; all patients, therapists and investigator were blinded to allocation. All patients were given an eccentric exercise program and irradiated 3 times per week for 4 weeks with either an active or placebo laser at 6 standardized points over the affected tendons. Irradiation parameters in the active laser group were: 810 nm, 100 mW, applied to 6 points on the tendon for 30 seconds giving a dose of 3 J per point and 18 J per session; power density 100 mW/cm2. Outcome measures were the VISA‐A questionnaire and a visual analogue scale of pain. Patients were measured before treatment, at 4 and 12 weeks. ANCOVA was used to analyze data, using the effects of baseline measurements as a covariate. Results: Within groups, there were significant improvements (p0.05). Conclusion: This use of the above parameters demonstrated no added benefit of LLLT over that of eccentric exercise in the treatment of Achilles Tendinopathy.
Citation Information

Tumilty, S, Munn, J, Abbott, JH, McDonough, S, Hurley, DA, Basford, JR & Baxter, GD 2010, 'Laser therapy in the treatment of achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial', AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1226, pp. 163-169.