Photobiomodulation as an Adjunctive Treatment to Physiotherapy for Reduction of Anterior Knee Pain in Combat Soldiers: A Prospective, Double-Blind, Randomized, Pragmatic, Sham-Controlled Trial

Anterior knee pain (AKP) is the most common knee pathology in athletes and occurs in 15% of army recruits of elite units during basic training. Of these, 50% are symptomatic 6 years later. Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a nonthermal red-to-near-infrared irradiation used for pain reduction of a variety of etiologies. This study was designed to determine whether addition of PBM to physiotherapy (PT) for AKP in combat soldiers is superior to PT alone.

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PBM Now Recommended for Treating Pain

JAMA lists low-level laser therapy as a recommended option for treating low back pain lasting more than 12 weeks.

—JAMA Patient Page


American College of Physicians Guidelines include a “strong recommendation” for Low-Level Laser Therapy as a non-invasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute & Chronic Low Back Pain

Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians.

Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, Forciea MA, Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians

From the American College of Physicians and Penn Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

DESCRIPTION: The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on noninvasive treatment of low back pain. Methods: Using the ACP grading system, the committee based these recommendations on a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials and systematic reviews published through April 2015 on noninvasive pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments for low back pain. Updated searches were performed through November 2016. Clinical outcomes evaluated included reduction or elimination of low back pain, improvement in back-specific and overall function, improvement in health-related quality of life, reduction in work disability and return to work, global improvement, number of back pain episodes or time between episodes, patient satisfaction, and adverse effects.



Low-level laser therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of PBM for chronic non-specific low back pain which found “moderate quality of evidence” and “clinically important benefits” in the short term.

BMJ Publishing Group Limited




Clinical guidelines for tennis elbow “Likely to be beneficial for short-term pain relief & improvement of function”

This systematic review presents information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, autologous whole blood injections, corticosteroid injections, combination physical therapies, exercise, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, iontophoresis, low-level laser therapy, manipulation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (oral and topical), orthoses (bracing), platelet-rich plasma injections, pulsed electromagnetic field treatment, surgery, and ultrasound.

British Medical Journal


American Physical Therapy Association guidelines recommend PBM for Achilles tendonitis.

Clinicians should consider the use of low-level laser therapy to decrease pain and stiffness in patients with Achilles tendinopathy.

American Physical Therapy Association Guidelines


Systematic review of surgical and conservative interventions for frozen shoulder found “strong evidence” for PBM.

Study found strong evidence for the effectiveness of  laser therapy in short-term follow-up.

British Journal of Sports Medicine


PBM reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and for up to 22 weeks in patients with chronic neck pain.

Neck pain is a common and costly condition for which pharmacological management has limited evidence of efficacy and side-effects. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a relatively uncommon, non-invasive treatment for neck pain, in which non-thermal laser irradiation is applied to sites of pain. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to assess the efficacy of LLLT in neck pain.

The Lancet


GTFMSP (Global Task Force on Musculoskeletal Pain) recommend laser for myofascial pain syndrome.

GTFMSP (Global Task Force on Musculoskeletal Pain) recommend laser for myofascial pain syndrome.

International Association for the Study of Pain


Bone and Joint Task Force recommends PBM for neck pain.

The Bone and Joint Task Force, an initiative of the United Nations and the World Health Organization reports low-level laser therapy appeared to have some benefit in the treatment of neck pain.

Spine Journal