J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2016;29(1):77-83. doi: 10.3233/BMR-150600.

The effect of Laser and taping on pain, functional status and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: A placebo- randomized controlled clinical trial.

Vayvay ES1, Tok D2, Turgut E2, Tunay VB2.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 2Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.



Conservative treatments have been proved to be effective to control pain and optimize function in fibromyalgia, however there is need for scientific evidence to make better clinical application across various physiotherapy applications.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Laser and taping applications on pain, flexibility, anxiety, depression, functional status and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.


Forty-five female patients with fibromyalgia syndrome were included to the study and randomly allocated into three treatment groups; Laser (n= 15), placebo Laser (n= 15), and taping applications (n= 15). Visual analogue scale for pain intensity, trunk flexibility, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire for functional status, Short Form 36 Questionnaire for quality of life and health status, and Beck Depression Inventory for anxiety level were evaluated before and after three weeks interventions.


There were decreased pain severity in activity (p= 0.028), anxiety level (p= 0.01) and improved general health status, quality of life (p= 0.01) found at Laser group, whereas there were increased trunk flexibility, flexion (p= 0.03), extension (p= 0.02) found at taping group. After interventions, there were decreased pain severity for whole groups at night for Laser group (p= 0.04), placebo Laser group (p= 0.001), taping group (p= 0.01) and improved functional status found for Laser group (p= 0.001), placebo Laser group (p= 0.001), taping group (p= 0.01).


Kinesiotape application had a similar effect on parameters in FMS patient, so this method could be preferred instead of Laser application for rehabilitation program.

J Lasers Med Sci. 2015 Winter;6(1):6-9.

The intravenous laser blood irradiation in chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

Momenzadeh S1, Abbasi M2, Ebadifar A3, Aryani M1, Bayrami J1, Nematollahi F1.

Author information

  • 1Laser Application in Medical Sciences Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2Shohadaei Khalije Fars Hospital, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Boushehr, Iran.
  • 3Dentofacial Deformities Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Intravenous laser blood irradiation was first introduced into therapy by the Soviet scientists EN.Meschalkin and VS.Sergiewski in 1981. Originally this method was developed for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Improvement of rheologic properties of the blood as well as improvement of microcirculation and reduction of the area of infarction has been proved. Further, reduction of dysrhythmia and sudden cardiac death was achieved. At first, only the Helium-Neon laser (632.8 nm) was used in this therapy. For that, a power of 1-3mW and a period of exposure of 20-60 minutes were applied. The treatments were carried out once or twice a day up to ten appointments in all1. In the years after, many, and for the most part Russian studies showed that helium-neon laser had various effects on many organs and on the hematologic and immunologic system. The studies were published mainly in Russian which were little known in the West because of decades of political separation, and were regarded with disapproval. Besides clinical research and application for patients, the cell biological basis was developed by the Estonian cell biologist Tiina Karu at the same time. An abstract is to be found in her work “The Science of Low-Power Laser-Therapy”

Lasers Med Sci.  2014 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Low-level laser therapy to treat fibromyalgia.

  • 1Physical Therapy Department, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste (UNICENTRO), Guarapuava, PR, Brazil,


Several clinical treatments have been proposed to manage symptoms of fibromyalgia. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) may be a useful tool to treat this dysfunction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of LLLT in patients with fibromyalgia. A placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial was carried out with 20 patients divided randomly into either an LLLT group (n=10) or a placebo group (n=10). The LLLT group was treated with a GaAlAs laser (670 nm, 4 J/cm2 on 18 tender points) three times a week over 4 weeks. Before and after treatment, patients were evaluated with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), McGill Pain Questionnaire, and visual analog scale (VAS). Data from the FIQ and McGill questionnaire for the treated and control groups were analyzed by paired t tests, and Wilcoxon tests were used to analyze data from the VAS. After LLLT or sham treatment, the number of tender points was significantly reduced in both groups (LLLT, p<0.0001; placebo, p=0.0001). However, all other fibromyalgia symptoms showed significant improvements after LLLT compared to placebo (FIQ, p=0.0003; McGill, p=0.0078; and VAS, p=0.0020). LLLT provided relief from fibromyalgia symptoms in patients and should be further investigated as a therapeutic tool for management in fibromyalgia.

Trials.  2012 Nov 21;13:221. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-221.

Effect of lowlevel laser therapy on pain, quality of life and sleep in patients with fibromyalgia: study protocol for a double-blinded randomized controlled trial.

de Carvalho Pde T1, Leal-Junior EC, Alves AC, Rambo CS, Sampaio LM, Oliveira CS, Albertini R, de Oliveira LV.



Lowlevel laser therapy (LLLT) has been widely used as adjuvant strategy for treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. The light-tissue interaction (photobiostimulation) promotes analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and improves tissue healing, which could justify the recommendation of this therapy for patients with fibromyalgia, leading to an improvement in pain and possibly minimizing social impact related to this disease. The present study proposes to evaluate the effect of LLLT on tender points in patients with fibromyalgia, correlating this outcome with quality of life and sleep.


One hundred and twenty patients with fibromyalgia will be treated at the Integrated Health Center and the Sleep Laboratory of the Post Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences of the Nove de Julho University located in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. After fulfilling the eligibility criteria, a clinical evaluation and assessments of pain and sleep quality will be carried out and self-administered quality of life questionnaires will be applied. The 120 volunteers will be randomly allocated to an intervention group (LLLT, n = 60) or control group (CLLLT, n = 60). Patients from both groups will be treated three times per week for four weeks, totaling twelve sessions. However, only the LLLT group will receive an energy dose of 6 J per tender point. A standardized 50-minute exercise program will be performed after the laser application. The patients will be evaluated regarding the primary outcome (pain) using the following instruments: visual analog scale, McGill Pain Questionnaire and pressure algometry. The secondary outcome (quality of life and sleep) will be assessed with the following instruments: Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Berlin Questionnaire, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and polysomnography. ANOVA test with repeated measurements for the time factor will be performed to test between-groups differences (followed by the Tukey-Kramer post hoc test), and a paired t test will be performed to test within-group differences. The level of significance for the statistical analysis will be set at 5% (P ? .05).

Curr Pharm Des. 2006;12(1):29-35.

Physical therapy modalities in management of fibromyalgia

Gur, A

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, 21280 Diyarbakir, Turkey.

The etiology of fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) is uncertain and the prognosis for symptomatic recovery is generally poor. A wide variety of interventions are used in the management of FM. There is, however, no clear consensus on the treatment of choice and FM remains relatively refractory to treatment. Therefore, prevention, causal therapy and rehabilitation are not possible. FM patients frequently use alternative therapies, indicating dissatisfaction or ineffectiveness of traditional medical therapy. Alternative therapies are generally perceived to be more “natural” and as a result, to have fewer adverse effects. Despite the positive results found, the number of publications related to the application of physical therapy modalities such as acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical stimulation, laser, biofeedback, electrotherapy and magnetic field is still scant, especially concerning FM treatment. The demonstration of a long-term effective intervention for managing the symptoms associated with FM is needed. Multidisciplinary approaches to management include physical and medical therapeutic strategies. Treatment modalities should be individualised for patients based on target symptoms and impairment in functioning. Patience and positive attitude on part of the physician and active involvement of patients and their families in treatment are likely to enhance improvement. It can be concluded that there is a need for larger, more systematic and methodologically sound randomised controlled clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapy modalities of managing FM. We will review some of the existing studies of physical therapy relevant in the treatment of FM and give some practical advice for their use.

Photomed Laser Surg. 2005 Oct;23(5):459-64

Low-power laser treatment for shoulder pain.

Bingöl U, Altan L, Yurtkuran M.

Faculty of Medicine, Atatürk Rehabilitation Center, Rheumatic Disease and Hydrotherapy Section, Uludaà University, Cekirge, Bursa, Turkey.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of low-power gallium-arsenide laser treatment on the patients with shoulder pain.

BACKGROUND DATA: Low-energy laser therapy has recently been popularized in the treatment of various rheumatologic, neurologic, and musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendinitis, and chronic back pain syndromes.

METHODS: A total of 40 patients who applied to our clinic with shoulder pain and complied with the selection criteria were included in the study. The patients were randomly assigned into Group I (n = 20, laser treatment) and Group II (n = 20, control). In Group I, patients were given laser treatment and an exercise protocol for 10 sessions during a period of 2 weeks. Laser was applied over tuberculum majus and minus, bicipital groove, and anterior and posterior faces of the capsule, regardless of the existence of sensitivity, for 1 min at each location at each session with a frequency of 2000 Hz using a GaAs diode laser instrument (Roland Serie Elettronica Pagani, wavelength 904 nm, frequency range of 5-7000 Hz, and maximum peak power of 27 W, 50 W, or 27 x 4 W). In Group II, placebo laser and the same exercise protocol was given for the same period. Patients were evaluated according to the parameters of pain, palpation sensitivity, algometric sensitivity, and shoulder joint range of motion before and after treatment.

RESULTS: Analysis of measurement results within each group showed a significant posttreatment improvement for some active and passive movements in both groups, and also for algometric sensitivity in Group I (p < 0.05-0.01). Posttreatment palpation sensitivity values showed improvement in 17 patients (85%) for Group I and six patients (30%) for Group II. Comparison between two groups showed superior results (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001) in Group I for the parameters of passive extension and palpation sensitivity but no significant difference for other parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study have shown better results in palpation sensitivity and passive extension, but no significant improvement in pain, active range, and algometric sensitivity in laser treatment group compared to the control group in the patients with shoulder pain.

Lasers Med Sci. 2002;17(1):57-61.

Efficacy of low power laser therapy in fibromyalgia: a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Gur A, Karakoc M, Nas K, Cevik R, Sarac J, Demir E.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey.

Low energy lasers are widely used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions including fibromyalgia, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support its efficacy. A randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of low-energy laser therapy in 40 female patients with fibromyalgia. Patients with fibromyalgia were randomly allocated to active (Ga-As) laser or placebo laser treatment daily for two weeks except weekends. Both the laser and placebo laser groups were evaluated for the improvement in pain, number of tender points, skinfold tenderness, stiffness, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and muscular spasm. In both groups, significant improvements were achieved in all parameters (p<0.05) except sleep disturbance, fatigue and skinfold tenderness in the placebo laser group (p>0.05). It was found that there was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to all parameters before therapy whereas a significant difference was observed in parameters as pain, muscle spasm, morning stiffness and tender point numbers in favour of laser group after therapy (p<0.05). None of the participants reported any side effects. Our study suggests that laser therapy is effective on pain, muscle spasm, morning stiffness, and total tender point number in fibromyalgia and suggests that this therapy method is a safe and effective way of treatment in the cases with fibromyalgia.

Rheumatol Int 2002 Sep; 22(5):188-93

 Effects of low power laser and low dose amitriptyline therapy on clinical symptoms and quality of life in fibromyalgia: a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Gur A, Karakoc M, Nas K, Cevik R, Sarac J, Ataoglu S.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dicle University School of Medicine, 21280 Diyarbakir, Turkey,

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of low power laser (LPL) and low-dose amitriptyline therapy and to investigate effects of these therapy modalities on clinical symptoms and quality of life (QOL) in patients with fibromyalgia (FM).

Seventy-five patients with FM were randomly allocated to active gallium-arsenide (Ga-As) laser (25 patients), placebo laser (25 patients), and amitriptyline therapy (25 patients). All groups were evaluated for the improvement in pain, number of tender points, skin fold tenderness, morning stiffness, sleep disturbance, muscular spasm, and fatigue. Depression was evaluated by a psychiatrist according to the Hamilton Depression Rate Scale and DSM IV criteria. Quality of life of the FM patients was assessed according to the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). In the laser group, patients were treated for 3 min at each tender point daily for 2 weeks, except weekends, at each point with approximately 2 J/cm(2) using a Ga-As laser. The same unit was used for the placebo treatment, for which no\ laser beam was emitted. Patients in the amitriptyline group took 10 mg daily at bedtime throughout the 8 weeks.

Significant improvements were indicated in all clinical parameters in the laser group (P=0.001) and significant improvements were indicated in all clinical parameters except fatigue in the amitriptyline group (P=0.000), whereas significant improvements were indicated in pain ( P=0.000),tender point number ( P=0.001), muscle spasm ( P=0.000), morning stiffness (P=0.002), and FIQ score ( P=0.042) in the placebo group. A significant difference was observed in clinical parameters such as pain intensity (P=0.000) and fatigue ( P=0.000) in favor of the laser group over the other groups, and a significant difference was observed in morning stiffness (P=0.001), FIQ ( P=0.003), and depression score ( P=0.000) after therapy.  A significant difference was observed in morning stiffness ( P=0.001), FIQ (P=0.003), and depression ( P=0.000) in the amitriptyline group compared to the placebo group after therapy. Additionally, a significant difference was observed in depression score ( P=0.000) in the amitriptyline group incomparison to the laser group after therapy.

Our study suggests that both amitriptyline and laser therapies are effective on clinical symptoms and QOL in fibromyalgia and that Ga-As laser therapy is a safe and effective treatment in cases with FM. Additionally, the present study suggests that the Ga-As laser therapy can be used as a monotherapy or as a supplementary treatment to other therapeutic procedures in FM.

Ugeskr Laeger. 1991 Jun 17;153(25):1801-4.

Low energy laser treatment–effect in localized fibromyalgia in the neck and shoulder regions.

[Article in Danish]

Thorsen H, Gam AN, Jensen H, Hojmark L, Wahlstrom L.
Frederiksberg Hospital, medicinsk blok, reumatologisk afdeling C.

The effect of low-level laser therapy (GaAlAs, 830 nm, continuous) for chronic myofascial pain in the neck and shoulder girdle was assessed in a double-blind randomized study with 36 female participants. Treatments were given six times during two weeks with a total effect of 4.5-22.5 J per treatment depending on the number of tender points. No significant effect was found, neither in pain relief nor in tablet intake between the laser and the placebo group. None of the participants reported any side-effects.