The effect of low-level laser therapy on acupuncture points in patients with myofascial pain syndrome

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Physical therapist, (Msc)Department of Physical Therapy, Isfahan university of Medical Science, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Student of Physical Therapy, (Msc)Department of Physical Therapy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan,Iran.

3 Physical therapist, (Bs) Department of Physical Therapy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan,Iran.



Introduction: Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is the most prevalent cause of the skeletal muscle illnesses with Trigger point’s resource in one or more than one muscle or connective tissue. Its prevalence varies from 30% to 70% in different studies. Based on results obtained from several studies and according to the majority of experts in this field, the old methods are temporary, imperfect and unreliable in alleviating symptoms of MPS. However the application of interferential treatments as complimentary or even as augmentative approaches can lead in some favorable results. Most of the investigators found that the positive or negative therapeutic effects are related to the applied method and to the intensity of the radiated energy. So the necessity of more studies about different parameters and methods of laser therapy (i.e. Intensity, Wave length, frequency and duration) in for MPS patients is clearly felt. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of low level laser therapy (Ga- Al- As 830 nm) on the acupuncture points of neck in the patients with myofascial pain syndrome.Material and Methods: It was an experimental clinical trial study with a single blind design. Participants in this study were 60 women who suffered from MPS. They were randomly assigned to two groups of 30 patients each. There were on and off lasers used on the acupuncture points in a touching method. Both groups did the stretching exercise for the upper trapezoid muscle every session. Subjects completed a 10-sessions physiotherapy program (3 sessions per week). Data related to the dependant variables (Measuring the tendency of pain, the active Range of motion (ROM) of the neck in such directions as Ext, Flex, L/R lat flex. and R/L lat Rot, Sensitivity to the pressure on the trigger points) were collected in four points of time: before starting the treatment, on the 5th session, on the 10th session and 1 month after completing the treatment phase. It was performed by an observer physiotherapist filling out some questioners.Results:  With regard to increase of the motion extent, R/L flex and sensitivity to the pressure, there was no superiority for treatment with low level laser therapy on the acupuncture points during resting and activity over control group, although subjects in treatment group showed at least some improvements at the end of study. Low level laser therapy was however effective in increasing the motion of Ext, Flex, R&L Rot.Conclusion: Although both treatment and control groups showed some improvements in pain reduction, increase of ROM and sensitivity to the pressure, the results were better in the treatment group compared to the control group. The reason for this improvement in two groups may be the effect of stretching exercise and laser touching method in stimulating the acupuncture points.Keywords: Myofascial pain syndrome, Acupuncture points and Low level laser

  • Receive Date: 20 February 2011
  • Revise Date: 28 March 2023
  • Accept Date: 22 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 22 May 2022