A recent study shows that high intensity laser therapy may help to lessen the pain among elder women with fibromyalgia. This study is published in the journal, Rheumatology International.
Clinical trials suggest that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can help to ease the muscle pain and stiffness brought by fibromyalgia. This is regardless of whether the therapy is combined with medication or not. It is very common for Doctors to use LLLT in treating wounds and chronic pain.
However, follow up studies have failed to show if LLLT can indeed help to ease muscle pain. Newer studies have shown that high intensity therapy (HILT) may do a much better job in alleviating pain. This is especially applicable in muscle pain, which is a common symptom of fibromyalgia.
Further Studies Investigating Three Levels of HILT
The results have triggered researchers to investigate further on how the three levels of HILT can help older fibromyalgia patients. These levels consist of low, intermediate as well as high watt intensities.
A 67-year-old patient diagnosed with fibromyalgia for seven years, failed to improve despite undergoing treatments. These treatments include diet supplements, medication and a pain management program. Under the pain management program, she undergoes behavioral therapy, physical therapy, medication and some laser treatments at an intensity level of 25 watts.
Researchers tried the different levels of intensity to the patient. The laser beams were applied on her spinal column, including 10 tender points in between her shoulders and hips. The low intensity level of only 1 watt has failed to help the patient. However, the higher levels of 42 and 75 watt led to a significant reduction in pain. Furthermore, these therapies helped to improve her sleep quality and increased her level of physical activity. In addition, immediately after the higher levels of treatment, the patient no longer needs any opioid-based medication.
Overall, the study has shown that there are indeed potential benefits in using higher levels of HILT for fibro patients. This especially applies to patients who do not respond well to conventional treatment methods. The researchers also added that the treatment can potentially help to minimize the risk of the patients’ dependence on opioids.
To further assess the use of laser therapy in treating fibromyalgia patients, the same group of researchers initiated a new clinical trial. The study will aim to look at the ability of the 42-watt laser beam in treating patients who fail to respond to conventional fibromyalgia treatments.