Effectiveness of Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Myofascial Pain
Lorena Marcelino Cardoso

Abstract
Myofascial pain is a regional neuromuscular dysfunction of multifactorial etiology that is characterized by the presence of trigger points. It is a common cause of chronic pain and a frequent finding in clinical medicine. The proposed therapeutic procedures aim to reduce pain intensity, inactivate trigger points, rehabilitate muscles and preventively eliminate perpetuating factors. The search for effective treatments and non-invasive options is a topic of ongoing study and, among the proposed therapeutic modalities, laser therapy remains controversial. Objective: To analyze the history of laser therapy in the treatment of myofascial pain, the evolution of research on its effectiveness and the establishment of treatment protocols. Methodology: Analytical study of randomized and controlled clinical trials, double-blinded or single-blinded, describing the effects of laser therapy for myofascial pain or myofascial trigger points, published between 2009 and 2013, and available in the databases PUBMED, MEDLINE, LILACS, IBECS, Cochrane Library, KSCI and SciELO. Results: Regarding the effectiveness of laser therapy for the treatment in question, both positive results and results at the same level as the placebo were observed in the studies. The heterogeneity of the trials does not allow the determination of optimal laser parameters for treatment. Conclusion: According to the data from clinical trials conducted in the last five years, it is still not possible to provide definitive conclusions about the effects of laser therapy for myofascial pain or to establish correlations between the observed results and the parameters employed.

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