WORLD PT DAY 2022: laser therapy and magnetotherapy allies of physiotherapists

07 September 2022 - Therapies -

Osteoarthritis and the role of physiotherapists in its treatment are the topics of the 2022 edition of the World Physiotherapy Day held on 8th September.

A focus, the one on osteoarthritis, that stems from the numbers which underline how this disease is globally alarming: 520 million people worldwide are sufferers and the trend is growing dangerously (+48% in the last 30 years – 1990-2019). The victims of this disease, whose risk factors are overweight, obesity, family correlation, damage through joint over use or surgery, are mainly the hands, hips and knees (60%). Just a few indications are required for a clinical diagnosis (among others: age above 45, female gender, joint pain linked to activities…) which are added to characteristic symptoms: pain, muscle weakness and joint rigidity with consequent functional impairment.

Its progression also causes a high social impact: indeed, where in its initial phase the body has all the resources to intervene directly, as this progresses, it cannot keep up. The price ends up being paid first of all by the joint tissue, where the damage not only leads to a reduction of the cartilages and to bone remodelling, but also to bone lumps and joint inflammation occurring. These are factors that in the first instance may not impact the joint but that are in any case felt in the medium term.

Prevention and early treatment therefore are the guidelines to follow in order to avoid the pathology erupting, whose worst enemy is physical exercise. Targeted exercises in fact allow relieving pain, improving joint movement, facilitating movement and reinforcing the muscles, thus enabling optimising its management. 
The latter is the objective where the contribution by professional physiotherapists is essential, supported also by instrumental therapies, MLS® Laser Therapy and Hilterapia® in particular. The two laser therapies in fact, not only help to overcome the painful symptoms, but are a valid support to rehabilitation by effectively promoting recovery of the compromised functionality.

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Laser therapy with HIRO TT for knee OA ©Galeno Fisioterapia

This is confirmed by research carried out at international level, including “Efficacy of class IV diode laser on pain and dysfunction in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized placebo-control trial” and “Effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy in the management of patients with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”.

The first study was conducted on two groups, the first underwent physical exercise and MLS® (Multiwave Locked System) Laser Therapy treatment, the second physical exercise and treatment with a placebo laser (both groups carried out physical exercise three times a week for four weeks); this study evidenced that “the class IV diode laser combined with exercise was more effective than exercise alone when treating patients with knee osteoarthritis. The group that benefited from treatments with MLS® Laser Therapy combined with exercises actually reduced pain and WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index of Osteoarthritis) compared with the placebo laser plus physical exercise group”.

The second study was based on a systematic revision and a meta-analysis of 6 randomised and controlled studies to evaluate the effectiveness of HILT® in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The resulting data led to concluding that the contribution of “HILT® on pain, rigidity and functionality in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee is promising”.

That Hilterapia® is a valid support for treating cases of arthritis, thanks to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oedema effects, useful to promote tissue repair and regeneration processes, is also underlined by the direct experience of Doctor Alessandro Danieli (physiotherapist and in charge of the Poliambulatorio Fisiodanieli in Rome) outlined in an interview with

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FisioDanieli and HIRO TT laser device

“Hilterapia® – Danieli explains – together with the contribution provided by the physiotherapist, is particularly valid to quickly recover physical fitness after surgery for arthritis, providing an immediate reduction in pain to the patient”.

As well as Laser Therapy, Magnetotherapy also provides significant results in the treatment of osteoarthritis issues. This is reported in the study “Effect of a physiotherapy rehabilitation program on knee osteoarthritis in patients with different pain intensities” which aims to evaluate the effects of a physiotherapy rehabilitation program on moderate knee osteoarthritis in 60 patients with different pain intensities (bland, moderate and severe). Treated by means of a protocol which included Magneto-therapy with the third series Easy device, ultrasound, stretching and muscle strengthening exercises, all the patients of the reference sample reported an objective improvement, with the most relevant results for those with moderate pain.

With Laser Therapy and Magneto-therapy osteoarthritis has thus reached its eleventh hour, with positive repercussions for the quality of life of sufferers.

Bibliographical References


  • Effect of High-Power Laser Therapy Versus Shock Wave Therapy on Pain and Function in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    M.S.E.M. Mostafa, H.A. Hamada, A.M. Kadry, S.S. Zahran, N.A. Helmy
    Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 2022
  • Effects of low-level and high-intensity laser therapy as adjunctive to rehabilitation exercise on pain, stiffness and function in knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
    M.A. Ahmad, M.S.A. Hamid, A. Yusof
    Physiotherpay, 2021
  • Effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy in the management of patients with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
    H. Songa, H. Seob, D. Kimc
    Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 2020
  • Efficacy of pulsed Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial 
    M.S.M. Alayat, T.H.A. Aly, A.E.M. Elsayed, A.S.M. Fadil
    Lasers in Medical Science, 2017
  • High-intensity versus low-level laser therapy in the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial 
    A.R. Kheshie, M.S.M. Alayat, M.M.E. Ali
    Lasers in Medical Science, 2014
  • Analgesic Effect of High Intensity Laser Therapy in Knee Osteoarthritis
    N. Štiglić-Rogoznica, D. Stamenković, L. Frlan-Vrgoč, V. Avancini-Dobrović, T. Schnurrer-Luke Vrbanić
    Collegium antropologicum, 2011

MLS® Laser Therapy

  • Efficacy of class IV diode laser on pain and dysfunction in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized placebo-control trial
    M.S. Alayat, M.M. Ali
    Bulletin of Faculty of Physical Therapy, 2017
  • Photobiomodulation therapy by NIR laser in persistent pain: an analytical study in the rat
    L. Micheli, L. Di Cesare Mannelli, E. Lucarini, F. Cialdai, L. Vignali, C. Ghelardini, M. Monici
    Lasers in Medical Science, 2017
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of MLS laser therapy in the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis
    A. Dakowicz, A. Kuryliszyn-Moskal, M. Białowiezec, A. Gbur
    Polish Journal of Applied Sciences, 2015
  • Influence of Various Laser Therapy Methods on Knee Joint Pain and Function in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis
    K. Gworys, J. Gasztych, A. Puzder, P. Gworys, J. Kujawa
    Ortopedia Traumatologia Rehabilitacja, 2012
  • Comparative Evaluation of the Direct Analgesic Efficacy of Selected Physiotherapeutic Methods in Subjects with Knee Osteoarthritis. Preliminary Report
    T. Kędzierski, K. Stańczak, K. Gworys, J. Gasztych, M. Sibiński, J. Kujawa
    Ortopedia Traumatologia Rehabilitacja, 2012

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