2017 Volume 26 Issue 1 Pages 19-24
Background and Aims: Chronic foot and ankle joint pain is one of the most frequent complaints which is regularly seen in the out-patient clinic of our medical institute. In previous studies we have reported on the benefits of low level laser therapy (LLLT) for chronic pain in the elbow, hand, finger and the lower back. The present study examined the effects of LLLT on chronic foot and ankle joint pain.
Materials and Methods: Over the past 5 years, 17 subjects visited the out-patient clinic with complaints of chronic foot and ankle joint pain of a variety of aetiologies. The patients received LLLT using a 1000 mW semi-conductor laser device, delivering 20.1 J/cm² per point at 830 nm in continuous wave. Each patient was given four shots per session per foot twice a week for 4 weeks.
Results: A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to determine the effects of LLLT for the chronic pain and after the end of the treatment regimen a significant improvement was observed (p<0.01). All but 2 of the patients showed improvement: excellent (2) and good (13). After treatment, no significant differences were observed in the ankle joint range of motion, however. Discussions with the patients revealed that it was important for them to learn how to avoid overuse of the ankle when walking, poor walking posture and a poor pacing technique that would caused them foot and ankle pain in everyday life. Following these postural guidelines could ensure continuous benefits from the treatment.
Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that LLLT was an effective form of treatment for chronic foot and ankle joint pain, in conjunction with postural education during all activities of daily living.