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Lasting Symptom Relief With Class IV Laser in Epicondylitis

FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with a dual wavelength 10 W class IV laser correlates with long-term relief of the symptoms associated with chronic epicondylitis, according to a study published in the July issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Delia B. Roberts, Ph.D., from Selkirk College in Castlegar, Canada, and colleagues conducted a placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial involving 16 patients with chronic epicondylitis to examine the efficacy of a dual wavelength 10 W class IV laser for alleviation of symptoms. Participants had eight treatments of laser or sham over 18 days, and underwent clinical examination (pain, function, strength, and ultrasonic imaging) before treatment and at zero, three, six, and 12 months post-treatment.

In the laser-treated group, the researchers observed improvements in handgrip strength at three, six, and 12 months (17, 52, and 66 percent, respectively) and in function at three, six, and 12 months (44, 71, and 82 percent, respectively). In addition, there were reductions in pain with resistance to extension of the middle finger at three, six, and 12 months (50, 93, and 100 percent reductions, respectively). Following sham treatment there were no changes until 12 months, at which point improvements were noted in strength and function (13 and 52 percent, respectively) and reduction in pain was noted with resistance to extension of the middle finger (76 percent reduction).

"These findings suggest that laser therapy using the 10 W class IV instrument is efficacious for the long-term relief of the symptoms associated with chronic epicondylitis," the authors write.

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