Laser therapy in the treatment of achilles tendinopathy: A randomised controlled trial

Steve Tumilty, Joanne Munn, J. Haxby Abbott, Suzanne Mcdonough, Deirdre A. Hurley, Jeffrey R. Basford, G. David Baxter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Background: Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has emerged as a possible treatment modality for tendinopathies. Human studies have investigated LLLT for Achilles Tendinopathy and the effectiveness remains contentious. Purpose: To assess the clinical effectiveness of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in the management of Achilles Tendinopathy. Method: Forty patients were randomised into an active laser or placebo group; all patients, therapists and investigator were blinded to allocation. All patients were given an eccentric exercise program and irradiated 3 times per week for 4 weeks with either an active or placebo laser at 6 standardized points over the affected tendons. Irradiation parameters in the active laser group were: 810nm, 100mW, applied to 6 points on the tendon for 30 seconds giving a dose of 3J per point and 18J per session; power density 100mW/cm2. Outcome measures were the VISA-A questionnaire and a visual analogue scale of pain. Patients were measured before treatment, at 4 and 12 weeks. ANCOVA was used to analyze data, using the effects of baseline measurements as a covariate. Results: Within groups, there were significant improvements (p < 0.05) at 4 and 12 weeks for all outcome measures, except pain for the laser group at 4 weeks (p = 0.13). Between groups differences at both 4 and 12 weeks showed no significant difference between groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: This use of the above parameters demonstrated no added benefit of LLLT over that of eccentric exercise in the treatment of Achilles Tendinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLaser Florence 2009
Subtitle of host publicationA Gallery Through the Laser Medicine World - Selected Papers at the International Laser Medicine Congress
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780735407701
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
EventCongress of the International Academy Laser Medicine and Surgery - Firenze, Italy
Duration: Nov 6 2009Nov 7 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherCongress of the International Academy Laser Medicine and Surgery


  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Eccentric exercise
  • Low level laser therapy
  • RCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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